Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA): We need a Constitutional amendment that controls speech


ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – A Democratic representative is calling for an amendment to the United States Constitution that would allow for some legislative restriction of freedom of speech.

“We need a constitutional amendment that would allow the legislature to control the so-called free speech rights of corporations,” Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) was quoted as saying by CNS News.

He reportedly made these comments while speaking at the Annesbrooks HOA candidate Forum held last month.

In a video obtained by the website, Johnson asserts that “corporations control … patterns of thinking.”

“They control the media. They control the messages that you get,” he added. “And these folks … are setting up a scenario where they’re privatizing every aspect of our lives as we know it. So, wake up! Wake up! Let’s look at what’s happening.”

Yeah, how DARE any part of our private lives be, well, be privatized. Bigger government is the answer, dammit!

Here’s the video, courtesy of CNSNews:

Of course, none of us are strangers to how far liberals have openly stated they are willing to go in order to control the free speech rights of others – our celebrity President himself acted in a manner unbefitting the dignity of the Presidency by cowardly mocking the Supreme Court’s ruling on Citizens United during his 2010 State of the Union address where several of the Justices were in attendance – and where he knew they could not respond. In his speech, he urged Congress to “correct” the Court’s ruling by passing legislation to fix “some of its problems.” Uh huh. Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Sam Alito, and Justice Clarence Thomas (not in attendance) were not amused – nor were the Republicans who were there. The the Democrats in the audience stood and clapped loudly, however. Natch.

Not only is there that, but for decades other far left Democrats like Barack Obama have been trying to shove the “Fairness Doctrine” back down the throats of the American people, not because they believe in actual “fairness” (something they don’t believe in no matter WHAT the issue is – in spite of their protestations to the contrary), but because it’s been proven time and time again that they simply cannot compete in the radio/TV broadcast arena when it comes to conservative news/talk commentary. So their way of “leveling the playing field” is by pushing for legislation which will force conservative talk shows to give “equal time” to the opposition. Many already do bring on liberal guests to their shows, but they don’t do it by government force – nor should they. Rush doesn’t bring liberal guests on, and that’s who they’re really targeting anyway. Chilling.

All that being said, what with the various calls for speech-limiting legislation coming from Democrat public figures and politicos (and let’s not forget about moderate Republicans like McCain and the “McCain-Feingold” nightmare), I can’t recall anyone else in Congress recent past or present calling for an actual Constitutional amendment limiting it, as Johnson did in October (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on that one). Congressional legislation is bad enough, but fortunately can be repealed with the right Congress and President. Constitutional amendments, on the other hand are hard to pass – and even harder to repeal.

Johnson is a fruitcake, of course, and was probably knows it’s unlikely he’ll see anything like this really get off the ground (unless he had a lot more fellow Democrats in the US House) but still, it’s deeply disturbing to know just how far his mindset goes on this. I wonder how many more on his side agree with him but are too chicken to just come out and say it because they realize how it would be used against them by the opposition?

Inquiring minds want to know …

Is the Fairness Doctrine really ‘dead and gone’?

The Politico reports on the “death” of one of the left’s favorite speech-stifling tools (via Memeorandum):

The FCC gave the coup de grace to the fairness doctrine Monday as the commission axed more than 80 media industry rules.

Earlier this summer FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski agreed to erase the post WWII-era rule, but the action Monday puts the last nail into the coffin for the regulation that sought to ensure discussion over the airwaves of controversial issues did not exclude any particular point of view. A broadcaster that violated the rule risked losing its license.

While the commission voted in 1987 to do away with the rule — a legacy to a time when broadcasting was a much more dominant voice than it is today — the language implementing it was never removed. The move Monday, once published in the federal register, effectively erases the rule.

Monday’s move is part of the commission’s response to a White House executive order directing a “government-wide review of regulations already on the books” designed to eliminate unnecessary regulations.

While I’d like to break out the bubbly and fill up every glass in the room, I know better than to think that this superficial “erasing” of the Fairness Doctrine means we no longer have to worry, because I know just how much liberals despise free speech – especially when they’re losing in the arena of ideas and at the ballot box. Newsbusters’ Ken Shepherd is on the same page:

So the Fairness Doctrine is dead. But the spirit of the same could well live on as a regulatory specter forever.

Regulatory pushes for “localism” and “diversity” requirements could prove to be a back-door reinstitution of the Fairness Doctrine, a Republican FCC commissioner warned two weeks ago.

Here’s what that Commissioner had to say:

Though much of the discussion about a possible fairness doctrine for broadcasters went away when Republicans took over the House of Representatives in 2010, one Federal Communications Commissioner says there still could be an effort at finding a back door to the rules. Commissioner Robert McDowell told [Fox News’] Chris Stirewalt on Monday’s Power Play Live that localism, a proposal that gives the federal government the ability to make sure broadcasters serve their communities, could also be used to wedge in principles of the fairness doctrine.

