Why Doesn’t Obama Favor the Fairness Doctrine? I don’t have any Good News to report

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Why doesn’t Obama favor the Fairness Doctrine? It’s because he has something worse in mind.

The basic theory behind the Fairness Doctrine is fairness. That’s obvious. Theoretically the expression of liberal ideas would be balanced with the expression of conservative ones, and this would impact overwhelmingly leftist broadcast television, PBS, and NPR just as strongly as the right-leaning AM band and its political talk radio. Fairness is not what Obama is after. He is a community organizer and rabble-rousing lawyer first, and his intent is that those who don’t own radio stations, the “have-nots,” should be given a controlling role in radio stations they don’t work for, invest in, advertise on, or even listen to. Will such “have-nots” prioritize a radio station’s listeners, advertisers, or its financial well-being? Or will they be interested in extorting what plunder they can from the station in return for refraining from mischief? Jim Boulet, Jr. wrote about this problem, which is called “localism,” at American Thinker. Follow along.

The head of the Obama transition team is John Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress.

In 2007, the Center for American Progress issued a report, The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio. This report complained that there was too much conservative talk on the radio because of “the absence of localism in American radio markets” and urged the FCC to “[e]nsure greater local accountability over radio licensing.

Podesta’s choice as head of the Federal Communications Commission‘s transition team is Henry Rivera.

Since 1994, Rivera has been chairman of the Minority Media Telecommunications Council. This organization has specific ideas about localism:

In other words, it would not do for broadcasters to meet with the business leaders whose companies advertise on their station.  Broadcasters must reach beyond the business sector and look for leaders in the civic, religious, and non-profit sectors that regularly serve the needs of the community, particularly the needs of minority groups that are typically poorly served by the broadcasting industry as a whole.

Rivera’s law firm is also the former home of Kevin Martin, the current FCC chairman. Martin is himself an advocate of more stringent localism requirements.

It was on Martin’s watch that on January 24, 2008, the FCC released its proposed localism regulations. According to TVNewsday: “At the NAB radio show two weeks ago, Martin said that he wanted to take action on localism this year and invited broadcasters to negotiate requirements with him.”

I’ll stop there, but you should read the whole thing.

The intent of ‘localism’ is to use onerous regulations and the strong-arm of the law to drive all radio further left, or out of business, not to make it fair. It is an assault on the First Amendment even more severe than the Orwellian ‘Fairness Doctrine.’ Faced with this sort of strong-arm attack, Conservatives such as you and I may end up being the ones who cry out for a Fairness Doctrine to save our radio.

These promise to be interesting times, and not in a good way. I hope and pray I am wrong about this, but I fear that freedoms we hold dear are in peril.


Trackposted to third world county, Allie is Wired, Faultline USA, The Random Yak, Political Byline, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Leaning Straight Up, CORSARI D’ITALIA, Democrat=Socialist, L.O.M.A., and Conservative Cat, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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Google Eyed Magritte

Google’s oddball choices of “holiday” logos have reached a new height of surreality. Though they famously almost never memorialize Easter or Columbus Day (the last Easter was in 2000, the last Columbus Day never), they did celebrate the birthdays of Marc Chagall, Diego Velazquez, Walter Gropius, Alexander Graham Bell, and the LEGO brick this year. And every year they celebrate the Persian New Year, Earth Day, and Saint Patrick’s Day. Today, which is almost over, was the birthday of Rene Magritte, famous for his painting of a man in a bowler hat with an apple floating in front of his face.

Apparently, Rene “This is not a Pipe” Magritte is more worthy of a customized Google logo than other birthday boys and girls Doctor John, Coleman Hawkins, Pope Benedict XV, Stan Musial, Francois Voltaire, Earl “the Pearl” Monroe, Harold Ramis, Goldie Hawn, Bjork, Lorna Luft, or Tina Brown. Likewise he is more worthy of note than Franz Josef, the penultimate Emperor of Austria who died on this date in 1916, or the Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

I’m not kidding. And I could go on. But I’ll get back to Magritte.

Magritte was a famous exponent of something called the surreal. In other words it’s something other than real: Fantasy, to use an old fashioned word.

Other Surrealists included Salvador Dali, Andre Breton, and Marcel Duchamp. They intermingled with the Dadaists, who were dedicated to the destruction of aesthetics and their replacement with vulgar, mundane artifacts on the theory that since the subjective impression of artistry and beauty was enough to transport some people into an aesthetic reverie, actual artistic skill was no longer relevant. All that was required of the artist was hype. And that’s where we stand now, with hype as the only thing that matters. Abstract expressionism is the classic example in painting. While 10,000 monkeys typing at 10,000 typewriters might never reproduce Shakespeare, three monkeys with a plentiful supply of paint could reproduce Jackson Pollack. Cut-up novels like the works of William Burroughs are quite simply semi-pornographic stories with minimal characterization with a bit of random rearrangement to make them seem sophisticated. And movies, once the quintessential American art-form, are no longer interesting. They are the money gathering thing that reaps the interest sown by brilliantly produced movie trailers and music videos, which are the new quintessential American art-form. And so it is with much in our society. The hype, the flash, the sizzle sells. But the steak is gristly and overdone. How many times do we have to be disappointed before we give up?

Thanks, Magritte! Thanks for nothing! And to Google, thanks for memorializing one of the gang who killed art and replaced it with Andy Warhol hype.


Trackposted to third world county, Allie is Wired, Faultline USA, The Random Yak, Political Byline, Pirate’s Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Leaning Straight Up, CORSARI D’ITALIA, Democrat=Socialist, L.O.M.A., and Conservative Cat, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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