FEC Chairman Warns Conservative Media Could Be Regulated Like PACs

As conservative media grows, the head of the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) is warning that he thinks liberals will look for ways to regulate conservative news outlets just like they do political PACs.

Federal Election Commission Chairman Lee E. Goodman is vowing to fight back against such regulations by putting a stop to efforts to undermine the media's exemptions from federal election laws.

"I think that there are impulses in the government every day to second guess and look into the editorial decisions of conservative publishers," Goodman said in a new interview.

"The right has begun to break the left's media monopoly, particularly through new media outlets like the Internet, and I sense that some on the left are starting to rethink the breadth of the media exemption and Internet communications," Goodman continued.

Goodman worries that rules such as those that allow media outlets to endorse candidates could be curtailed. Media endorsements, however, are a practice that has gone on in the US since the day the country was founded.

The Commissioner noted that Democrat members of the FEC have already floated plans to regulate Sean Hannity. He also reminds of the left's hatred of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.

"There are some in this building that think we can actually regulate" the media, Goodman said. "I am concerned about disparate treatment of conservative media," he added.

The FEC Chairman said he was concerned about the continued assault on freedom of the press and intended to make sure conservative media was allowed to operate under the same rules as the rest.

Goodman’s warnings are important to heed and everyone in the media, left or right, need to make sure their profession stays free and open.

But the FEC isn't the only one looking to put a dent in the growth of the influence of conservative media or otherwise looking to put government in control of the media in violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Recently, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) floated the idea that the government should be allowed to control what goes on in the media. He claimed he wanted to prevent "hate crimes" by having control over what the media broadcasts.

Additionally, there have been the repeated efforts to revive the autocratic Fairness Doctrine that Democrats float on nearly a yearly basis.

One of the most recent efforts was a plan by the Federal Communications Commission to launch a chilling requirement that media outlets inform them of how they pick stories, what stories they pick, and who they allow to do the reporting. The FCC claimed it was intended to "identify market entry barriers and whether such barriers impact the public’s critical information needs."

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com


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