Greta Van Susteren: Obama’s News Police Meant to Intimidate, Stifle and Chill Speech (Video)

On Wednesday night’s On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, a panel discussed the Obama Regime’s latest power grab – an FCC pilot program that would send “researchers” to newsrooms to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run. Former FCC Commissioner AJIT PAI wrote about the plan in his Wall Street Journal piece, The FCC Wades Into the Newsroom.

The purpose of the CIN, according to the FCC, is to ferret out information from television and radio broadcasters about “the process by which stories are selected” and how often stations cover “critical information needs,” along with “perceived station bias” and “perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.”

How does the FCC plan to dig up all that information? First, the agency selected eight categories of “critical information” such as the “environment” and “economic opportunities,” that it believes local newscasters should cover. It plans to ask station managers, news directors, journalists, television anchors and on-air reporters to tell the government about their “news philosophy” and how the station ensures that the community gets critical information.

Susteren is outraged. She had on The Hill’s AB Stoddard, The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty and the Washington Examiner’s Byron York to discuss the Regime’s stealth attempt to bring back the  Fairness Doctrine, and they all agreed that it was a horrible idea that no self-respecting newsroom would tolerate.

Greta named three things that she thought she’d never see happen in her own country – the NSA spying on all American citizens, the use of drones to kill American citizens, and now this. Tumulty noted the FCC was also planning to visit newspapers which they don’t even have the power to regulate.

“You ask a news organization what their news philosophy is – it’s to cover the news and make a profit out of that”, Tumulty declared.

Greta retorted, “if they asked me, you know what I’d say? None of your business.” She went on to say she hoped any other news organization would respond the same way.

Stoddard wondered why any newsroom or newspaper would feel like they would have to comply with these FCC inquisitions. “I can’t imagine even the most liberal outfit coming from this profession being willing to share their philosophy and change the way they cover anything…” She said.

Greta asserted that the whole thing is “meant to intimidate and to stifle and to chill,” and expressed shock and horror that someone thought that this was a good idea to begin with.

AB Stoddard agreed, “it seems so ludicrous – so unAmerican – that I can’t believe that it would ever become real, but the fact that someone had an idea about it and it didn’t get slapped down – is more than strange.”

One gets the uneasy feeling that Obama looks to Communist South American Dictators who take control of the news media with great admiration and envy.

SEE ALSO:

Doug Ross: NOT CREEPY AT ALL: Obama FCC Placing Government Monitors in Newsrooms to Police Media:

Every major repressive regime of the modern era has begun with an attempt to control and intimidate the press.

As Thomas Jefferson so eloquently said, “our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”

The federal government has absolutely no business determining what stories should and should not be run, what is critical for the American public and what is not, whether it perceives a bias, and whose interests are and are not being served by the free press.

It’s an unconscionable assault on our free society.

Imagine a government monitor telling Fox News it needed to cover stories in the same way as MSNBC or Al Jazeera. Imagine an Obama Administration official walking in to the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal and telling it that the American public would be better served if it is stopped reporting on the IRS scandal or maybe that reporting on ObamaCare “glitches” is driving down enrollment.

It’s hard to imagine anything more brazenly Orwellian than government monitors in newsrooms.

Via Dick Morris: 

Surveys will be distributed to reporters, news editors, assignment editors, publishers, owners, on-air reporters, film editors and other station or newspaper staff. These are the questions they will ask:

–What is the news philosophy of the station?

–Who else in your market provides news?

–Who are your main competitors?

–Is the news produced in-house or is it provided by an outside source?

–Do you employ news people?

–How many reporters and editors do you employ?

–Do you have any reporters or editors assigned to topic “beats”? If so how many and what are the beats?

–Who decides which stories are covered?

–How much influence do reporters and anchors have in deciding which stories to cover? –How much does community input influence news coverage decisions?

–How do you define critical information that the community needs?

–How do you ensure the community gets this critical information? On-Air Staff? Reporters? Anchors?

–How much news does your station air every day?

–Have you ever suggested coverage of what you consider a story with critical information for your customers (viewers, listeners, readers) that was rejected by management? If so, can you give an example? What was the reason given for the decision? Why do you disagree?

These intrusive questions, prying into station politics and policies, can only send a chilling message to radio and television outlets.

