For the dog-bites-man news category: Joe Scarborough had a moment of intellectual schizophrenia today.
On MSNBC's Morning Joe, co-host Willie Geist and Politico.com executive editor Jim VandeHei were discussing a Politico story about internal political pressures at National Public Radio (NPR). Apparently, NPR's top political correspondent Mara Liasson was asked by NPR executives to reconsider her appearances on Fox News, for concerns over Fox's perceived political bias.
"I think that the more freely information flows, the stronger the society becomes, because then citizens of countries around the world can hold their own governments accountable."
That was President Barack Obama speaking to college students as part of his current trip to Asia. The quote surfaced during a town hall discussion in Shanghai, and was widely regarded as a shot toward human rights violations at the hands of the Chinese government.
It's great to see that our President believes in free speech. But apparently, it should only be applied in countries where there is no Rush Limbaugh.
Associated Press reporter Charles Hutzler was quick to offer glowing coverage of the speech in an article titled "Obama to China: Uncensored Society is Healthy." The piece emphatically praised Obama's "animated defense" of free speech while completely ignoring the President's own record of attacking news outlets in the States and urging fellow politicians not to listen to talk radio.
Before continuing, readers are encouraged to set down all beverages and reach for the duct tape, for the blatant hypocrisy to come is unbelievably rich:
We wrote Monday of Leftist, George Soros-funded "media reform" outfit Free Press, and their extensive relationships with people currently in power at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and in the White House - up to and including President Barack Obama.
With current FCC Chief Diversity Officer ("Diversity Czar") Mark Lloyd and the Leftist, George Soros-funded Center for American Progress, Free Press co-authored the 2007 report The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio. Which calls for the FCC to enforce exceedingly broad (we would say warped) new definitions of the media diversity and localism FCC broadcast license requirements. These new definitions and their enactment are intended to force conservative and Christian talk show hosts off the air, to be replaced by those of a Leftist bent.
Free Press developed then-presidential candidate Obama's communications policies portfolio. Now-President Obama's FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski hired Free Press Press Secretary Jen Howard to serve in the same capacity for the FCC. And Marxist 9-11 "Truther"Van Jones - who was President Obama's "Green Jobs Czar" until his multi-layered, anti-American and paranoid past came to light, forcing him to resign - was a Free Press Board member until 2008.
We also mentioned Free Press's co-founder, college professor and avowed Marxist Robert McChesney. (Some fairly interesting video quotes from him at right; inordinately interesting print quotes from him below the fold.) If you have not yet already had enough Marxism and Marxists, please - read on (warning - there's a Reverend Jeremiah Wright on-video sighting beneath as well).
The broader public is finally being introduced to Leftist "media reform" outfit Free Press and its co-founder, avowed Marxist Robert McChesney. (I appeared on the October 7, 2009 edition of the Glenn Beck television show to discuss one and all.)
Founded in 2002, McChesney's Free Press seeks to transform the media landscape - on radio, television and the internet - via (amongst other ways) sweeping rules changes at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Changes that would dramatically decrease private ownership of the means of news and information delivery, with the federal government assuming an ever greater replacement role.
One intended effect of this shift away from free market media to government-owned media is to diminish what Free Press sees as the inherently right-wing slant of the news that results from corporate ownership. (Have they watched NBC, ABC or CBS - ever?). And in their warped view of the media landscape, conservative and Christian talk radio (which is not news but self-identified opinion) is the most egregious example of this alleged corporatist taint.
Free Press has spent the last seven years developing policy prescriptions and working with like-minded policy and public officials that would make this hoped-for transformational change a reality. And their allies are now in place and in power - at the FCC and in the White House.
"You know, the American people cherish our freedom of speech and a free and independent press," Pence said. "That's why I found this morning's headlines so troubling. Goaded on by a White House increasingly intolerant of criticism, lately the national media has taken aim at conservative commentators in radio and television - suggesting that they only speak for a small group of activists and even suggesting in one report today that Republicans in Washington are quote, ‘worried about their electoral effect.' Well, that's hogwash."
The news wing of the Media Research Center, CNSNews.com, yesterday reported that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) refused their request for an interview with Chief Diversity Officer Mark Lloyd about his tremendously disturbing First Amendment and communications policy views.
These are views which certainly deserve additional explanation from the man himself. We have analyzed his record at great length, but all of it from the outside looking in. Some direct questions to - and answers from - Mr. Lloyd would be most helpful.
