The looming menace of flared nos censorship
Of course they’ll call it something else, since “Fairness Doctrine” already has too much opposition. I can’t imagine them topping the impressive Orwellian wording of “The Fairness Doctrine”, though.
The American Spectator Prowler reports:
Senior FCC staff working for acting Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps held meetings last week with policy and legislative advisers to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman to discuss ways the committee can create openings for the FCC to put in place a form of the “Fairness Doctrine” without actually calling it such.
Waxman is also interested, say sources, in looking at how the Internet is being used for content and free speech purposes. “It’s all about diversity in media,” says a House Energy staffer, familiar with the meetings. “Does one radio station or one station group control four of the five most powerful outlets in one community? Do four stations in one region carry Rush Limbaugh, and nothing else during the same time slot? Does one heavily trafficked Internet site present one side of an issue and not link to sites that present alternative views? These are some of the questions the chairman is thinking about right now, and we are going to have an FCC that will finally have the people in place to answer them.”
Are they nuts? Seriously. Are they going to force Huffpo and Daily Kos to “present alternative views”, or link to conservative sites? Or would this only apply to conservative sites?
One idea Waxman’s committee staff is looking at is a congressionally mandated policy that would require all TV and radio stations to have in place “advisory boards” that would act as watchdogs to ensure “community needs and opinions” are given fair treatment. Reports from those advisory boards would be used for license renewals and summaries would be reviewed at least annually by FCC staff.
What business is it of the federal government whether “community needs and opinions” are being given “fair treatment”? I personally tend not to listen to the local shows. There’s a special attraction many of us have to shows we know millions of like minded listeners are tuned in to.
Camille Paglia, recently appearing on The Mark Simone show, (railing against the Dems in favor of censorship) explained the attraction of so many to nationally syndicated talk shows, calling it, “the unified audience which we actually used to have…what Rush and Sean actually do is essentially recreate the feeling people had in that great period of network television when there were very few shows…so everyone would tune into Ed Sullivan….you didn’t have to like Ed Sullivan, you might get sick of his guests, but the point was he was a shared experience that people once had…”
The central planners want to destroy that – not in the name of “fairness”, but because of the threat that such a unified conservative audience poses to the liberal powers that be.
Naturally, no story about liberal efforts to manipulate public opinion would be complete without the fingerprints of George Soros all over it:
Also involved in “brainstorming” on “Fairness Doctrine and online monitoring has been the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, which has published studies pressing for the Fairness Doctrine, as well as the radical MoveOn.org, which has been speaking to committee staff about policies that would allow them to use their five to six million person database to mobilize complaints against radio, TV or online entities they perceive to be limiting free speech or limiting opinion.
The American Spectator Prowler also reported on Waxman’s interest in investigating radio talk show hosts in October of ’07. Staffers were supposedly to compile reports on Limbaugh, Hannity, and Levin to make them “uncomfortable” about what they say on the radio. It remains to be seen whether or not that ever happened.
Meanwhile, ominously, the Obama camp is no longer issuing denials on the Fairness Doctrine. Ed Morrissey asks:
Does this administration believe in free speech or government censorship? Their sudden inability to provide a clear answer, when they had no problem giving such assurances eight months ago, does not bode well for the answer.
I’d like to say I told you so to all of those who accused us of paranoia, but the window on that ability to do so on the airwaves looks like it’s about to expire — like all of Obama’s campaign promises.
This is going to happen. The Dems are drunk with power, and nothing can stop them right now. Our next chance to do so will be in 2010, which cannot come soon enough.
A new Rasmussen poll shows support for Fairness Doctrine dropping…..Democrats better move quick on this one, too!
Seriously…who would have thought that there was serious support for this in the first place?
Michael Savage interviewed CA Attorney General, Jerry Brown on Fairness Doctrine, yesterday: Key quote, “A little government control never hurt anybody”.