Fox News: ‘The Kelly File’ looks at the FCC’s proposal to study newsrooms:

A Federal Communications Commission proposal to “study” how the news media operates by placing researchers in newsrooms, “The Kelly File” reported on Wednesday.

“It’s very reminiscent of the kinds of questions that were asked of my clients in the IRS matter that is currently in federal court,” said Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice. “Same kind of questioning process of content, determination on point of view, and I think this government, this administration is bent on aiming and targeting those they don’t like.”

Katie Pavlich, the news editor of Townhall.com, wondered why the Obama administration didn’t learn following the fallout over the Justice Department’s wiretapping of Associated Press journalists.

“Now, they want to send investigators into newsrooms all over the country,” she said. “This is about controlling what people say, and this is about intimidating the news.”

Pavlich agreed with host Megyn Kelly’s assertion that the proposal provides a window into “how the FCC is thinking” when it comes to an independent press.

I emboldened what Sekulow said because I was thinking the same thing and I think it is key.

Do a Google search on this story, and you’ll quickly notice which media outfits are the most concerned about this – the WSJ, which broke the story, Fox News, the ACLJ, Mediaite, and lots of conservative blogs.

Why do you suppose ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC,  CNN, the Washington Post and NYTs (the Democrat media complex as Andrew Breitbart used to call them) are mum? Why is this not a big story for them? Could it be because they are already voluntarily complying with the Regime’s PC requirements? Are they not already simpatico with the Regime’s Statist worldview? In 2016, can we fully expect them to run interference  for the Democrat candidate  like they did so shamelessly for Obama in 2008 and 2012? Of course they will. They pretend to be impartial, but when it counts – they will sting the Republican. It is their nature.

So who do you think is being “targeted” here? As usual, it’s the disfavored conservative leaning rabble-rousers who don’t tow the Regime’s Statist line. And the Democrat media complex is once again, looking away from a scandal,  giving the Regime their tacit approval.

Greta Van Susteren has every reason to be horrified.

Andrew Klavan, Truth Revolt: KLAVAN: A Sick Media #BOWDOWN To Their Own Oppressors:

…we don’t need a thuggish FCC to know this administration wants the media choir to sing the White House song castrato. Reporters Without Borders has already downgraded the U.S. fourteen spots to number 46 on the World Press Freedom Index this year alone. The president’s men have tapped reporters’ phones and email. And even Jill Abramson, editor of the leftist New York Times, says, “This is the most secretive White House… I have ever dealt with.”

And yet the Times and the news networks continue to play down presidential malfeasance — including that which threatens their own freedom!

It was unbelievably childish of journalists to believe, as Barbara Walters put it, that Obama was “the next messiah.” It is venal of them to turn a near-sighted eye to his IRS abuse, Benghazi cover-up and unconstitutional non-enforcement of law. But for American news people to #BOWDOWN before an administration that shows open hostility to the First Amendment — that’s just hashtag-pathological.

Ben Shapiro, Big Government: OBAMA CRACKDOWN ON PRESS FREEDOM ESCALATES:

Last week, Reporters Without Borders dropped America in the World Press Freedom Index 2014 from 33rd to 46th. James Risen of The New York Times rightly explained, “I think 2013 will go down in history as the worst year for press freedom in the United States’ modern history.” And he’s right. The violation of press freedoms has been egregious under this administration, even as the press fetes President Obama as an honest and effective commander-in-chief.

Selective Access. President Obama has regularly granted special access to reporters who give him preferential coverage. CBS’ Steve Kroft admitted as much after a late-2012 interview with the President during which CBS clipped Obama’s explicit refusal to label Benghazi an act of terror: “(Obama) knows that we’re not going to play ‘gotcha’ with him, that we’re not going to go out of our way to make him look bad or stupid.”

Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball, got special access for a profile of Obama for Vanity Fair – but Obama insisted on redlining his quotes. Lewis explained that “the White House insisted on signing off on the quotes that would appear.” A reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle was threatened for covering an anti-Obama protest. As early as 2008, candidate Obama was kicking dissenters off planes after their outlets endorsed John McCain.

