Time to stop the blame game and concentrate on real solutions: if we ONLY knew what they are ...

THE DEMOCRAT PLAN TO HUSH RUSH TURNS TO GOLD ... for everybody but the citizens of the United States

By now your e-mail inbox will have been filled with solicitations to preserve the First Amendment rights of broadcasters against the evil machinations of the far-left liberal wing of the democrat party.

As if these First Amendment rights guaranteeing the right of political free speech were not already guaranteed by the United States Constitution.

As if these multi-million dollar broadcasting operations did not have a multitude of lawyers and lobbyists to protect their private interests and profitable advertising streams.

As if these major broadcasters were not paying conservative radio hosts tens, and in some cases, hundreds of millions of dollars to attract a large audience which can be sold to advertisers.

And, as if, any one of the major hosts, possibly in a group effort, could not fund their own campaign to protect their own rights.

What is the threat?

Listening to the top conservative radio hosts across the nation, there is a conspiracy between the Obama Administration-elect and Congress to curtail the impudent effects of politically conservative talk radio for the purposes of muzzling dissent in America.  In effect, silencing the loyal opposition who claims to “speak truth to power” and thus fulfill the role of the fourth estate. However, we are not speaking of authentic journalists or news organizations, we are speaking about commentators who speak their mind on various subjects. Thus further extending the free speech issue beyond the realm of provable facts to the absolutely protected realm of political free speech and opinion.

The details?

Since the actual rules and/or legislation has not been presented, a full analysis of the situation is impossible. But it is easy to speculate on the nature of the beast when one considers historical precedent.

First of all, the proposed legislation will not be crafted as a “fairness doctrine.” That term has already been used and carries an extremely negative connotation.

Second, it is unlikely that legislation will be crafted initially, preferring to use the Administration’s rule making ability which would allow an agency to promote rules and regulations to accomplish the same effect as Congressionally-mandated legislation which needs to be signed into law by the President and withstand an eventual  Supreme Court challenge.

Third, the method of breaking up the dominion of the large syndicated conservative radio hosts is simply to change the way broadcasters present programming. Using a theory known as “locality",” each broadcaster would need to satisfy their local audience's requirements for localized programming. Since, by its very nature, syndicated talk radio does not present a “localized,” the prime-time hours of programming could not be used to satisfy the new “locality” requirements and thus put a station’s license at risk during the renewal process.

What’s the game?

For the democrats, it is a matter of silencing an extremely loud audience of both observant individuals and those who are willing to exploit any hint of political corruption, malfeasance, cronyism, incompetence for their own advantage.

For members of Congress, it may be a matter of continuing their legalized extortion of funds from American business by requiring lobbyists bearing campaign funds and other goodies to shower legalized bribes upon political parties and their candidates. Since both sides of the aisle engage in this despicable behavior, the special interests seem to always trump the average citizen.

For the mainstream media, anything which diminishes the impact of talk radio or the Internet, is looked upon as being somewhat beneficial in restoring their lost audience and their relevancy as purveyors of news, style and taste. Of course, we know that there is no way to un-ring the bell and restore immediacy to news reporting – or fit thoughtful, detailed analysis within a fifteen minute segment of a regularly broadcast show.

And for those who are activists, think tanks and/or lobbying organizations, it is a chance to further milk the hardworking taxpayer for money to protect the rights that they currently enjoy.

Bottom line: why should politicians, of any stripe, be allowed to mandate what we hear and see when it comes to political speech.

The role of pornography …

The most used rationale for controlling our airwaves has always been obscenity and pornography. Something which does not seem to carrier over into the profitable cable television venues.

Pornography, while being roundly condemned by all, has been at the forefront of most technical change involving the video recorder/player and, most recently, the Internet. When you add up the dollars spent on supporting infrastructure – and most pornography traffic is carried by the major communications carriers, it becomes an economic vs. social issue – with the economics almost always outweighing the social.

The goal of most politicians is to criminalize so-called “sinful” behavior, not primarily to eradicate it, but to either tax it or drive it underground where it supports the large law enforcement and judicial infrastructure industry. Believe me, the last thing that government wants is a total cessation of crime that would attorneys, law enforcement and the judiciary. Attempt to actually control crime and it will be the trial attorneys who march to kill the legislation.

