Satire: Long-time readers may recall the advertising/public-relations and political-consulting firm of Schmok & Meerhers, which has just been awarded a no-bid contract by the Ministry of Truth (formerly known as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)) to conduct a survey of how the nation’s television and radio stations and newsrooms decide which news stories to cover and which news stories to ignore.
As seasoned political operatives, Mr. Ho Lee Schmok and his partner Mr. Erich Maria Meerhers understand their real mission is to identify those media outlets that are critical of the current administration and recommend to the Ministry of Truth that their FCC licenses be revoked. Also, long-time readers may notice that both partners, in order to better compete for federal contracts that favor “minority-owned” and “gender-sensitive” businesses, have changed their first names.
“Now that we have this $900,000 no-bid contract from the Ministry of Truth, what’s our next step?” asked Ho Lee Schmok of Erich Maria Meerhers.
“We look into the personal backgrounds of all the reporters, commentators, news anchors, TV producers, and newspaper editors to see if they are registered Republicans or Democrats,” responded Meerhers.
“I agree,” said Schmok. “If we can figure out where they have been politically, we can determine which ones are more likely to be critical of the current Administration and recommend FCC license revocation.”
“What about that comedian who makes fun of the current Administration?” asked Meerhers? “I’ll bet we can get him replaced by someone favored by the White House. There’s that comedian who likes to have the First Lady and the Vice President as guests.”
“Right. We’ll get him hired. I don’t know about the First Lady, but every time the Vice President opens his mouth, people start to laugh.”
“Look, Ho Lee, I don’t mean to stare the gift horse in the mouth; however, I don’t understand why the Ministry of Truth would spend $900,000 on this survey when there are so many outfits on both sides of the political aisle that gather media-bias data for free.”
“You’re correct. On the Left, there are: Media Matters (MM), the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), and Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). On the Right there are: the Media Research Center (MRC) and the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) and, somewhere near the Center, there is Accuracy in Media (AIM).”
“Those outfits will save us a lot of time and trouble,” said Meerhers. “Since our company has never done this type of survey before, we’ll just plagiarize some of their findings and work them into our report.”
“That’s a good idea. But let’s also touch base with the IRS. The IRS has a lot of experience targeting and denying tax benefits to groups that oppose Administration policies. Also, they force those groups to spend lots of money on tax lawyers. It’s brilliant.”
“What about films? Not that Hollywood makes anti-Administration movies.”
“Right. But there are independent filmmakers like that guy who made ‘2016: Obama’s America.’ I’m told the IRS, the FCC, and the FBI will silence him.
“Okay. Let’s get going. Who’s our first target?” asked Erich Maria Meerhers.
“Fox News Channel,” said Ho Lee Schmok, heading out the door.
William Hamilton was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.