Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Left's Conspiracy to Kill Free Speech... er.. Talk Radio

In today's GrassTopsUSA.com Action Alert, Don Feder discusses the Liberal Left's potential reinstatment of the (un)Fairness Doctrine (FD), or possibly something worse - the Obamessiah's desire to eliminate free speech.

After eight years in the wilderness, the left expects a clean sweep in the 2008 election -- the presidency (and with it the federal bureaucracy) and larger majorities in both houses of Congress.

Looking ahead, liberals are determined to derail potential opposition to their plans to accelerate the deconstruction of America. Consequently, they have targeted talk radio. Bringing back the Fairness Doctrine is just one facet of their scheme to eviscerate the only part of the media controlled by conservatives.

Crucial to an understanding of the jihad against talk radio is this: The left will do anything to gag its opponents. From the college campus to the halls of Congress (think campus speech codes, think hate crimes legislation, think speech-suppression zones surrounding abortion clinics), liberals are the chief proponents of censorship in America.

How would the Fairness Doctrine affect talk radio?

Ah, the Fairness Doctrine -- the left's weapon of mass media destruction scheduled to detonate over talk radio. The FCC instituted said doctrine in 1949, when talk radio was 30 years in the future, television (limited to three or four channels) was just becoming popular and daily newspapers were the primary source of political opinion.

The Fairness Doctrine (which is anything but) required balance -- a "reasonable opportunity for ample play for free and fair competition of opposing views ... (for all) issues of importance to the public." In practice, it meant that if a TV or radio station say editorialized in favor of one side of an issue, it had to provide equal time to the other side.

In 1987, the Reagan FCC repealed the grotesque anachronism. Now, the left is panting to bring it back.

This is how the Fairness Doctrine would be applied to talk radio: If a station broadcast three hours of Rush Limbaugh -- or Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly or Dr. Dobson -- in the afternoon, it would have to provide equal time to The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, Father Michael Pfleger or Osama bin Laden.

The problem is no one would listen to the later, hence it would sell no advertising and talk stations would very quickly switch to sports, weather, pet psychologists or 1970s' elevator music -- exactly what the left intends.

The Federal Communications Commission is comprised of five individuals -- two from each party, and a fifth appointed by the POTUS. Yet another reason for the American Conservative to hold his nose and vote for McCain November 4. Centrist though he may be, I don't think McCain would support reinstating the FD.

What about the Obamessiah? His position is that he doesn't support the FD. Instead, he would give control of the airwaves back to local communities and control ownership of stations. He would force local stations to meet with review boards of local communities to discuss their content.

The Senator claims he's opposed to reinstating the Fairness Doctrine. If so, it's because he has something more ominous in mind.

Obama Press Secretary Michael Oritz says the candidate "considers this debate (over the Fairness Doctrine) to be a distraction from the conversation we should be having about opening up the airwaves and modern communications to as many diverse viewpoints as possible... That is why Sen. Obama supports media-ownership caps, network neutrality, public broadcasting, as well as increased minority ownership of broadcast and print outlets."

...Once you cut through the soothing Obama cliches, his plans for talk radio are chillingly apparent.

When the left says "diverse viewpoints," it means "our viewpoints." It wants diversity only where it's in the minority. Have you ever heard of liberals complaining about the lack of political diversity on college faculties?

Obama's objective in "opening up the airwaves to as many diverse points of view as possible" is putting doctrinaire leftists on boards of directors and installing them as program directors and in other management positions. He wants programming decisions made not by market forces but based on ideological considerations.

Some critics of talk radio want a shorter renewal period for broadcast licenses. They would force broadcasters to prove that they're "operating in the public interest" -- by meeting regularly with "community spokesmen," incorporating their recommendations in programming decisions and putting representatives of various leftwing interest groups in charge of what goes out over the airwaves.

...The foregoing amounts to stealth Fairness. It makes sense that, in anticipation of its new clout in Washington, the left is intent on silencing the opposition.

When you cast a presidential vote in November, you won't just be voting on federal judges or the future security of our nation, you'll also help to decide the fate of talk radio -- a medium that's gone from 360 stations in 1990 to over 1,300 today.

Well said. I'm not a McCain fan, but the Obamessiah scares me. Not necessarily the Manchurian Candidate, but not too far off. Vote for McCain unless you want another generation of 'fairness' in our media.
Read the entire article here.

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