European Union or EUSSR? Brussels demands power to regulate press, fire journalists

Posted by: Phineas on January 25, 2013 at 4:01 pm

**Posted by Phineas

"Enemy of the State"

“Enemy of the State”

If anyone had any notion that the European Union was anything but a bureaucratic dictatorship, this should open their eyes:

A European Union report has urged tight press regulation and demanded that Brussels officials are given control of national media supervisors with new powers to enforce fines or the sacking of journalists.

The “high level” recommendations that will be used to draft future EU legislation also attack David Cameron for failing to automatically implement proposals by the Lord Justice Leveson inquiry for a state regulation of British press.

A “high level” EU panel, that includes Latvia’s former president and a former German justice minister, was ordered by Neelie Kroes, European Commission vice-president, last year to report on “media freedom and pluralism”. It has concluded that it is time to introduce new rules to rein in the press.

“All EU countries should have independent media councils,” the report concluded.

“Media councils should have real enforcement powers, such as the imposition of fines, orders for printed or broadcast apologies, or removal of journalistic status.”

As well as setting up state regulators with draconian powers, the panel also recommended that the European Commission be placed in overall control in order to ensure that the new watchdogs do not breach EU laws.

(Emphases added)

I’m sure these new powers, if granted, will be used only for the common good, to ensure fair, sensitive journalism — as determined by a bunch of Eurocrats.

The danger of this is obvious: the power to fine or fire is the power to dictate, and the only reporters to retain their jobs will be those who say things pleasing to the mandarins in Brussels. It would be the death knell of free speech in Europe, for free speech is meaningless if it doesn’t include the right to say things that make the powerful uncomfortable, or even simply to offend. A free, unfettered press is essential to a democratic society, and if the press is fettered, so is the citizen, who becomes a subject. The society is no longer free.

The article points out that these proposed regulations are aimed largely at the British press, which has a large Euro-skeptic element and regularly ticks off the European Union elite. Quite unsurprisingly, then, the Brussels initiative has set up howls of outrage in Britain, from whom we inherited our traditions of free speech and press freedom. With Prime Minister Cameron promising a referendum on a new arrangement, one can only hope the majority of Britons will see the danger of staying a part of this “brave new Euro-world” and vote to get the hell out.

Indeed, they may already ready be headed for the door.

PS: This article reminds me yet again how rare, fragile, and precious our traditions of free speech –the ability to speak one’s mind to the powerful without fear of reprisal– really are. In Europe, where on the Continent the governing tradition is top-down, the natural reaction of the government is to suppress annoying speech. (And in America, we see twitches of that from the Left.) Even in Australia, the people of which are our close political cousins, there is no recognized natural right of free speech. It is a right that we must not only assert and defend, but actively exercise, especially when it itself is under threat.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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9 Responses to “European Union or EUSSR? Brussels demands power to regulate press, fire journalists”

Comments

  1. Carlos says:

    Free speech? What is this bogus “free speech” thing? Why, if the LSM had its way the only free speech ever recorded anywhere anytime in the future would be that of Dear Leader, for god (Dear Leader) certainly knows what’s best for the niggly, nattering nabobs he has had to placate in the past and, with a little luck and some created crises, will be able to get rid of that stupid presidential term limits amendment here in the next year or so and can become what he desires, President-for-Life!

    And can you see how his rich-man nominee for SecState will fit so nicely into the top-heavy autocracy of the EU to hold Dear Leader’s interests?
    sarc/off

  2. Drew the Infidel says:

    Obhammud has already tried a version of this by entertaining the notion of barring Fox News from the WH press corps. He only backed down when the LSM, much to their rare credit, set up a howl over such treatment of one of their own. This illustrates that without the Second Amendment there would be no First Amendment as that is the predicament in most of the EU.

  3. Dave Dooling says:

    Sounds like we just lost World War II. (Oh, wait, we’ve been losing it for several years.)

  4. Carlos says:

    Well, according to what’s still taught in Russia, it was the Russians who won WWII, not the US, GB or the Allies.

    And France was the cause of the victory, according to them, by letting the German Nazis (as opposed to the California Nazis now ensconced in Congress) overrun them so they could sabotage them at every opportunity, and they did that very well.

    The point here, though, goes back to the old adage: Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    And our world “leaders” (all the way from insignificant tyrants in Somalia or Mali to the supposed great ones from economic “superpowers” like the EU, Russia and the US) are not only corrupt, they are pushing as hard as they can to be corrupted absolutely (especially our own pretender-in-chief.)

    It was refreshing, however and however insignificant, to see a Brit disparage the EU and call for an election on the question of continuing membership.

  5. Polly says:

    I certainly have hopes that the Brits do get out. Following the American Revolution the Brits have always been our greatest ally and have stood side by side, shoulder to shoulder with us. Perhaps if that were to come to pass some of our spineless politicians would move to get us out of the UN and get the UN out of the U.S.A.

  6. Brontefan says:

    It smacks of fascism.. which seems to be sneaking into our society here.

  7. Carlos says:

    It only smacks of fascism to those smart enough not to believe the government is either god, god-like in its wisdom, or the fount of everything good.

    That’s why the Democraps are such good little Nazis, and hold every article of Nazi faith dear to their own hearts.

    Fascists indeed.

  8. Kate says:

    Amen Carlos…those intellectuals who feel “the government does things better and is fair” is what we are dealing with in Europe and here in the US.

    The Euros need to staple a Bill of Rights to that document they call their constitution. This will ultimately prove the reasoning behind the European Union..to uphold statism and elites and secular goverments run by the same.

    Any Russian worth his salt knows that the outcome will be a new propaganda machine much like Pravda in their past. They learned how to read between the lines then, but the older folk in Russia are running scared from democratic forms of government because of their dependence on it. Their corrupted form of governance is displeasing to them.

    So if they try to censor, there will be a backlash if the common people stand up and speak out against such measures. The fact that the media is not doing so is alarming.

  9. Jim McDonald says:

    I understand that England is looking to back out of this orwellian nightmare.