'If FCC Shows Up Here, Throw Them Out!': Judge Nap Takes on 'Radical' Media Monitoring Plan
In a move that is raising First Amendment concerns, the Obama administration is looking to send the FCC into news organizations to investigate how the media chooses stories. Judge Andrew Napolitano was fired up this morning on Fox and Friends, explaining to Elisabeth, Brian and Steve why the American people need to be aware of this plan.
The Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs (CINs) initiative was proposed last May. The FCC explained that it wanted information from television and radio broadcasters "to ascertain the process by which stories are selected, station priorities (for content production quality, and populations served), perceived station bias, perceived percent of news dedicated to each of the eight CIN's and perceived responsiveness to underserved populations."
The FCC has identified eight CINs, or key topics that the government believes should be covered.
So far, there have been no reports of FCC reps arriving at newsrooms. Judge Napolitano worries that these FCC monitors could have a "chilling" effect on journalists. He said it would be a "direct violation of the First Amendment" if the presence of FCC agents makes journalists think twice about coverage of a story.
Napolitano said the right of a free press is "absolutely guaranteed" and there is no case that "stands for the contrary of that proposition."
He doesn't think this plan will actually go forward though, based on the outcry it has already generated.
"This is a radical new era of tyranny for the White House. I can't imagine it getting to first base," he said.
Kilmeade asked what Fox News CEO Roger Ailes should do if the FCC does show up looking to "monitor" how the news is gathered.
"If the FCC shows up here, Mr. Ailes, throw them out! Unless they have a search warrant from a judge, which they'll never get," said Napolitano.
Watch the full discussion above and as always, check back on the Insider for all of the latest analysis from Judge Nap! Also, don't miss On the Record tonight at 7p/2a ET as Charles Krauthammer weighs in on this issue.