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U.S. News and Commentary



Tuesday
Aug252009

FCC Associate General Counsel appointment re-ignites Fairness Doctrine concerns

by Chris Carter


TUSR contributor Chris Carter is following issues related to Constitutional limits on government intrusion into freedom of speech. As we predicted, the Obama administration appears to ignore limits on government intrusion by appointing a "Chief Diversity Officer" who wants radio stations to pay more fees in the interest of diversity. A tax by any other name would stink the same.--The EditorsDemocrats continually tell America the Fairness Doctrine is dead. But if the threat of the return of government broadcast censorship was truly dead, there would be no need to keep reminding us.

The latest reminder that the threat of the Fairness Doctrine survives, or more accurately its intended result – the destruction of conservative and Christian talk radio—is the appointment of Mark Lloyd as the FCC's new Associate General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer. Prior to his appointment, Lloyd was a Senior Fellow with the Center for American Progress (CAP), a liberal think tank funded by far-left billionaire George Soros and others. Lloyd was also a broadcast journalist with NBC and CNN – adding another name to a long list of former journalists now working for President Barack Obama's administration.

A look into the past writings of Lloyd shows that he intends to use FCC regulations as a means to redistribute hundreds of millions of dollars from private broadcasters to public broadcasting. While at CAP, Lloyd wrote numerous reports on the Fairness Doctrine. One, The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio, introduces the Fairness Doctrine's 'Trojan Horse' of localism and diversity requirements, and was parroted by Barack Obama during his presidential campaign.

Lloyd wrote in the 2007 report that private broadcasters would be subjected to new regulations that if not met, or if the FCC “could not effectively regulate in the public interest,” would generate an estimated $100 to $250 million in fines.

But broadcasters shouldn't worry as Lloyd and his co-writers determined that the quarter of a billion dollars in fees “would not overly burden commercial radio broadcasters.”

In another CAP report, Forget the Fairness Doctrine, Lloyd rails against radio stations for refusing to carry “popular progressive hosts like Ed Shultz [sic].” Just days ago, this “popular progressive host” (who is so popular that Lloyd couldn't properly spell his name) insulted town hall protestors by calling them “old, angry, white, uneducated, misinformed Americans.” Lloyd also called Rush Limbaugh a “distortionist” and included in his report clever phrases such as “right-wing talk radio and their echo chambers in the conservative blogosphere and Fox News.”

Lloyd sounds more like a far-left blogger than someone who can be trusted with the preservation of our First Amendment rights.

According to CNSNews.com, Lloyd wrote in his 2006 book, 'Prologue to a Farce: Communications and Democracy in America,' that private broadcasting companies should be forced to pay licensing fees equal to their operating budget to public broadcasting in order to level the playing field between public and private stations. The fees Lloyd proposed would be in addition to the $400 million the Corporation for Public Broadcasting already receives from Congress each year.

“Federal and regional broadcast operations and local stations should be funded at levels commensurate with or above those spending levels at which commercial operations are funded,” wrote Lloyd. “This funding should come from license fees charged to commercial broadcasters.”

Harry Reid may call the Fairness Doctrine a “ghost,” and FCC commissioner Michael Copps may call Americans seeking to keep their first amendment rights intact “conspiracy theorists.” But as long as the Obama administration keeps appointing censorship-friendly bureaucrats like Mark Lloyd, the threat to conservative and Christian talk radio still looms large.

 Chris Carter is a regular contributor to The US Report.

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References (2)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Source
    Thanks in part to funding from benefactors such as billionaire George Soros, the Center for American Progress has become in just five years an intellectual wellspring for Democratic policy proposals, including many that are shaping the agenda of the new Obama administration.
  • Source
    On his MSNBC show this evening, Schultz branded people turning up at town halls as "dumber than Joe the Plumber." For good measure, he added a variation on the Washington Post's old canard about certain conservatives being "poor, undereducated, and easy to command."

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