Targeting Reporters. In May 2013, the Associated Press dropped the bombshell that the Department of Justice had grabbed phone records for its reporters and editors of the course of two months. Records for 20 telephone lines belonging to the AP and reporters for it were seized between April and May of 2012. Those seizures affected over 100 journalists.

The AP’s President and CEO Gary Pruitt stated, “There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters.” Fox News’ James Rosen was also targeted by the DOJ after running a story about North Korea nuclear development. His State Department visits were tracked and his movements were followed. His parents’ phone records were even grabbed.

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Obama Warns Ukrainian Government: “There Will Be Consequences If People Step Over The Line”

Good Gad – Obama drew another line.

Twitchy is having fun ridiculing Obama’s “stunningly pathetic warning” to the Ukrainian government.

Now that he’s finished watching “The Monuments Men,” President Obama finally has time to address the situation in the Ukraine. Today at a summit in Toluca, Mexico, he issued what he probably figured was a pretty stern warning to the Ukrainian government.

Via USA Today:

President Obama condemned the deadly violence in the Ukraine on Wednesday, while warning the Ukrainian government “there will be consequences if people step over the line.”

“We hold the Ukrainian government primarily responsible for making sure that it is dealing with peaceful protesters in an appropriate way, that the Ukrainian people are able to assemble and speak freely about their interests without fear of repression,” Obama told reporters soon after arriving in Toluca, Mexico for a summit. “And I want to be very clear as we work through these next several days in Ukraine that we’re going to be watching closely and we expect the Ukrainian government to show restraint, to not resort to violence in dealing with peaceful protesters.”

Obama added that the U.S. expects protesters to remain peaceful.

When you hear a man of the left like Obama use the phrase “peaceful protesters” your BS meter should start twitching a little.

The truth is – the protesters in Kiev have not all been peaceful. Not at all. The protests have been infiltrated by neo-nazis who throw rocks, fireworks, and Molotov cocktails at the police – when they’re not burning tires. Is this Obama’s idea of “peaceful”?

APTOPIX Ukraine ProtestProtesters use a large slingshot to hurl a molotov cocktail at police. Photograph: Sergei Grits/AP

How does Obama suggest the Ukrainian government deal with this?

APTOPIX Ukraine ProtestsFireworks are fired at police by protesters. Photograph: Efrem Lukatsky/AP

The latest unrest comes after President Viktor Yanukovych refused on Tuesday to allow a vote on a law that would have reinstated limits on his powers.

The bigger point of contention centers on tensions over Yanukovych leaning towards a closer alliance with Russia, which has said it is ready to resume providing loans to help the country’s ailing economy. The protesters want the government to form an alliance with the European Union instead.

***

Vice President Biden spoke by phone with Yanukovych on Tuesday to express “grave concern” about the violence, according to the White House.

Yanukovych is placing the blame on the shoulders of opposition leaders for the eruption of violence in central Kiev threatens.

I’ve been listening to Stephen F Cohen, a  scholar of Russian history, explain what’s going on in the Ukraine on the John Batcheler Show where he is a frequent guest.

I get the impression that a lot of what’s being reported in the Western media is propaganda.

SEE ALSO:

Mary Katharine Ham: Q&A: What exactly is happening in Ukraine?

New Project Veritas Video: Battleground Texas Illegally Copying Voter Data

In James O’Keefe’s latest sting in Texas, he catches the community organizing group Battleground Texas breaking Texas election law.

As PJ Media’s J Christian Adams explains, “the group registers voters as deputy registrars, illegally copies information from voter registration forms, and then cranks the illegal information into the Wendy Davis campaign for Texas governor.”

Battleground Texas Field Organizer Jennifer Longoria is caught on camera multiple times making statements such as, “So every time we register someone to vote we keep their name and number.” Which is of course – illegal.

” According to the Secretary of State, it is unlawful to transcribe, copy, or otherwise record a telephone number furnished on a voter registration application.”

“Battleground Texas, is the new ACORN”, O’Keefe explains in the video:

SEE ALSO:

Bryan Preston: How the Texas Tribune Will Cover James O’Keefe’s Latest Video:

The Texas Tribune is a non-profit news gathering organization that bills itself as non-partisan. It has come under serious and sustained criticism recently for getting a sweetheart deal to cover a fundraiser and speech by Democrat gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis. The news content it generates is syndicated all over Texas, for free, to local news outlets, which calls into question its non-profit status — it’s not supposed to be in competition with for-profit news organizations.

