FCC Announces May 7 'Diversity Committee' Meeting - Behold a New 'Fairness' Doctrine

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The Left's Idea of Diversity

Behold one of the new "Fairness" Doctrines - "media diversity" - coming soon to a radio station near you. 

President Barack Obama's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released the names of the thirty-one members of their Advisory Committee On Diversity For Communications In The Digital Age.  This May 7 gathering is made up of a laundry list of left-wing grievance groups, with a smattering of radio and television companies included to break up the monotony.

Not a single conservative organization is taking part in this Commission - more than a dozen Leftist groups are. A little ironic for a "diversity" panel, is it not?

Chairing the meeting is Henry Rivera, a former FCC Commissioner who was (and presumably still is) a strong proponent of the Censorship Doctrine, also mis-known as the "Fairness" Doctrine.

Many, many liberals in Washington have over the last several years called for a reinstatement of the Doctrine.  But push-back from people who have read and actually understand the First Amendment led the Left to realize that the political price to bring it back was too high, so they MovedOn.org.

Of course, their desire to silence the lone voices of their opposition had not lessened in the slightest.  They're still just as dictatorial, just pragmatically so.

On February 26, Illinois Democratic Senator Dick Durbin - one of the myriad past "Fairness" Doctrine champions - sponsored an amendment, passed via a 57-41 Party-line vote, which forces the FCC to "take actions to encourage and promote diversity in communication media ownership and to ensure that broadcast station licenses are used in the public interest."  

About which Durbin said at the time: ""No one is suggesting that the law for the FCC says that you can give this license to a Republican and this one to a Democrat and this one to a liberal and this one to a conservative.  When we talk about diversity in media ownership, it relates primarily to gender, race and other characteristics of that nature."

As to his first statement, we have our doubts (see below). 

And with the second, Color-Blind-America notion in mind, here is just a fractional listing of the organizational attendees of next week's gathering:

  • Emma Bowen Foundation for Minority Interests in Media (Rivera's outfit)
  • Minority Media and Telecommunications Council
  • Black Entertainment Television Holdings, Inc.
  • Afro-American Newspapers
  • Inner City Broadcasting
  • National Urban League
  • National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (yes, again, NABOB)
  • Spanish Broadcasting System
  • American Women in Radio and Television
  • Chickasaw Nation Industries, Inc.
  • Asian American Justice Center

Rivera got the gig heading up this racial grumble group because he has long championed the concept of "media diversity."  

The proponents of station owner affirmative action are the same Leftists who were so ardently in favor of reinstating the Doctrine.  One can thusly be forgiven for seeing this as an alternative route for the Left to reach their long-sought original destination - the silencing of conservative and Christian talk radio via governmental regulatory fiat.

And it's not just our imagination - it's also our lying eyes.  The Center for American Progress is a left-wing hack outfit headed by former Clinton Administration and Obama Transition Team adviser John Podesta.  And they released on January 22, 2007 a report entitled "Local Media Diversity Matters - Measure Media Diversity According to Democratic Values, Not Market Values." 

The name of the report is right up this Committee's alley and instantaneously gives any sensible person the Willies.  So anti-free market a title is but a prelude - the recommendations are a series of assaults on the broadcast industry so as to effect their desired ideological outcome - less conservatives on the air. 

Many on the Left see the media pantheon as fraught with racism and sexism.  And of course the airwaves are dominated by ideological monopol-ism.  There are too many white men owning too many radio and television stations that broadcast too many conservatives to suit liberal tastes. 

They truly believe the former is the only possible explanation for the latter.  The existence of Laura Ingraham, Monica Crowley, Tammy Bruce and other un-white males in the talk radio universe fails to persuade them.  Neither does the ratings argument - thems that get the ratings get the airwaves.  Conservatives have listeners; liberals do not.

According to the Left, these white male station owners don't put conservatives on the air because they make them money, they put them on the air because they are conservatives.  The anti-free speech/anti-free marketeers remain as always steadfastly impervious to facts.

Again, the CAP report's subtitle is "Measure Media Diversity According to Democratic Values, Not Market Values."  Why would the Left care about the bottom line of a bunch of white male station owners?  There's a media world to be re-made, and these liberals don't care how many billions it costs these racist-sexist bigots to make it happen.  Besides, they deserve to get the shaft; it's only fair.   

The broadcast license is of course a station's lifeblood; take it away, or make it impossible to meet the regulatory obligations to keep it, and they are literally out of business.  The Left, no longer comfortable with trying the top-down, all-out assault that is the "Fairness" Doctrine, intends instead to silence conservative and Christian talk via this broadcast license manipulation. 

If they can succeed in making it impossible for talk radio to operate as a business, talk radio will cease to operate.  Leftist problem solved. 

"Media diversity" is just the latest Leftist attempt to get this done.  

Seton Motley
Seton Motley
Founder and president of Less Government.