The FCC told CNSNews that it's their policy not to make staffers available to the media. And that is in fact fine; the FCC said its Commissioners are the front line officials and they themselves speak to the media, not those who work for them.
But Congress - and Congressional oversight - is a different story. And Congressman Greg Walden of Oregon agrees. So too does FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. During a September 17 convening of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, Congressman Walden - who is on said Subcommittee - asked Genachowski if Lloyd would be made available for questions (video at right).
Mark Lloyd is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s Chief Diversity Officer, a.k.a. the Diversity Czar. And he has in a recently discovered bit of archive audio goodness detailed his rather disturbing perspective on race, power and the American system.
"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."
And Lloyd's rather disturbing perspective on Venezuelan Communist dictator Hugo Chavez's "incredible...democratic revolution." To go with Lloyd's bizarre admiration for the thuggishly fascistic manner in which "Chavez began to take very seriously the media in his country."
We have said repeatedly that Lloyd is a man myopically focused on race. What is revealed here is more than just that. Listening to excerpts of his offerings at a May 2005 Conference on Media Reform: Racial Justice reveals a man that finds great fault with our nation's power structure - as he defines and sees it. And in his racially-warped, finite pie worldview, too many white people sit alone in the too few spots atop the heap. They're "good white people," mind you, but ...
The left has attempted with varying degrees of success to enact legislation that would increase government control over the news media and, in some instances, sway the political tides of various media in their favor, most notably in the form of the ‘Fairness Doctrine.’ Having failed to achieve its ends with the Fairness Doctrine, the left is now moving into alternative means through so-called ‘localism’ in broadcast media and ‘net neutrality’ on the web.
Both in traditional and new media, the left is attempting to tight its grip on the news, possibly asphyxiating the few bastions of center-right news and information that exist.
The misnamed ‘Fairness Doctrine’ is the most widely publicized and debated of the left’s attempts to tighten their grip on the news media. Discarded by the Federal Communications Commission in 1987 on constitutional grounds, the doctrine required that networks and broadcast radio stations air opposing views that satisfied federal bureaucrats’ conception of ‘fairness.’
Yesterday, Media Research Center Director of Communications Seton Motley again appeared in studio with Glenn Beck to discuss the Obama FCC's drive to regulate talk radio out of existence.
Motley focused on the views of FCC diversity officer Mark Lloyd. Motley argued that, armed with FCC "localism" and "diversity" regulations, Lloyd could prove instrumental in working a back-door regulatory alternative to the so-called Fairness Doctrine.
Harry Reid, perhaps emulating the bullying tactics of an out-of-control Obama administration, has openly wished for the Las Vegas Review-Journal to ‘go out of business' - a newspaper which has held opposing political viewpoints with the Senator.
The comment came when Bob Brown, the Journal's Director of Advertising, met with Reid at a Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce luncheon. During the simple process of handshaking, an exchange in which most people with an ounce of class can pull off without issue, Reid said to Brown: "I hope you go out of business."
In retrospect, perhaps Brown should have been relieved that he wasn't classified as a smelly tourist or an evil monger by the esteemed Senate Majority Leader.
To their credit, the Journal did not take this bullying tactic lying down. A quick thought on the LVRJ response after the jump:
Today Media Research Center (MRC) president and NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell denounced the Obama administration for its plans to delve into the private sector for the purposes of researching and regulating the national news media.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced plans for a two-day workshop in December to examine the state of the news industry - which could lead to recommendations for legislation to regulate print, television, and even online media on everything from changes in anti-trust land copyright law to media tax breaks. Some of the proposals being pushed by opinion leaders include direct government funding of media outlets, while other ideas like relaxing anti-trust regulations would still need government approval.
Mr. Bozell issued the following statement in response:
Appearing on his program yesterday, Media Research Center's Seton Motley talked with Glenn Beck about the various regulations the FCC's new diversity czar Mark Lloyd wants to bring upon the terrestrial radio industry, particularly conservative-dominated talk radio.
GLENN BECK: When you read the new diversity officer, what is the most disturbing thing that you have seen? What are the things that he says that stick out to you?
SETON MOTLEY: Well, he's fundamentally opposed to virtually any private ownership of media. [...]
BECK: Tell me exactly what his plan is.
MOTLEY: His plan is to use the nebulous FCC regulations of media diversity and localism to travel alternative routes to arrive at the same destination as the Fairness Doctrine, which is to shut you up by shutting you down. He wants to assault the radio industry to effect an ideological outcome...