When it comes to hidden camera video that makes Democrats and their allies look bad, the Tribune consistently handles such videos in a backhanded way.

Related:

The Community Organizer in Chief has his Top HHS Stooge scrounge around for possibly illegal Democrat votes….

PJ Media: MOTIVE: Sebelius Pitches Obamacare to Latino … Voter Registration Group:

On Friday, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius spoke and took questions on Obamacare in an online forum sponsored by Voto Latino. This group primarily exists for the purpose of encouraging Hispanics to register to vote, but it additionally advocates for leftist causes. From their website:

In 10 years and with your support, we have engaged and developed the leadership skills of Latino Millennials; registered nearly a quarter million voters; rallied for immigration reform; ensured our community got counted in the 2010 Census and enrolled in the new healthcare law; and together, we have fought against laws that would make it harder for Latinos to vote.

They are using ObamaCare to encourage likely Democrats to register to vote (possibly illegally) and they are doing it in the open. Disgusting.

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Partying At The Brink Edition

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Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

This week, The Blue Ridge ForumLe·gal In·sur·rec·tion , and The Pirate’s Coveearned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address ( which won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PSTin order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out Wednesday morning

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members. while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

The Council In Action!:

Greg Aydt over at Rhymes With Right was profiled in a column by the Houston Chronicle after his stand against ‘paid political endorsements’ for GOP candidates in his local county. He has more on the story in his Council nomination this week.

My latest piece, ‘About That Letter From ’150 Prominent American Jews’ is up at The Times Of Israel and concerns a letter sent to Israeli PM Netanyahu by a number of self-styled American Jewish leaders, whom they are and what it really means. My thanks to all of you whom linked to it and tweeted it.

Debra Heine of Nice Deb posts regularly at Breitbart, and her latest piece is upThe Time Patrick Kennedy Channeled Matt Foley On The House Floor (Video). Comedy gold!

Elise Ronan of Liberty’s Spirit has a new piece up at The Times of Israel, ‘Assimilating The Guilt’, about special needs children and the emotions it can bring out in their parents.

Noted author and Council Alumni Trever Loudon continues  with his book tour for his latest opus,“The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress” .He’ll be appearing on the Glenn Beck Program on ‘The Blaze’ TV next month,with taping scheduled for March 27th.

He’ll also be appearing:

At the American Academy for Constitutional Education
Wednesday, February 19 at 6:30 pm, Immaculate Heart High School
625 E. Magee Raod
Tucson, AZ 85704

On Shane Krauser’s radio show on 1100 KNFX starting at 1:00 pm February 20

At the Scottsdale TEA Party
Thursday, February 20 | 6:30 pm at the Chaparral Suites
5001 N. Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85250

As the opening speaker at The Western Conservative Conference
Friday, February 21 at 6:00 pm and again February 22, held at the Phoenix Convention Center
100 N. 3rd Street
Phoenix, AZ 85004

February 22nd on 1100AM with KFNX Host, Steve Kates, 2:00 pm and again on The ‘Proclaiming Liberty Show’ with Christian Tisch, 960AM 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Feb 23rd on The Lisa Benson Show, KKNT 960AM, Phoenix 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Speaking to The Las Vegas TEA Party Wednesday, February 26 | 6:30 – 8:00 pm at A Thyme for All Seasons
310 East Warm Springs, Las Vegas, NV 89119

So, let’s see what we have this week….

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!

No One In Jimmy Kimmel’s Audience Has Signed Up For ObamaCare (Video)

Saw this at White House Dossier: Jimmie Kimmel Rips ObamaCare. And he does that by highlighting the burdensome online enrollment process with an amusing sketch in which a sick individual dies trying to sign up on the ObamaCare-Care site.

But what jumped out at me, is what happened before the sketch, when he was setting it up. He asked his youngish (presumably) liberal audience if any of them had signed up for ObamaCare, and you could hear a pin drop. As the cameras panned the crowd, no hands went up. Total silence.

“Really???” He chuckled, and the audience burst out laughing.

