Monday, June 17th, 2013
Monday, June 10th, 2013
Sunday, June 9th, 2013
Franklin Center President Jason Stverak asks the tough questions on Fox News about Sarah Hall Ingram, currently head of the implementation of Obamacare and former head of the tax exempt section of the IRS, and her 165 White House visits.
Watch live here:
By Andrew Collins
Monday, May 20th, 2013
On Face the Nation this week, Associate Press President Gary Pruitt said that the Justice Department’s probe into AP records was unconstitutional and failed to respect the First Amendment.
Pruitt acknowledged the government had a right to request records for security purposes as they investigate who leaked information about a foiled terrorist plot in Yemen last year, but in this case the Justice Department did not even ask the AP. Instead, Pruitt said their methodology was “so sweeping, so secretively, so abusively and harrassingly overbroad,” that it tread all over the First Amendment.
The Justice Department broke its own rules in obtaining this information without permission, claiming that a “substantial threat” made room for an exception in this case, but Pruitt said the AP had acted responsibly and been sensitive to national security considerations. The Justice Department has not yet said what made this situation particularly threatening.
This scandal has consequences for news organizations going forward. Already, Pruitt said, sources in government have grown more hesitant to talk to AP reporters because they fear the government may track their conversations. Clearly, this isn’t just about the AP and some government department, this is about the first and most fundamental of American freedoms. The federal government’s actions here represent a step away from the free discourse underlying our democracy and a step toward totalitarianism – where the only news comes from the government itself.
Pruitt said it perfectly:
The government has no business having control over all, monitoring all of this newsgathering information from the Associated Press. And if they restrict that apparatus. . . the people of the United States will only know what the government wants them to know, and that’s not what the framers of the Constitution had in mind when they wrote the First Amendment.
By Andrew Collins
Friday, April 26th, 2013
We at The Franklin Center and The Heritage Foundation are excited to announce Michelle Malkin as the winner of the 2013 Breitbart Awards!
Michelle is a prominent blogger, conservative syndicated columnist, author, Fox News Channel contributor, and most importantly a wife and mother. Throughout her career as a writer and activists, she has consistently stood up for freedom and truth, countering left-wing narratives and calling out liberal lies, bias, and misinformation in the media.
We can’t either.
All are the direct result of Malkin’s handiwork. Because of her, citizen activists everywhere are better equipped to call out misinformation, keep abusive government in check, and expose politically biased reporting.
More than anyone, we believe Michelle carries on Breitbart’s legacy and matches his achievements as a banner carrier for freedom, truth, and integrity. The Left fears her, citizen activists all over the country look up to her, and she challenges the powers-that-be with unflappable conviction. We cannot imagine anyone more deserving of this year’s Breitbart Award, and we’re excited to join her in the fight in the years to come!
Watch Franklin Center President Jason Stverak’s announcement at the 2013 Breitbart Awards:
Sunday, April 14th, 2013
Watch Fox News coverage of President Jason Stverak and James Pinkerton discuss GreenTech and Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe's attempts to chill free speech and intimidate Watchdog.org.
Check out Jason Stverak on Fox & Friends April 14th:
James Pinkerton defends Watchdog.org on Fox on April 13th:
Thursday, April 11th, 2013
Monday, March 25th, 2013
Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
The news industry is on the demise, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s annual State of the News Media Report.
The study shows how newspaper newsroom cutbacks have put the industry down 30% since 2000 and brought the number of full-time professional employees down below 40,000 for the first time since 1978. About 40% of the content produced by local TV news stations for newscasts is sports, weather, or traffic, and story lengths are shrinking.
Such findings, say the report, add up to a “news industry that is more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information put into its hands.”
The study only confirms the obvious. Everyone saw how all too often during the 2012 presidential campaign, claims from both sides went unchecked as news outlets simply reported what the candidates said. And how many young people, having grown up in the internet age, watch local TV news or read a local newspaper?
These trends are troubling, but that’s why the Franklin Center exists—to help fill the growing void of quality journalism with intentional, fact-driven reporting that promotes liberty and empowers taxpayers to hold their government accountable. With government entities and leaders increasingly bypassing media outlets and going directly to the people, we refuse to let them obscure the facts or escape scrutiny.
Despite the decline in traditional reporting, we believe the shifts in today’s media landscape also represents new opportunities for citizen activists. The Pew Report cited community and friendships as a key driver of news consumption. Most adults look up a full news story after hearing about it from friends or family, and among 18-29 year-olds, nearly a fourth of them rely on social media for news shared by their friends.
Benjamin Franklin understood that a free press is critical to maintaining a free society and protecting the rights of the people. Thanks to the Internet, the people have access to more information than ever, and thanks to blogging and the social media revolution, the people have more of a voice now than ever.
The personal computer, the iPad, or even the smartphone are the new printing press. These technologies offer all Americans a platform in the public square of cyberspace from which to speak and make a real difference in their states and cities across America.
We hope you’ll take advantage of our resources here and at our partner sites, Watchdog.org and WatchdogWire.com, to get involved and continue Benjamin Franklin’s legacy of openness and liberty in the public square.
Tuesday, March 12th, 2013
My beef isn’t with these publications’ ideology or biases — bias is an inescapable part of being human — but with their lack of standards and ethics.