The Rise of Statism & the Ghost of George Orwell: New Law Will Require a License to be a Journalist

Posted In: Politics, State, News, State,   From Issue 706   By: Mac Slavo

24th June, 2010     0

What good is a government if they can’t regulate every aspect of your life?  From the same lawmakers that brought us the Detroit economic calamity comes a new bill, aimed at controlling the flow of information to the unsuspecting public even more than the mainstream does now.

A Michigan lawmaker wants to register reporters to ensure they’re credible and have good moral character.”  State Sen. Bruce Patterson is introducing legislation that will regulate reporters much as the state regulates hairdressers, auto mechanics and plumbers.  Patterson, who also practices constitutional law, says the general public is being overwhelmed by an increasing number of media outlets” traditional, online and citizen generated” and an even greater amount of misinformation.

Legitimate media sources are critically important to our government,” he said.

He told that some reporters covering state politics don’t know what they’re talking about and they’re working for publications he’s never heard of, so he wants to install a process that’ll help him and the general public figure out which reporters to trust.

We have to be able to get good information,” he said. We have to be able to rely on the source and to understand the credentials of the source.” 

According to the bill, reporters who register will have to pay an application and registration fee and provide a Board of Michigan Registered Reporters” with proof of:

  • “Good moral character,” and demonstrate they have industry ethics standards acceptable to the board.

  • Possession of a degree in journalism or other degree substantially equivalent.

  • Not less than 3 years experience as a reporter or any other relevant background information.

  • Awards or recognition related to being a reporter.

  • Three or more writing samples.

Government registration and licensing requirements of journalists and reporters will be determined by a board of higher-educated bureaucratic intellectuals who’ll have the power to determine if a wanna-be reporter has the necessary writing skills, ethics and good moral character to be allowed to disseminate their views to the public.

Had a law like this been passed by King George in the late 1700’s, would reporters and commentators like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine have been approved by the journalist licensing board?  Or, would a board instituted by the king have found that Franklin’s and Payne’s morals and ethics ran counter to those of the Empire?  Since both of these men published their views under anonymous pen names, the information and claims made could not possibly have been - what did Mr. Patterson call it - oh yes, “legitimate.”  At the very least, however, Mr. Paine would have certainly subscribed to the fairness doctrine, publishing the monarchy’s opposing views right next to his patriotic diatribes in Common Sense.

President Obama, who recently suggested that news and information on blogs, talk radio, and cable, is difficult to sift through and figure out who’s telling the truth, would likely support Mr. Patterson’s bill on a federal level.  Once a reporter is licensed, the public would have the comfort of knowing that the writings, opinions, and insights being presented have been thoroughly sifted, filtered and edited to ensure the information is truthful and easy to understand.

The same population of gullible idiots that require government intervention when it comes to smoking cigarettes, drinking sodas, and salt intake, also need to be told what news they can consume.

We couldn’t possibly let the consumer gather as much information from various news sources and make their own interpretations based on opinions, video, and audio excerpts - that would be way too easy and cost-effective.

While Senator Patterson believes that it is important for the government to have legitimate media sources because they are critical to our government, radio talk show hosts like Neal Boortz disagree:

“The media isn’t supposed to be important to the government, you ignoramus Democrat; it’s supposed to be important to THE PEOPLE.” 

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