You can view the entire segment embedded above on the right.
As each day passes and President Barack Obama's health care proposal faces more and more opposition, some of the talking heads that appear on the cable news networks are looking for a "boogeyman" to blame for allegedly ginning up backlash. And that "boogeyman" has been conservative talk radio.
However, if recent history is any indication, there could be an effort to take silence conservative talk radio.
Some of the circumstances surrounding the current debate on "reforming" health care are eerily familiar to the 2007 bipartisan effort to "reform" immigration. In fact, the last big policy issue that was defeated when an upset constituency pushed back was the bipartisan 2007 effort to reform immigration.
"Diversity Czar" Lloyd: Regulating Conservative Stations Within an Inch of Their Lives
Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley has publicly released a letter he penned to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski regarding the July 29th announced appointment of new FCC Associate General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer Mark Lloyd.
In the press release accompanying the missive, the Senator said he was "concerned with the appointment due to Lloyd’s writings on political talk radio and the Fairness Doctrine."
As the Senator's letter goes on to detail, there is very much more to fear from Lloyd than merely his views on the so-called "Fairness" Doctrine. Lloyd's intentions on the enforcement of the FCC regulations known as "media diversity" and "localism" are no picnic either.
In advance of then-nominee Genachowski's June 16 Senate Commerce Committee confirmation hearing, my boss - Media Research Center President Brent Bozell - drafted and publicly released a list of questions that Genachowski should have been asked.
Sadly, with the exception of the most pro forma of queries about the mis-named "Fairness" Doctrine, he was not.
Genachowski therefore remains a blank slate on his "media diversity" and "localism" enforcement intentions. We are thusly left to think the worst about his appointment of Chief Diversity Officer Lloyd. The Chairman has to have read Lloyd's writings; his appointing him must mean Genachowski at least tacitly accepts Lloyd's views on the subjects at hand.
Seton Motley, the Media Research Center's Director of Communications, was on the Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck to discuss the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s new "Chief Diversity Officer," Mark Lloyd.
Chief Diversity Officer Lloyd is virulently anti-capitalist, almost myopically racially fixated and exuberantly pro-regulation. He is a frightening guy to have having any power at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). And yet that is exactly where he currently stands, astride the private radio industry he loathes like a Socialist Colossus.
It does not bode well for free speech on the radio airwaves, but as Seton says to Glenn during this appearance, "That's irrelevent to these people."
This is insane. The "Chief Diversity Officer" in question, Mark Lloyd, is calling for the gross operating budget for every private radio station each year to be the fee (tax) they pay for their broadcast license for the year, with the monies going to the always liberal public stations. With whom they then must compete for listeners.
Chief Diversity Officer Lloyd is - from all we have read and are reading - virulently anti-capitalist, almost myopically racially fixated and exuberantly pro-regulation. He is a frightening guy to have having any power at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). And yet that is exactly where he currently stands, astride the private radio industry he loathes like a Socialist Colossus.
This excellent article by Cover is but the tip of the iceberg on this guy; there will be much more to follow as we continue to wade through his deeply disturbing writings. For instance, we have his farcical book on order.
When Vice President Joe Biden warned us to gird our loins, he apparently meant for us to do so in preparation for his Administration.
Concerned that “we know little or nothing” of President Obama’s nominee to head the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Media Research Center President (MRC) Brent Bozell sent an open letter on June 15 to the Senate Commerce Committee urging the members to thoroughly query Julius Genachowski.
The panel, headed by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) , will hold hearings today on Genachowski’s nomination for the chairmanship of the FCC and for Commissioner Robert McDowell’s reconfirmation.
Commissioner McDowell “has been and remains a bulwark against a return of the Censorship Doctrine – also mis-known as the “Fairness” Doctrine. We know where he stands,” Bozell noted, adding that Genachowski’s views on “critical issues” like censorship, “localism” and “diversity” requirements are unknown.
“Mr. Genachowski must be asked about all of these issues. It is imperative that you - and the American people - get answers to these questions,” Bozell urged the senators on the Commerce Committee. Listed below are a few of the questions the MRC president would like asked:
However, conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh theorized that President Obama may have another method to restrict content over the airwaves in mind. In an interview on Sean Hannity's June 4 Fox News Channel program, Limbaugh explained how Obama could do this - by exercising the influence the government has over the banking sector.
