Department of Homeland Security wants to build a database to track journalists and their sources

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You could look at this measure and say that it comes as a response to the threat of “fake news”: being able to keep track of who’s writing what could help to curb the dissemination of false information.

I guess, if “fake news” were coming from outfits that had journalists with sources. But they aren’t. Mostly it’s coming from anonymous content farms; the few that come from identified fiction writers that call themselves journalists also don’t have sources (and are pretty easy to track). So no, I don’t think we could be charitable and look at this measure and say that it comes as a response to fake news. Unless we’re using “fake news” in the Trumpian sense to mean “real, actual news.”


Double Plus Ungood.


The second to final phase of instituting a dictatorship, perhaps?


Freedom House is on the conservative side - they don’t have a problem with oligopolistic media ownership.


Oh come on. What’s the worst that could happen?


Maybe I should send 'em a proposal. I need a job, honestly. And when it came time to turn in the database, I could just send something in that listed Fox and Breitbart.

“Couldn’t find anything else, boss. Doesn’t seem to be any other media in the country. Influencers? It’s pretty much just Kevin Williamson, and he hates the president.”


That’s charitable phrasing of what I sense was an effort to present a rationalization by those who would favor this measure for unstated reasons.


I don’t know. Cannibal Witch has my ear.

(Seriously, she does. She’s been knawing on it for hours. I don’t think the doctors can reattach it now.)


It doesn’t go far enough. We need to ensure that journalism is factual, responsible, and adheres to high standards. The Departments of Homeland Security and FCC could make us all safer by licensing journalists and news outlets. Clean operations would just pay their nominal fee and get on with the important business of telling America what’s what. Cheaters could have their journalism and broadcast licenses suspended. An impartial Board made up of the fairest people, the best people with lots of experience in the news business, would be appointed by the President himself to make sure no fake news was allowed and members of the biased lying press weren’t allowed to spread propaganda.

I can’t see anything that could go wrong here.
[[['Scuse me, I vomited up something gnarled and hairy while I was writing this and had to swallow hard when I realized it was my bung]]]


I dunno, but best get started on your obsidian axe this weekend. BoingBoing must know something we don’t.


IIRC a service called CARMA has been doing this for 20 years by manually scoring newspaper articles for commercial customers. This is just raising creepy to the nth power.

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Huh. I had assumed that they were already doing this.
Or maybe this is about one TLA not wanting to share its toys with the other kids. Wouldn’t be the first time.

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