Ajit Pai, a Republican nominee, who serves on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), recently claimed that the FCC was going to "send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run."
Pai did admit that "participation in the [FCC's] Critical Information Needs study [by reporters] is voluntary," but then added a cryptic "in theory."
Pai made these claims in an op-ed that he wrote in the Wall Street Journal, which spread like wildfire to right wing websites and Fox News (video below).
Conservatives are now falsely claiming that the Obama administration is trying to close down right wing media outlets or control their newscasts via the FCC.
Glenn Beck warned on his The Blaze TV show that he would renounce his citizenship if this happened (video below).
During an appearance on "Fox & Friends," Judge Andrew Napolitano warned that having the FCC monitor newsrooms represents a “radical new era of tyranny," notes InfoWars.com (video below).
“This is a radical new era of tyranny for the White House, I can’t imagine it getting to first base.” stated Napolitano.
The ACLJ’s Jay Sekulow told Fox News that the FCC study was a "direct attack on the First Amendment and editorial discretion" (video below).
Fox News' host Gretchen Carlson added, "One might assume that they would pressure news organizations to cover certain stories."
However, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler sent a letter to the chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, which said the FCC "has no intention of regulating political or other speech of journalists or broadcasters."
Wheeler added that the FCC has a legal obligation to study "market entry barriers for entrepreneurs and other small businesses in the provision and ownership of telecommunications services and information services."
Wheeler also wrote that the study is "a tool intended to help the Commission consider effective, pro-competitive policies that would encourage new entrants" and is being modified so as "not [to] go beyond our responsibilities."
According to RightWingWatch.org, the "FCC is not going to be stationing agents in local news stations all over the country in order to monitor their reporting, as the Right has been frantically proclaiming."