Steve Forbes has a no-nonsense message for Federal Communications Commission brass who proposed to monitor media companies for fairness: You will NEVER set foot in my newsroom!
"By golly, if any of those people try to come here, watch out. [They] ain't gonna get in our building!" Forbes — chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, which publishes Forbes Magazine — told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"This is not something that was conjured up by the FCC. This was conjured up by, I'll almost bet you anything, by the White House."
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The idea, he believes, is to "put a chill" on how media companies cover the news.
The FCC sparked a furor this week when it revealed the possibility of it monitoring newsrooms to cover “the process by which stories are selected” and whether there is any "station bias” or “perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.”
To Forbes, the plan is business as usual for the Obama administration.
"No, and I guess with this administration, one shouldn't be surprised at their brazenness," he said. "I mean you look at the IRS. After they got caught red-handed suppressing groups for the 2012 elections, they then turn around and turn it into regulations. Say, 'well, we'll just make it legal to suppress these groups' and amazingly the organizations like the ACLU, which are normally not on our side are on our side on this one, they know the Republicans could turn this against them."
Amid a storm of criticism, the FCC announced Friday
that it is killing the controversial study. The plan "overstepped the bounds of what is required," admitted FCC spokeswoman Shannon Gilson.
"To be clear, media owners and journalists will no longer be asked to participate in the Columbia, S.C., pilot study," Gilson said in a statement posted on the agency's website
Forbes sees the FCC plan as just another example of the Obama administration's "socialist" push.
"His agenda has been very clear from the get-go. He is a socialist, like the president of France is a socialist … He knows you don't take over industries anymore, that's passé. You control them," Forbes said.
"So you take one one-sixth of the economy through healthcare. You take over the levers of finance by, in effect, making the banking system, financial system more and more dependent on you.
"Free speech, well, the FCC is going to examine whether you're doing the news right. You have a source of energy they don't approve of, well they'll send in the EPA. You dissent from the government, well then by golly the IRS is going to come after you. So this is all authoritarian control stuff. It is frightening."
Forbes believes first lady Michelle Obama's description of young people as "knucleheads" when it comes to making decisions about healthcare, a comment she made on "The Tonight Show," is misplaced.
"What they've done with Obamacare is give us the worst of both worlds. People should, in a true free market, have the choice, if they want a high deductible plan, pay the routine filling of the tooth, but have full coverage if something big happens to you," he said.
"But what they've done now is you're getting high deductibles and less coverage. It's a bad deal all around.
"The knuckleheads are the ones who put this program together, not the young people who are beginning to wise up that if they need the insurance, then they can go on the exchange and get it after they get sick. Why do it before?"
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