Now that it’s almost departure time for Julius Genachowski, Obama’s first chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, The Hill newspaper has noted one important sign of his priorities. In his four years at the helm, the FCC hasn’t issued one fine to Hollywood for indecent content on broadcast television. Now there’s a legacy.
Hollywood sends its gratitude, Mr. Chairman, for an absolutely perfect record of inaction. Who says that in Obama’s America, your campaign contributions can’t buy regulatory paralysis in Washington when needed?
Tuesday’s front-page of The Washington Post offered a positive profile of Comcast’s chief lobbyist (and Democrat) David Cohen, the “wonk rock star.”
The story’s central idea was the notion that Cohen’s offering of a low-income Internet service was a crucial part of Obama’s FCC approving Comcast’s merger with NBC Universal....as if the massive campaign cash for Democrats didn’t help seal the deal. Kang began:
The liberal media/politician/bureaucrat revolving door spins so rapidly, sometimes it's hard to keep pace. Today we learn via the Daily Caller that the moderator for tomorrow's vice presidential debate, ABC News reporter Martha Raddatz, hosted President Obama as a guest at her 1991 wedding to the man who would later become Obama's FCC commissioner, Julius Genachowski.
That's shocking enough in its own right but things are further compounded by the fact that ABC News, home of veteran Democratic adviser George Stephanopoulos, has long known about this conflict of interest and did nothing about it. Even worse, the network has actively tried to prevent the public from learning of it.
Many believe that the Fairness Doctrine was repealed in the 1980s. In fact, it remains on the books, as Federal Communications Commissioner Robert McDowell recently noted. President Ronald Reagan's FCC - and each one since - opted to not enforce the law for constitutional reasons, but the law itself still exists.
Two House Republicans have sent a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski asking him to officially remove the law - and a few related measures - from the Code of Federal Regulations.
Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Greg Walden, who chairs the panel's Communications and Technology Subcommittee, have given Genachowski until Friday to confirm that the regulations will be removed. Will the FCC Chairman, who has a record of liberal views on contentious communications issues, comply?
Elections have consequences. In the realm of media regulation, the 2008 election meant increased influence for proponents of so-called media "localism." The increased influence of localism at the FCC bore itself out in the recently-approved Comcast/NBC merger.
As a hypothetical, "localism" is relatively innocent. But in practice, it essentially amounts to a back-door mechanism for media regulation, which is why the FCC's most left-wing member, Michael Copps, has been an outspoken advocate of localism as part of his proposed "public value test."
The Federal Communications Commission is assigned the duty of enforcing broadcast decency provisions of the Communications Act of 1934. But Barack Obama’s FCC seems to think the indecency-discouraging mission of the FCC is as outdated as Glenn Miller, even as the airwaves sound more like Ozzy Osbourne.
FCC chairman Julius Genachowski is an aggressive regulator, thumbing his nose at a recent court decision that underlined he has no statutory authority for his power lust to rein in Internet service providers. Feeling no need to wait for a Democratic Congress to grant him that authority, Genachowski is planning to reclassify broadband providers as telecommunications companies, so he can gain new powers to “protect consumers” and “save” the World Wide Web.
Meanwhile, indecency on the broader band of broadcast TV – which Genachowski is bound by law to enforce – is being utterly ignored. Seth MacFarlane, the super-wealthy spoiled man-child of Fox Entertainment, has clearly read the tea leaves, and is flaunting the FCC directly.
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).
"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.
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: