“Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”
This statement was written by Thomas Jefferson in 1786, and still rings true today. In fact, I would argue this statement holds more significance now more than any other time in our history.
Here’s why: Over the past week, a headline caught my attention that even I had a hard time believing, which read: “Why is the Obama Administration Putting Government Monitors in Newsrooms?”
In case you haven’t heard about this yet, here are the basics:
The administration’s Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has revealed a new plan in which it will place researchers in newsrooms across the country in order to conduct a “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs”, or CIN.
According to Ajit Pai, an FCC commissioner, the agency plans to send these researchers into news agencies in order to “grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run.”
This should concern every single person who believes as Jefferson did; a free press is absolutely necessary in keeping the government in line and the people free. If we allow the government to openly push domestic propaganda and control or coerce all major outlets to do so, then we allow them to control public perception.
The Feds realize that they are losing control of the flow of information, as independent and social media have been replacing the old corporate media in terms of reach and content. The internet is the last true and pure haven for information to be distributed without a FCC agent standing over your back, telling you what a good job you are doing for reporting government fabricated “news”.
This is not the first attempt by the Feds to control the flow of media in this country. In the 1950’s, the CIA had hundreds of American journalists on payroll, to which they would feed propaganda and misinformation to be published as actual news. This subversive conduct was named “Operation Mockingbird“, and continued up until the 1970’s, and was then exposed fully in a Congressional report by the Church Committee. If you the trusting type, Operation Mockingbird ended with its exposure. (Spoiler: I’m not the trusting type).
The American people must be willing to and ready to question everything that the mainstream news organizations feed us. From that group, we must have those willing to do their own research, seek the facts of events, and share those findings with others online. Use social media as a weapon; share independent media on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and any other medium that can reach hundreds or thousands of people. Talk to your friends and family about the abuses of liberty occurring in our country. Speak up in class when what you are being taught doesn’t seem quite right. Start an independent student group on campus. Start a blog.
Whatever you do, think freely. An independent and skeptical approach to mainstream news and government action is the cornerstone of the preservation of liberty. The FCC plan is an attempt to condition the American public into accepting domestic propaganda as the new normal. Do not be fooled.