Rep. Blackburn: FCC Plan to Monitor Newsrooms Violates 1st Amendment

Thursday, 20 Feb 2014 06:12 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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An FCC proposal that would allow the regulatory agency to snoop in newsrooms is a frightening violation of the nation's First Amendment freedoms, Rep. Marsha Blackburn says.

"Everybody should be incredibly concerned," the Tennessee Republican told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"I do believe that that would be a violation of our First Amendment rights."

Story continues below video.



The FCC's controversial proposal was revealed in a study called "Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs."

The agency stated that it wants to be able to examine "the process by which stories are selected" and possible "station bias" in selecting them. The idea would be to make sure "underserved populations" were covered.

Blackburn said the Energy and Commerce Committee, on which she serves as vice chairwoman, was responsible for getting an earlier "fairness doctrine" scratched.

"And we are determined to head this off at the pass again …. We are also very concerned about what is happening when you hear them talking about placing monitors [in newsrooms]," she said.

Blackburn said her committee plans to begin hearings immediately to "roll back" the $1 million earmarked for the ongoing FCC study.

"As we go through the appropriations process this summer, we'll have the opportunity to do that," she said.

See "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.

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