“The government would be compiling data as to what kind of content you were airing and whether the government thought that was appropriate content,” McDowell said. “It could be political speech, it could be shows on baking or gardening. But we don’t know where the government is headed.”

Video of the full discussion is below:

In other words, more likely than not, this gesture on the part of the Obama administration’s FCC is purely symbolic and nothing more. Which we should be used to by now. Even shorter version:

It ain’t over.

Think the Fairness Doctrine issue is dead now?

In spite of the 87-11 vote today on Jim DeMint’s amendment on the Fairness Doctrine, the issue is not over. Not by a long shot.

As our VP once infamously said, “gird your loins.” Don’t forget about this issue for a second – especially considering the Dems’ highly deceptive back door attempts at bringing it back under another name, and certainly don’t hesitate to let your Congressional reps in both the House and Senate – no matter whether they are Republican or Democrat – know how you feel about it.

Jim DeMint plans to get Democrats on the record re: the Fairness Doctrine

… with a vote he’s going to try and force next week:

Sen. Jim DeMint announced that he will force a vote next week on a bill that prevents the Federal Communications Commission from reinstating the Fairness Doctrine.

The South Carolina Republican’s bill, the Broadcaster Freedom Act, is co-sponsored by John Thune, R-S.D., and 27 others and will be offered as an amendment to the D.C. Voting Rights bill.

President Barack Obama is opposed to any move to bring back the Fairness Doctrine, spokesman Ben LaBolt said Wednesday.

But as Sen. DeMint notes in a statement, some Democrats in Congress have indicated that they would support a reinstatement.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, asked in a recent interview if she favored reinstatement, said: “I think it’s absolutely time to pass a standard. Now, whether it’s called the Fairness Standard, whether it’s called something else — I absolutely think it’s time to be bringing accountability to the airwaves.”

Back in June, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was asked by John Gizzi of Human Events if she personally supported the revival of the Fairness Doctrine, and she declared: “Yes.”

As recently as last week, Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa said in an interview: “We need the Fairness Doctrine back.”

Sen. DeMint stated: “I’m glad President Obama finally confirmed his opposition to the Fairness Doctrine, which attacks the right of free speech on talk radio, but many Democrats in Congress are still pushing it.

“With the support of the new administration, now is the time for Congress to take a stand against this kind of censorship. I intend to seek a vote on this amendment next week so every senator is on record: Do you support free speech or do you want to silence voices you disagree with?”

Good for him.

Of course, this won’t be the first time Republicans have attempted to get the Dems on record (more here) on the issue of the Fairness Doctrine but it’ll be nice for this particular Congress to have their votes on record.

Democrat/FCC sources: Fairness Doctrine should also apply to the Internet

Sneaky b*stards:

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 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?


  • 8/14/08 – Rasmussen: “Nearly half of Americans (47%) believe the government should require all radio and television stations to offer equal amounts of conservative and liberal political commentary, but they draw the line at imposing that same requirement on the Internet.”

Push for Fairness Doctrine escalating

Michelle Malkin notes the increasing number of Democrat voices calling for a return to the Fairness Doctrine, including Bubba.

CNN has a scary sounding audio of Rep. Maurice Henchey (D-NY) talking about about how the airwaves need “more fairness.” They got one thing wrong in their reporting, though:

Representative Maurice Hinchey, a Democrat from New York is the latest to say he wants to bring back the “Fairness Doctrine,” a federal regulation scrapped in 1987 that would require broadcasters to present opposing views on public issues.

Nope, he’s not “the latest” – he’s been a leading proponent in the House of bringing back the Fairness Doctrine for some time now.

I urge you to write your Congressmen in both the House and Senate – no matter Dem or Rep – and tell them how you feel about the idea. I know there’s a lot going on right now in the world, but this is a fundamental issue we can’t let fall by the wayside.

Idiot watch: Chuck Schumer on the Fairness Doctrine

Via The Hill:

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday defended the so-called Fairness Doctrine in an interview on Fox News, saying, “I think we should all be fair and balanced, don’t you?”

Schumer’s comments echo other Democrats’ views on reviving the Fairness Doctrine, which would require radio stations to balance conservative hosts with liberal ones.

Asked if he is a supporter of telling radio stations what content they should have, Schumer used the fair and balanced line, claiming that critics of the Fairness Doctrine are being inconsistent.

“The very same people who don’t want the Fairness Doctrine want the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] to limit pornography on the air. I am for that… But you can’t say government hands off in one area to a commercial enterprise but you are allowed to intervene in another. That’s not consistent.”

Is this what we’ll have to “look forward to” after tonight? Gimme strength …