It’s possible that there were some people in that audience who had signed up for ObamaCare – but were too embarrassed to admit it – which is also a bad sign for the Regime – because it shows you just how toxic Obama’s “signature achievement”  is.

At any rate, Kimmel’s audience would seem to me to be the epitome of the type of people Obama needs to sign up for O-Care to make it a success – young, healthy “invincibles.” And they are staying away from it like it’s the plague.

Via Washington Free Beacon

MORE:

Via Weasel Zippers, here’s the Regime celebrating young invincibles who who are still on their parents’ plans. Viva la ObamaCare.

Geo argues in the comments that most of the people in Kimmel’s audience are probably still on their parents’ plans like these dweebs. But I still find it striking that no one applauded or cheered when their president’s “signature achievement” was mentioned.

No one wants to be associated with the embarrassing fail-whale that is ObamaCare.

Newly Released Treasury Dept Memo Reveals Holders of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Stock Unable To Access Future Earnings

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A recently uncovered memo to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner reveals that he approved a policy that ensures that the “existing common equity holders will not have access to any positive earnings from the G.S.E.’s in the future.”  Experts say this previously undisclosed arrangement could violate securities laws and amounts to a de facto nationalization of the companies.

The New York Times dropped this little bombshell over the weekend.

This month, an internal United States Treasury memo that outlined this restriction came up at a forum in Washington.

The memo was addressed to Timothy F. Geithner, then the Treasury secretary, from Jeffrey A. Goldstein, then the under secretary for domestic finance. In discussing Fannie and Freddie, the beleaguered government-sponsored enterprises rescued by taxpayers in September 2008, the memo referred to “the administration’s commitment to ensure existing common equity holders will not have access to any positive earnings from the G.S.E.’s in the future.”

The memo, which was produced in a lawsuit filed by Fannie and Freddie shareholders, was dated Dec. 20, 2010. Securities laws require material information — that is, information that might affect an investor’s view of a company — to be disclosed. That the government would deny a company’s shareholders all its profits certainly seems material, but the existence of this policy cannot be found in the financial filings of Fannie Mae. Neither have the Treasury’s discussions about the future of the two finance giants mentioned the administration’s commitment to shut common stockholders out of future earnings. Freddie Mac’s filings do refer, albeit incompletely, to the administration’s stance, noting that the Treasury “has indicated that it remains committed to protecting taxpayers and ensuring that our future positive earnings are returned to taxpayers as compensation for their investment.” Note that this reference does not say all earnings.

Lewis D. Lowenfels, a securities law expert in New York, found this statement insufficient. “If there is disclosure regarding future Fannie and Freddie earnings and the administration has a commitment that existing Fannie and Freddie common equity holders will never receive any future positive earnings,” he said, “this commitment would be material to investors and should be disclosed.”

When the memo was written, plenty of people held these stocks. Regulatory filings show that 18,000 investors held 1.1 billion shares of Fannie Mae common stock, while just over 2,100 investors held 650 million Freddie Mac shares.

The Washington Free Beacon has more…

Thousands of investors in the companies were not made aware of the memo, which outlined a policy that deprived them of future earnings. Securities laws require the disclosure of any “material” information that might affect an investor’s view of a company.

James Cummins, a leading securities lawyer who has litigated against Fannie and Freddie since 2004 on various issues, said in an interview that the information in the memo would have been of great interest to potential investors at the time.

“It’s material information because it was going to tell people who might want to buy stock, ‘Hey, by the way, you’re not going to get any dividends and all of the earnings of the company are going to U.S. Treasury,’” he said.

***

Critics accuse Fannie, Freddie, and the FHFA—which still guarantee nine out of every 10 U.S. mortgages—of crowding out competition from private mortgage insurers.

“It’s like a sick person going into a hospital, being cured of the illness, and then having the hospital refuse to release the patient,” Cummins said.

“It’s so different from what the entrepreneurial, capitalistic dream of the U.S. is supposed to be,” he added. “It’s just totally different from what anybody anticipated was going to happen.”

Cummins said Treasury’s control of the earnings, coupled with presidential appointments to the board of directors for Fannie and Freddie, more closely mirrors nationalized industries “in the Soviet Union or in Mexico.”

Or perhaps Venezuela.