A letter writer to the North County Times recently complained because I noted in a column that “Obama’s minions” are intent on undoing conservative talk radio. The objector, who claimed that no facts supported my assertion, is doubtless dependent on the MSM for his view of things and oblivious to the fact that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, as well as Senators Charles Schumer, Dick Durbin, and Dianne Feinstein have all expressed support for the absurdly labeled “Fairness Doctrine.” And that’s only the short list.
Of course the anti-democratic elites who now govern America are clever enough to disguise their latest assault on free speech in the language of “diversity” and “localism.” The document that serves as the intellectual pretext for this new dose of liberal fascism was written in June, 2007, by a gaggle of “Progressives” at the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress. Its title: “The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio.”
The problem, it seems, is not that listeners simply prefer Rush and Hannity to Al Franken, Air America, and NPR. Nor is it that Americans get their fill of leftist rhetoric from Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, and “Law and Order” reruns. No, the problem “is the result of multiple structural problems in the U.S. regulatory system, particularly …the elimination of clear public interest requirements for broadcasting, and the relaxation of ownership rules including the requirement of local participation in management.”
“Structural problems” is bureaucratese for “the way things are now,” while “public interest requirements” and “local participation” refer to government controls and oversight powers given to leftist activists. (Think ACORN and El Grupo.)
If “Obama’s minions” get their way, the composition of newly envisioned “local diversity boards” will doubtless resemble the makeup of a recently appointed FCC “Federal Advisory Committee on Diversity in the Digital Age”—a group chaired by a liberal activist and filled with MSM types, politically active minority groups, and representatives of leftist organizations.
Skeptics should note that then Senator Barack Obama signed on to this covert speech-muzzling strategy in September, 2007, when he endorsed “new rules promoting coverage of local issues” as well as “greater FCC scrutiny” and more frequent public input “to ensure that broadcasters are complying with their public interest obligations.”
No wonder dozens of talk radio hosts met in Washington in late April to discuss this impending assault on free speech. San Diego’s Roger Hedgecock was elected chairman of a new foundation whose slogan is “Don’t touch my dial.”
Perhaps as a preemptive move to head off this backdoor censorship, Salem affiliate KCBQ recently reinstated a hometown broadcaster to its morning lineup—Mark Larson. That strategy might be effective if the ideologues currently crying “localism” really meant what they say. (Consider, however, candidate Obama’s broken pledge to use public financing.) The real problem is that leftists loathe popular dissent and will do whatever they can to stifle it—as they already have in education, popular entertainment, and the “global warming” news media.