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Friday, November 07, 2008

Fairness Doctrine? Meet the head of Obama's FCC Transition Team

Ahead of a widely-expected crackdown on free speech and political dissent by the incoming Obama administration, our Dear Leader has appointed a new FCC transition czar to oversee the process.

Henry Rivera, a longtime radical leftist, lawyer and former FCC commissioner, is expected to lead the push to dismantle commercial talk radio that is favored by a number of Democratic Party senators. Rivera will play a pivotal role in preventing critics from having a public voice during Obama's tenure in office.

Rivera, who resigned from the FCC nearly a quarter-century ago during the Reagan years, believes in a doctrine of "communications policy as a civil rights issue".

His exit during the Reagan Administration paved the way for the Fairness Doctrine's repeal when the late president appointed Patricia Diaz Dennis in 1986 to fill out the rest of Rivera's term. Had this not occurred, talk radio as we know it today would not exist.

That gives Rivera's new task a great deal of personal urgency: it's a late-career, second chance opportunity to shut down opposition voices that have been allowed to flourish since his depature from the commission.

In particular, Rivera is known for his push for more minority broadcasting ownership, but this issue has largely been rendered obsolete as former commercial broadcasting empires teeter on the brink of bankruptcy.

Rivera's first opportunity to eliminate commercial talk radio will occur in June 2009, as the term of Republican Robert McDowell expires and he can be replaced with a pro-Fairness Doctrine Democrat. That will give the commission a three-vote Democratic majority, though the final two seats must remain in Republican hands.

If they can strong-arm one of the three Republicans into leaving early, this can be implemented even sooner.

ie ...no congress, no Schumer, no nothing, Free Speech diminished by executive fiat. Does this guy even need Senate approval? Calling Mr. McCain, Mr. Bunning, Mr. Sessions, Ms. Collins and Snowe....

One issue facing Rivera and Obama's new commissioner is how the policy will be carried out. According to data from the 1970s, when the old doctrine regulated the content of speech on the radio, the FCC was forced to utilize a great deal of its resources sifting through tens of thousands of "unfairness" complaints. The FCC's staff might have to be increased substantially to accommodate listeners looking to censor radio programming in their area.


Meanwhile, Air America Radio apparently believes liberal talk radio will benefit from the Fairness Doctrine's implementation! In an interview with a broadcast trade publication, Air America CEO Bennett Zier seems to believe that conservative stations would be forced to carry libtalk programming in order to comply with the law (but wouldn't libtalk stations also be required to run conservatives?):



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posted by Epaminondas at permanent link#

9 Comments:

Blogger Damien said...

Epaminondas,

The Fairness Doctrine should stay dead! It silences debate, it does not encourage it.

Friday, November 07, 2008 10:48:00 pm  
Blogger WC said...

"...but wouldn't libtalk stations also be required to run conservatives?"

That's what I want to know. They how can they defend forcing conservative media to do such and such without letting us be on NBC, CBS, ABC, the NYT, LA Times and the Wahington Post?

If not, it would make them look real silly - even fascist.

Ooops.

Right?

Friday, November 07, 2008 10:51:00 pm  
Blogger Damien said...

WC,

I can almost guarantee you there would be some kind of double standard, after all how do you decide what exactly is controversial.

Friday, November 07, 2008 10:55:00 pm  
Blogger Epaminondas said...

Damien you are right... if this is done by FCC fiat, and decisions station by station, and IF IT WORKS OUT THAT WAY... BLOG BY BLOG, each situation would require mobilization. It would never happen.

We need to repeal the law that chartered the FCC, and redo it, otherwise this will always lurk out there EITHER WAY

Friday, November 07, 2008 10:59:00 pm  
Anonymous revereridesagain said...

What I'm hearing on local talk radio is that conservative stations will not be able to handle the required free air time and will change formats. Libtalk radio doesn't attract much of an audience anyway, so the emphasis is mainly on getting rid of the Right. I'm sure this is not the only method they will think up to curtail freedom of speech.

BTW, Walid Phares is back after several hours of a message that his domain name had expired. Interesting.

I was encouraged today by two different customers buying "Atlas Shrugged" directly related to the current situation. It doesn't make up for King Hussein's mug being on every magazine in the place, but it's a glimmer of, er, hope.

Saturday, November 08, 2008 1:55:00 am  
Blogger Damien said...

revereridesagain,

King Hussein? Are you talking about Obama?

Saturday, November 08, 2008 1:59:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the ways the liberal media will evade any intrusion of conservative views will involve interpretting what is to be considered 'conservative'.

It's all a matter of interpretation. If Obama succeeds in appointing equally extreme leftist candidates in key positions and - as Pamela Geller at Atlas suggests the ulterior motives of the "Obama/Biden Transition Project"
Called the "Obama/Biden Transition Project," it is a 501(c)4 tax-exempt organization, with no limits on the contributions it can receive and no requirements to divulge the names of individuals or organizations that give it money.
As well, the nonprofit may also serve as a haven for Obama supporters and campaign loyalists who for one reason or another can't be employed by the Administration or in the federal government. "There are some people who have been with us from the beginning who are clearly political liabilities or who won't be able to qualify for a job, say, because they can't get a security clearance," says another aide, who was unaware of the unique Obama transition project's tax status.

Saturday, November 08, 2008 3:12:00 am  
Blogger Lassetjus said...

Obama Does Not Support Return of Fairness Doctrine

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/CA6573406.html

Sunday, November 09, 2008 3:40:00 am  
Blogger Damien said...

Lassetjus,

Here's the link you posted.

Although I'm no fan of Obama and I don't trust him, I hope he is telling the truth when he says he doesn't want to bring back the fairness doctrine. If so, It could make things a lot easier on us. However, Obama is a politician and he could have simply been telling his constituents what he thought they wanted to hear.

Sunday, November 09, 2008 6:30:00 am  

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