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O'Rielly: FCC Should Pull Plug on Study

FCC commissioner Michael O'Rielly has joined fellow Republican commissioner Ajit Pai in saying the FCC should pull the plug on its Critical Information Needs Study.

In a statement Wednesday, O'Rielly said that he shared the serious concerns of Pai and House Republicans about the study.

"I appreciate the Chairman’s willingness to make revisions," he said. "but I am afraid that tweaking it is just not enough. If any value was ever to come from this particular exercise, that ship has sailed. It is probably time to cancel the CIN study for good.”

The FCC plans to test the study in Columbia, S.C., later this year, but not until the methodology had been changed to insure it did not ask journalists about why they covered stories and what influenced that decision.

Wheeler made that clear this week after Pai's op ed in the Wall Street Journal put a spotlight on the study, which was put out for public comment last May by then acting FCC chairwoman Mignon Clyburn. Clyburn defended the study at a speech at the Media Institute in Washington, but said it was never intended to shape journalism or chill speech.