Michelle Obama in India (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters) Michelle Obama plays the tambourine with children in India. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters)

When Americans get frustrated with their media, they often feel inclined to take their gripes to a higher power. That would be the government. Commentators, journalists, pundits, etc., drive news consumers over and over to dial up or e-mail the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) — the better to lobby for relief from all these experts. The Erik Wemple Blog a while back requested a cross-section of complaints and hereby continues a series showcasing the best ones.

Back in November 2010, reports circulated that President Obama’s trip to India and other countries would cost taxpayers $200 million per day. They were authoritatively debunked. A news consumer from University Heights, Ohio, asked the FCC whether anything could be done to “stop” media figures such as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck from circulating such unsubstantiated information. “Or at least to require them to make a disclaimer about providing inaccurate information?” asked the news consumer.

The FCC responded that it is prohibited from censoring “broadcast material, except when that material is obscene.”

To which the news consumer replied:

I would suggest that deliberate attempts to mislead people is obscene, regardless of First Amendment rights. It leads to unnecessary wars (all the lies about Iraq) and unnecessary deaths (all the lies about health insurance – death panels, socialism, government take over, etc.) To me that is obscene.

Maybe the FCC should rethink its definition of obscene.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.