The Obama administration’s mistreatment of a core constituency: the media

Andrew Malcolm writes in Investor’s Business Daily about a trend that should disturb every supporter of a well-functioning constitutional system, even those who raise frequent criticisms of mainstream media bias.

Among the many costs of the Barack Obama presidency is an intentional corrosion for its own political gain of public faith in so many American institutions, among them Congress, the Supreme Court and the media.

If numerous sectors of society are feuding or distrustful of each other, then a well-controlled central authority like a chief executive can more easily rule the pieces. It’s classic Chicago politics, the way the mayor there controls the city’s feuding neighborhood fiefdoms of Democrat pols and workers. …

… Reporters Without Borders released its annual World Press Freedom Index the other day. Much of it was predictable. Few would be surprised that China, Syria and North Korea inhabit the bottom rungs of press freedom.

What was shocking to those of us who favor a strong, independent — and, yes, imperfect — media as a constitutional check on government’s power was the ranking of the United States, the world’s largest economy and most enduring democracy.

The U.S. during the fifth year of Obama’s reign plummeted 13 spots to 46th in the world, right between — are you ready? — Rumania and Haiti. The group based that embarrassing ranking largely on the Obama administration’s unusually determined efforts to curb dissent and plug and track down leaks. …

… Now that the Obama crowd has separated media from many who once trusted it, comes an even more dire threat.

The Federal Communications Commission this spring will launch a nationwide “study” of newsroom values, priorities and processes to see if they meet a list of government “critical information needs.” This will also involve print media over which the FCC has heretofore had no authority under the Constitution.

This process, similar to ones employed by Communist regimes behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, is not designed to gather any information at all. It’s designed to sow doubt, fear and intimidate traditionally independent news media into self-censorship, which can be a very powerful tool limiting critical news coverage.

It’s a fine way to treat a group that has dubbed you “the next messiah.”

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