"I want to say one other thing, even if I go over time here," Limbaugh said. "People ask me about the Fairness Doctrine all the time and I've been watching something here - newspapers are losing money. Advertising revenue is down, circulation. But radio companies, too, Sean. Television companies - their advertising revenues are down."
Media Research Center (MRC) President and NewsBusters.org Publisher Brent Bozell yesterday recorded a video thanking the MRC Grassroots Action Team - made up of more than 600,000 individual activists - for their signing nearly 400,000 Free Speech Alliance (FSA) petitions which were delivered yesterday to the offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The petition in part "urge(s) members of Obama's Federal Communications Commission (the FCC) and everyone in Washington to reject any and all efforts to censor, limit, or restrain conservative or Christian talk radio."
Mr. Bozell also discusses the MRC's Four Day Call-A-Thon to the offices of Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid - which is taking place right now and runs through close of business Thursday - where MRC Action Team members, many, MANY members of the FSA and a whole host of individual radio stations and hosts are having their grassroots/members/listeners place calls to their offices demanding a full, fair stand-alone vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act (BFA), which would prohibit the FCC from reimposing the Censorship Doctrine, also mis-known as the "Fairness" Doctrine.
And we are asking you to join in the festivities. Please, in true Chicago voting fashion, call early and often. Speaker Pelosi's number is (202) 225-4965, and Leader Reid's is (202) 224-3542.
We humbly suggest you say something along the lines of:
Today the Media Research Center’s Free Speech Alliance (FSA) will deliver nearly 400,000 petitions – combined with thousands of calls and faxes - to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid urging them to allow a full, fair stand-alone floor vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act (BFA).
"Free speech on the radio airwaves remains in peril so long as the FCC is just a 3-2 vote away from reinstating the mis-named 'Fairness' Doctrine," MRC President Brent Bozell argued in a June 1 statement. What's more, the doctrine "remains a threat to free speech as long as elected officials like Pelosi and Reid... refuse to give the Broadcaster Freedom Act a vote."
The Free Speech Alliance (www.FreeSpeechAlliance.us) is made up of sixty-seven (67) organizations representing millions of Americans dedicated to defending free speech against a return of the Censorship Doctrine or any other assault on the First Amendment and talk radio. National talk show hosts Lars Larson and Rusty Humphries have also been heavily involved in the petition effort.
Despite recent assurances that the Fairness Doctrine is a dead issue to the point of White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, along with reporters laughing off a question about its possible return, it will probably be coming back repackaged in a more odious form as localism according to a Broadcasting & Cable article by John Eggerton:
Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps may have wished to drive a stake deep into the Fairness Doctrine issue. However, his recent comments on the subject have only helped keep it alive and kicking.
In a speech two weeks ago, Copps said the doctrine was long gone and not coming back. If he had stopped there, he might have put some criticism to rest, though certainly not all of it. However, he went on to characterize critics linking the doctrine to pending localism proposals as “issue mongers” and “conspiracy theorists [who] see [the doctrine] lurking behind every corner.”
As it turns out, some of those theorists are broadcast attorneys who see the localism proposals as just such a back-door effort, with perhaps even greater content-control implications than the doctrine itself. And since the speech, Copps has also been called out by both Media Research Center President Brent Bozell and Frank Wright, president of the National Religious Broadcasters.
Acting Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Michael Copps insists that the so-called Fairness Doctrine is "long gone" and "not coming back." But liberal legislators such as socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Democratic presidential aspirants Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) have recently called for a return of the anti-free speech.
That's why Media Research Center (MRC) President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell is calling on FCC Chairman Copps to call for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to bring the Broadcaster Freedom Act to the floor for an up-or-down vote:
When this many high-powered elected officials are calling for a return of the mis-named ‘Fairness’ Doctrine, and are actively opposing a vote on the bill to prevent the FCC from reinstating it, it isn’t a conspiracy theory. It’s a determination to shut down free speech on talk radio.
The solution is simple: Chairman Copps should call on Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid to allow a full, fair stand alone vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act. That way we will know once and for all how each member of Congress thinks – are they for free speech, or are they for the ‘Fairness’ Doctrine?
Call it an ominous warning, but Fox News Channel afternoon host and ratings sensation Glenn Beck on Wednesday cautioned viewers that government is strengthening its grip of power and is not going to stop at the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Beck declared on his May 6 broadcast the government is out of control, noting that Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests were a weekly occurrence, including efforts to make the TARP bailout more transparent earlier this year from the Treasury Department.
