May 8, 2014 Last Updated 2:13 pm

Conservative media raises the specter of media regulation, spurred by FEC chairman

The idea that agencies of the U.S. government are looking to regulate the press in the country would probably get the attention of journalists and media owners everywhere. But no alarm bells are ringing, and 72 pt headlines are not appearing on daily newspapers.

The chairman of the FEC would like to change that.

In a report today, Fox News quoted the FEC chairman Lee E. Goodman as stating that “the impulse to regulate the media within the FEC is alive and well.”

Goodman, a Republican, conducted interviews with both the Washington Examiner and Fox News. Websites like TruthandAction.org reported the story as “the federal government will soon impose regulations on conservative Internet sites, like Truth And Action and Drudge Report.” The story ran among other interesting headlines: “Ted Cruz Releases List of 76 Illegal Acts By Obama,” “Rush Limbaugh: Obama Pushes Climate Change To Save His Dictatorship,” “The Death Of American Entrepreneurship And Slide Into Fascism,” and “Police State: Man Arrested For Speaking Out Of Turn At School Meeting.”

“Government officials, reacting to the growing voice of conservative news outlets, especially on the internet, are angling to curtail the media’s exemption from federal election laws governing political organizations, a potentially chilling intervention that the chairman of the Federal Election Commission is vowing to fight,” The Washington Examiner wrote this morning.

Goodman pointed to several recent decisions where commissioners looked at a case where a Boston TV station excluded a third party candidate. Ultimately, the FEC dismissed the complaint, but the idea that they may have looked into the case was enough for Goodman to claim that the press is under attack.

Can one tell that the mid-term elections are this fall?

One interesting note: none of the reports in the media outlets that reported the story sought the opinion of other commissioners.

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