Ending the Free Press

The story about the Federal Communications Commission should terrify every single American. The idea that a bureaucracy can monitor the press to ensure “balanced reporting” is nothing short of pure fascism. This language may seem harsh, but such actions are a slippery slope. If the government has the authority to monitor any story published by the press, to create a “fairness doctrine,” and to determine whether said story is “fair,” what happens when the entire idea of fairness becomes warped? That is when freedom of the press is exterminated. Sound far fetched? You had better review your history.

What Americans need to realize is that the freedom press is one of the most important pillars of a free society. Free exchange of thought has been promoted and pursued through no means better than the press (in all its forms). The Founders, specifically the Anti-Federalists, were aware of this when they placed the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. Without the freedom of the press, a society cannot progress economically, academically, or socially.

This story should scare every American because it is not just a Democrat/Republican, Liberal/Conservative issue. It runs beyond party lines, and to the very essence of American freedom. While those of the right disagree with channels like MSNBC, CNN, ABC etc., the right to present such views is recognized. That is how the American republic works; the rights of the individual are protected from the government, and from the masses.

What we now see is an attempt at blatant encroachment of the 1st Amendment. If the government can determine what is “fair” and what is not, America could turn into something no better than North Korea or China. Hypothetical: you have a personal blog online that you run to present your views and experience on exercise. Let’s say one day you come home very angry about one person at the gym who is in less shape than you are. Let’s say you write a short post about why overweight people need to do certain things, and not others. Now let’s bring in the FCC’s plan. If that post is seen, and is deemed “unfair,” your right to post said material could be taken away, among other ramifications.

This is more of a slippery slope than many people will want to admit; but if America is to keep any shred of what remains of its Constitutional freedoms, this plan must be actively resisted, fought, and ultimately scrapped, never to reappear. But perhaps you support this idea, that the press should be monitored to prevent radical organizations like Fox News from taking over America. In that case, you may as well just ship yourself over to North Korea right now. Any speech against the government that could create unrest is suppressed. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

What Americans must ask themselves is if this story even matters. The inevitable answer is “it does.” Because no matter who you are, if you live in the 21st century with modern technology, any information you receive is because of freedom of the press. If the government can determine what you are able to read, watch, and listen to, you are no longer a free citizen. The so called “fairness doctrine” has been struck down at Court; the idea that the FCC still wants to try such a program is beyond terrifying. The plan has since been halted, but the dangers of such a program arising ever again must always be considered. Hint to the party of “progress:” progress cannot be made with the government censoring and directing everyone’s paths.

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