Pol Calls for Registering Journalists

Things have come to a pretty pass in the once great state of Michigan when even Republicans are calling for Big Government to exert more direct control over the press. From Jack Lessenberry:

State Senator Bruce Patterson got to thinking about the media recently, and noticed something. Hairdressers and auto mechanics are regulated and licensed by the state.

So are lawyers, doctors, even those who give manicures. So, he reasoned, why shouldn’t reporters be as well? …

Accordingly, he has introduced a new bill, SB 1323, to add reporters to the list of occupations regulated by the state.

His bill would set up a board to review applications and license reporters. Candidates would have to demonstrate that they have a journalism degree, or, failing that, three years of experience, some published stories, and letters of recommendation.

Those who qualify would have to pay a license fee, and would be entitled to call themselves a “Michigan Registered Reporter.” Senator Patterson isn’t suggesting that those who don’t register be prevented from writing or broadcasting anything.

Yet. The road to totalitarianism is traveled one step at a time, although we did take a giant leap when we elected the current crew in Washington. Obviously the state having power to yank licenses will have an impact on what is reported. Comrade Obama’s “Diversity Czar” Mark Lloyd is likely to use this line of attack to silence talk radio.

Fortunately, there is a clause in Patterson’s bill that will guarantee resistance even from the statist lackeys who dominate the news media and would otherwise love a means of snuffing out upstart competition. The bill calls for registered journalists to be of “good moral character.” This would create serious staffing problems at MSNBC.

Hopefully the bill is Patterson’s idea of a joke, as when he recently called for a bill imposing a deposit on newspapers, like Michigan’s excessive 10¢ deposit on bottles and cans. That time it turned out he was just trying to terrify journalists into paying attention to him, so that he could “unload about the need for them to do a better job of reporting on how bad things are in Lansing.”

Patterson’s presence is living proof of how bad things are in Lansing. But at least he can be thanked for drawing attention to the absurdly unnecessary and counterproductive registrations required by bureaucrats.

Whoever styled Patterson’s moustache had to be registered.

On a tip from Greg. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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