Under the proposed guidelines it will be possible to "own facts" just as it's possible to own a patent, or a piece of propety. This is perposterous! Jeff Jarvis of Buzzmachine says,
What disturbs me most in this section is that the FTC frets about “difficult line-drawing being proprietary facts and those in the public domain.” Proprietary facts? Is it starting down a road of trying to enable someone to own a fact the way the patent office lets someone own a method or our DNA? Good God, that’s dangerous.Mark Tapscott, in the Washington Examiner gives three examples why this is a very dangerous proposition;
* Journalists must understand that there is no way the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of the press will survive if the federal government regulates the news industry as envisioned by the FTC. Those who accept at face value protests to the contrary or the professions of pure intentions by advocates of government takeover of the news business are, at best, incredibly naive.Freedom of the press, is guaranteed by the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution,
* Journalists who remain silent or apathetic about what is being prepared by the FTC for their profession become unintentional accessories in the strangulation of independent journalism.
* Journalists who support or assist, for any reason, the FTC process are accomplices in the strangulation of independent journalism.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievancesWhat the Obama Administration and the FTC seek to do is to eliminate this freedom through regulation by the Federal Government. Doing so would effectively prevent bloggers like me, and just about anyone else from ever being able to speak freely or comment on news of the day. This would have the end result of eliminating any opposition to this Administration or any other.
As it is, many on the left, such as the Governor of Massachusetts have proposed that speaking out against the Obama Administration is "dangerously near sedition." The last time I looked up that word it meant "incitement to or insurrection against lawful authority." Speaking out in opposition to the government is our guaranteed right, not sedition.
Mr. Tapscotts conclusion is illuminating and spot on,
Elected officials' first thought is always about re-election, while career government workers' is job security. A journalist's first thought is supposed to be getting the facts. To that end, we're supposed to be adversaries, not co-conspirators, partners, favored "stakeholders," or beneficiaries. That's why the Constitution made us independent.The proposed regulations would make our news media...a state run and regulated enterprise wherein journalists would only report what the government wanted reported. It didn't work all that well in the Soviet Union (which no longer exists) and doesn't work well in either China or Iran. Instead of news, we'd only havew propoganda organs...and while the left leaning media isn't too far from that, they are still independent and have begun to finally do their job, a la the Obama Administration by asking those difficult questions that they have refused to ask of this Administration or his campaign over the past 2 years.