FCC backs off, says it’s pulling plug on controversial study of newsrooms, for now

FCC1Thanks in part to average Americans standing up for the Constitution, the FCC has pulled the plug on a controversial “study” that would ultimately place “researchers” in newsrooms across the country.

Although conservative groups like the ACLJ are celebrating the announcement as a victory for the First Amendment, Fox News reported the program has only been “shelved, at least until a ‘new study design’ is finalized.”

Fox said:

The Federal Communications Commission announced Friday that it was putting on hold a controversial study of American newsrooms, after complaints from Republican lawmakers and media groups that the project was too intrusive.

FCC spokeswoman Shannon Gilson said Chairman Tom Wheeler agreed with critics that some of the study’s proposed questions for reporters and news directors “overstepped the bounds of what is required.”

The agency announced that a proposed pilot study in South Carolina will now be shelved, at least until a “new study design” is finalized. But the agency made clear that this and any future studies will not involve interviews with “media owners, news directors or reporters.”

So it would seem that the First Amendment right to a free press remains intact — at least for now.

“This is a tremendous victory, and it happened because you spoke out. You made the FCC study national news, and you made the FCC defend the indefensible,” the ACLJ said.

Those who support the Constitution need to remain vigilant, because this issue is not going away, not so long as there are those who would happily turn this country into a replica of the former Soviet Union.

In the meantime, check out this video of Greta van Susteren interviewing the FCC Commissioner who blew the whistle on Obama’s plan to put monitors in newsrooms:


Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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