A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Government clamps down on media, all in the name of security, of course

Dana Mathewson

At least, that's what it looks like. The Department of Labor is making changes in the way it manages its pre-release "lockups" on such sensitive data as weekly jobless benefits and unemployment. The top communications advisor to Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis has issued a memo to journalists advising of these changes, and one of them has the journalists worried, with good reason.

From the article: "... journalists will no longer be allowed to bring their laptops or other equipment to the lockups, they will have to use government-supplied equipment, described by [communications advisor Carl] Fillichio as including “a virtualized desktop running a Windows operation system, a web browser, word-processing software, an Adobe Reader application and secure file transfer capability. Equipment provided will not have wireless networking capability. Provisions will be in place for news organizations to transmit their stories over the Internet.”
"... some news organizations worry about having to use government equipment that could compromise their editors and reporters in preparing publishable charts, consulting previous stories and charts for comparison purposes, and reviewing prior stories for context and analyses.

"They are also concerned that the whole process will slow down delivery of the news at a time when unemployment is high, the economy is in the doldrums and public concerns about future job prospects are unusually high.

"Delays will make it more difficult for independent analysts to understand the new data and could give White House and DOL political appointees more time to blunt the impact of the negative news resulting from the data.

"In addition, Fillichio’s promise not to consider editorial or political viewpoints is somewhat less than reassuring in view of his boss’s recent appearance in a poster distributed throughout DOL show Solis arm-in-arm with Rev. Al Sharpton, solidarity-style." END QUOTE

Aha! That last paragraph is the "money quote," if you ask me. Fillichio isn't saying that they won't prevent people from writing whatever they want to. Oh, no, they wouldn't do a thing like that. Well, at least they wouldn't say a thing like that, anyhow. Not on your tintype!

Read the whole article here:

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