John Podesta and the devil …

For those who firmly believe that the devil is in the details, let me introduce you to a hyper-partisan Clintonista, John Podesta…

Podesta was the powerful White House Chief of Staff serving President Clinton from 1998 until 2001. When he was not angling for a position in the Obama Administration, he was serving as the President of the Center for American Progress, a self-described liberal Washington think tank which describes its mission as …

“a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all."

What makes Podesta dangerous to conservative talk radio is that he currently serves as one of the coordinators of President-elect Barack Obama's transition planning team which gives him enough influence to assist in the selection of hyper-partisan members of the Federal Communications Commission and who has materially supported a plan for curtailing the influence of conservative talk radio.

One primary research work product of the Center for American Progress was a report titled “The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio” which purported to use a scientific analysis in order to substantiate the report’s conclusions that the FCC consider:

  • Restoring local and national caps on the ownership of commercial radio stations.
  • Ensuring greater local accountability over radio licensing.
  • And requiring commercial owners who fail to abide by enforceable public interest obligations to pay a fee to support public broadcasting.

All which serve to dilute the power of major broadcasting companies which own radio stations. Notice, not one word about television stations which use the very same airwaves that are allegedly owned by the public, but whose spectrum is being auctioned off for the benefit of those who control the political process.

In addition, it is far easier to mount a license challenge with local partisans than it is to mount such a challenge to a corporation serving multiple municipalities.

And what’s this about funding public radio which can be proven to skew left and liberal? By all rights, the government should withdraw from supporting any broadcasting interests except those used to support national purposes like Radio Free America.

Other suggestions contained within the report include reducing the licensing period to fewer years in order to facilitate politically-motivated license challenges within a the timeframe of a major political campaign. 

All-in-all, this biased think piece is thought to be the center of the new push to curtail the impact of conservative talk radio on the electorate. And by no means is this research crafted in an impartial manner to be of benefit to the citizens of the United States.

It is ironic …

It is extremely ironic that the liberals who want to shut down conservative talk radio will fight for the artistic rights of those who use public funds to display a crucifix in a jar of urine or display a bullwhip protruding from a gay man’s rectum. These are the very same people who claim that burning our national flag is the very essence of protected political free speech and protest … and yet are afraid of the musings of a relatively few people who seem to resonate with the American people; perhaps because they point out the foibles of political charlatans and whose commonsense ideas are universally acceptable.

As a matter of note: had Presidential candidate John McCain adopted the pre-tested agenda proposed by Newt Gingrich and others, instead of trying to align himself with the moderate democrats, we would not be having this discussion about the curtailment of our free speech rights today. Oh well, there is another Congressional battle looming on the horizon in 201o … provided that the democrats do not manage to curtail political free speech in 2009.

What can YOU do?

Never allow your free speech rights to be compromised by limiting any segment of the broadcast spectrum to be controlled for political or commercial purposes. This also applies to the curtailing free speech on the Internet as well as all other media outlets.

Even if you agree with the politicians now in power, soon to assume power – there will always be another regime which you may, or may not, agree with. Allowing any regime to bend media or connectivity rules for their political self-interests is not in YOUR best interests and should be opposed with all appropriate measures and vigor.

Do not contribute to the self-serving money-spinning organizations that are using this cause to feather their own nests with large salaries, unlimited travel and more self-interest media attention. These are often the people who trade access for both power and money. Instead, let your elected officials know that their careers can be terminated by the people if they persist in muzzling any segment of the population with respect to political free speech.

Write to the Federal Communications Commission and tell them to leave political free speech alone ... and if they really want to do something useful continue to monitor the airwaves for interference and frequency deviations. And if they want to please the people with their silly little rules, let them outlaw "overlap" programming where some broadcasters do not adhere to the traditional "broadcast clock" and let their programs slightly overlap time bundaries to foil those, like myself, who like to TiVo their programs for convenience.

Read the United States Constitution and know your rights. We did not allow thousands of Americans to die in order to protect your rights which could be signed away by politicians with the stroke of a pen.

-- steve

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

Note: The "Hush Rush" reference refers to the fuzzy blob of common-sense, Rush Limbaugh as well as to the other prominent conservative commentators like Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Laura Ingram, Larry Elder,  Al Rantel and the ever-funny, ever-sarcastic Ann Coulter.

Reference Links:

John Podesta|Wikipedia 

The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio|Center for American Progress

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"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

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