Celebrity Gossip = "Bona Fide Newscast"


Hard-hitting journalism is nearing extinction on television, and the Federal Communications Commission just threw another shovel-full of dirt on its grave when it recently ruled that Rupert Murdoch's TMZ and Pat Robertson's 700 Club meet the test for "a bona fide newscast." Media companies get their broadcast licenses for free. In return, the FCC says that if a TV show is not a bona fide newscast, and it airs a story about a political candidate, "it must afford equal opportunities to other such candidates for that office." This is supposed to keep ideologues like Pat Robertson and Rupert Murdoch in check. But instead the FCC let them off the hook by adding TMZ and 700 Club to the list of bona fide newscasts; even though Congress defined bona fide as newscasts as those that hold "genuine news value" and are not intended to boost or aid any particular political candidate.

Free Press Exec Director Josh Silver has more at HuffPo.

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