I filed a complaint with the FCC asking for some kind of punitive action against FOX News and specifically Sean Hannity regarding that now-famous occasion where snipers were pointing weapons at heads and hearts of Bureau of Land Management agents trying to do their jobs. My assertion was that instead of acting as journalist reporting on the "news", Hannity appeared to take sides with unidentified interlopers against the government agents and proceeded to incite hostility by asking imflamatory questions like "what will you do if the come in the night and start shooting?" and making irrelevant references to other tragedies in living memory like "Ruby Ridge" and "Waco". It's not my personal job to police the media but instead of just assuming if those who purport to offer journalism cross the line between covering news and "making" news to boost ratings or satisfy the correspondent or media personality's own power trip at the expense of human life for the type of partisan and arguably anti-social entertainment the demographic that watches his or her show would avail themselves of, laws surely must exist to keep this from happening.
The video of Hannity's and Fox's action is readily available to the FCC certainly and should be to those who would bring suit if the FCC didn't itself charge that this constitutes crime--the severity of which would be determined by whether there was actual ensuing mob violence or simply the act of toying with immanent danger as was done.
My initial complaint resulted in a form letter defense from the FCC advising me of their inability to interfere with the "gathering" or "presentation" of news or journalistic content. I was given a case number and followed up, arguing in my next correspondence that this was neither gathering or presentation of news, it was the ad-hoc video conference insertion of a partisan entertainer (playing a journalist on TV) from studio a thousand or more miles away from which to, safely for him, escalate tensions which could have caused multiple outbreaks of violence anywhere in the country--a irresponsible and selfish act of manufacturing sensationalistic "news" from which to either profit or simply revel in the power of partisan media.
I was led to believe my follow-up was going to FCC Washington but on both occasions it was routed to FCC Harrisburg PA. After receiving no response for a couple of weeks, I called and got an agent of the FCC on the line. He acted sympathetic. I then received a piece of documentation in the mail which had no relevance whatsoever to my efforts. Not even close.
Checking my e-mail, I got the periodical e-mail from Media Matters. I had sent them an e-mail asking them for any help in finding a venue for questioning this dangerous and perhaps unprecedented use of the media this was in the United States. Neither did I receive an acknowledgement of receipt nor any advice. So, I used the new email periodical which portends to welcome comments or leads for stories or w/e to complain to Media Matters about their inertia regarding what I saw as something criminal and anti-American. I got an apology e-mail. And guess what their advice was. To contact the Southern Poverty Law Center and report my concerns as a "hate crime".
It seems the bottom line is that FCC laws protecting journalism have either not been updated to address the possibility that a phenomenon could happen where a media network itself would or could act so potentially criminal --not in America where everybody observes the same rules and we're the good guys or no one realizes that there are serious stakes that require differentiation between classic journalism and partisan entertainment posing as journalism in situation where guns are locked and loaded and pointed.
This inertia and naivety can not stand in a house divided against itself where one side has broken down into the unthinkable by the standards of just, say, 25 years ago. But it has been going just like that. See Robert Greenwald's latest film on how the Koch's have plans for African Americans in their views of how America should progress. Or join the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the release of "Outfoxed" which showed in 2004 how journalism was being polluted by propaganda by seeing Outfoxed. If a house divided against itself can not stand, it certainly won't if one side continues to walk around passing the buck and acting as if nothing internal has set new precedents that damn well need to be looked at by the DOJ before the worst happens.