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.
I can’t understand why anyone, especially a Democrat, would want to be deceptive on this issue, can you? Continuing:
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.”
Copps will remain acting chairman of the FCC until President Obama’s nominee, Julius Genachowski, is confirmed, and Copps has been told by the White House not create “problems” for the incoming chairman by committing to issues or policy development before the Obama pick arrives.
But Copps has been a supporter of putting in place policies that would allow the federal government to have greater oversight over the content that TV and radio stations broadcast to the public, and both the FCC and Waxman are looking to licensing and renewal of licensing as a means of enforcing “Fairness Doctrine” type policies without actually using the hot-button term “Fairness Doctrine.”
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.
Dan Collins hits it out of the ballpark:
Strangely enough, PBS and NPR are nowhere mentioned. I’m sure that that’s an oversight, as everyone’s aware that they embody the very definition of objectivity and non-partisanship that MoveOn.org finds congenial. The problem with defining diversity of perspective is, of course, that someone must do the defining. Fortunately for the Obama administration, it seems that there are a multiplicity of Soros-backed organizations that are more than happy to be co-opted for exactly such purposes.
This is campus “hate-speech” prohibition applied to the nation as a whole. Its sole purpose is to skew the playing field in the direction of whatever beliefs it supports, and to punish those who would take exception to them. Soon enough, you may find yourself relegated to a little free speech zone ghetto, so enjoy your privilege (not right) to express yourself as you will while you’ve got it.
And as noted this past weekend, the Obama administration is no longer saying that they are against bringing back the Fairness Doctrine – or whatever Waxman and Co. eventually decide to call it.
You’d think that with their near super-majority in the House and Senate that they’d abandon the idea of wanting to bring so-called “fairness” to the airwaves, seeing as though they didn’t need it in order to take back the WH and Congress (who needs the FD when you’ve got the MSM on your side?). But you do – and that’s because now they have the opportunity more than they ever have to try and make it so that TV, radio, and the Internet air and publish opinions that are primarily liberal in nature. They know damn well that conservatives would shut down a radio station rather than have someone else (read: liberals in the FCC and in Congressional “oversight committees”) dictate what they get to broadcast on their airwaves and publish on their websites.
Never, ever let a liberal get away with telling you they “support free speech” without questioning them about it (modern history’s against them). Next time you’re in a discussion with one about free speech issues, ask them how they felt about free speech under the Bush administration (remember all the complaints we heard over the last 8 years about how the admin wanted to “stifle” free speech?). And then ask them after that how they feel about bringing back the FD. The two answers you get should tell you all you need to know about them in terms of whether they’d stand shoulder to shoulder with you in the fight to keep the airwaves and ‘net highway free of over-regulation, or whether they’re perfectly ok with the type of creeping socialism liberals in Congress are pushing, a type of socialism that will slowly but surely strip away our Constitutional rights in the interests of the “common good of the state.”
Exit question: Do you think there are more of the former or the latter out there in lefty land?