Is this what Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chief Diversity Officer Mark Lloyd meant when he said (on camera) Venezuelan thug dictator Hugo Chavez (take that, Sean Penn) had begun "to take very seriously the media in his country"- while praising Chavez's "incredible...democratic revolution?"
The Associated Press (AP) late Friday night reported "Chavez criticizes US as arrests stir concern." Which plays down the lede in the headline, but gets right into it in the story itself.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Friday defended the arrest of a major TV channel owner, calling him a criminal and denying the government is carrying out an assault on press freedom.
The back-to-back arrests this week of two government opponents - including the owner of Venezuela's only remaining anti-Chavez TV channel - have drawn accusations that Chavez is growing increasingly intolerant and authoritarian as his popular support has slipped.
Opposition leaders and human rights groups condemned Thursday's arrest of Globovision's owner Guillermo Zuloaga, who was detained at an airport and released hours later after a judge issued an order barring him from leaving the country.
Zuloaga is accused of spreading false information and insulting the president at an Inter American Press Association meeting in Aruba last weekend, Attorney General Luisa Ortega said.
As the piece indicates, this is but the latest example of Chavez taking "very seriously the media in his country," in Lloyd parlance. Which is woefully at odds with freedoms of speech and the press. Which is fine with Lloyd, because so's he.
Lloyd expressed dismissiveness of these First Amendment precepts in his 2006 book Prologue to a Farce:
"It should be clear by now that my focus here is not freedom of speech or the press. This freedom is all too often an exaggeration. At the very least, blind references to freedom of speech or the press serve as a distraction from the critical examination of other communications policies.
"[T]he purpose of free speech is warped to protect global corporations and block rules that would promote democratic governance."
So Chavez has now arrested one of the last contrarian press men standing - so as to play down those exaggerated freedoms of speech and the press.
And to better "promote democratic governance," eh Diversity Czar Lloyd?
As the AP stated, "Chavez is growing increasingly intolerant and authoritarian as his popular support has slipped." President Barack Obama, should he feel so inclined as his numbers continue to fall, has a man for that job at the FCC in Mark Lloyd.
A man, remember, who is among those who hold the "diversity" and "localism" keys to the broadcast castle, as it were.
"That's a pretty radio license you have there; would be shame if something were to happen to it."