"We've got a government out of control and I'm telling you, it is up to you to control it," Beck said. "These stories of corruption and abuse of power, I'm going to continue to bring them to you as long as I possibly can, and everybody else on this network is dedicated. But it seems like every week this network is filing another Freedom of Information Act request. Even with all the resources of Fox, the truth still can't be fully exposed without you. I ask you, please - help us. Meet us here every day. Tell all of your friends what you learn here. Spread it. E-mail me. Tell me what I'm missing. We will do the best we can to provide you with the information, but it is a little overwhelming."
Looks like it is just starting to dawn on some lefties that Obama is ushering in an era of oppression of free speech. So it seems for Laura Varon Brown of the Detroit Free Press, at least. Oh, she isn't saying that Obama himself is trampling on free speech, but she is starting to understand that the left's penchant for political correctness is serving the function as a sort of self-imposed oppression no matter what Obama says. It's getting so bad, according to Brown, that any criticism of Obama is treated as akin to treason... at least it is in the "circles" she runs in, anyway.
Brown can count herself in the same boat as the late-night comedy shows that are finding that any criticism of The One is verboten to their left-wing audiences. Even the supposedly unshakable Bill Maher, who congratulates himself on his bravery for taking on the establishment, has found that he's had to shy from criticizing Obama. These people are seeing that attacking "The Man" is not so funny when it is their man in the crosshairs. Suddenly such folks have a new-found respect for the office and a more circumspect behavior toward the president is now du jour.
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 CommunicationsIn 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.
The folks at The Hill alerted me to the fact that the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) has decided to oppose any reinstitution of the inaptly named Fairness Doctrine.
I know, imagine that... as lefty a group as the SPJ actually agreeing with conservatives that the Fairness Doctrine is an abomination of our Constitutional right to free political speech! You can knock me over with a feather, and all.
The Hill is right to quip that this makes for strange bedfellows, but it would seem like a no-brainer for anyone interested in Constitutional rights and a jealous protection of free speech no matter whose it is:
The Left's Preferred Weaponry - Sometimes The Left is so often keen on science and technology - until they're not. The moment modernity proves them wrong, they demand a return to the Dark Ages.
They bawdily bandy about the "scientific consensus" on global warming. Until mounting contrary evidence and with it an ever-growing number of scientists disagreeing with their apocalyptic assessment force them to shove their heads in the sand and declare the debate closed.
And the solution of these pro-technology liberals to their contrived eco-cataclysm? Full-fledged anti-industrial economic devolution back to the Dutch days of tilting at windmills and warming on a rock in the sun.
They scream bloody murder about butterfly ballots in 2000, so we go electronic and they then divine Diebold conspiracy theories and wish a return to the days of quill and parchment.
As has been mentioned here before, the Media Research Center is heading up the Free Speech Alliance (FSA). Made up thus far of sixty-five organizations, the FSA is dedicated to protecting the freedom of speech of all practitioners of conservative and Christian talk radio from any and all government regulatory censorship.
Well here is an excellent piece by Peter Ferrara of the American Civil Rights Union (ACRU), a Free Speech Alliance member organization, that appeared in Sunday's Washington Times.
This essay captures perfectly the other half of the argument we are making. Just as Rush, Sean, Mark et. Al. have the First Amendment-guaranteed Freedom to Speak, We the People have the First Amendement-guaranteed Freedom to Listen.
The Left's attempts to take away the former inherently abridge the latter too.
We will at this point allow Mr. Ferrara to speak expertly for himself.
Everywhere it's been tried - liberal, or progressive as it's sometimes described as, talk radio hasn't taken off with the success conservative talk radio has.
Case and point - the top six of March 2009 Talkers magazine "Heavy Hundred" talk show hosts are conservative. The top liberal host, Thom Hartmann, come in at number 10. However, liberal talk show host Stephanie Miller appeared on CNN's April 5 "Reliable Sources" and insisted there is more at play than just pure market forces holding the liberal format back.
"Well, you know - I just did a panel on the Fairness Doctrine," Miller said. "I have to tell you, I brought ratings information. And people like me and Ed Schultz are consistently beating conservative shows in many, many markets. And yet - there is 10 percent liberal radio in this country. Ninety percent of the stations are conservative. You just cannot argue anymore it's because liberal radio can't compete."