The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Obama Administration Reversing Itself on Government Censorship of Talk radio

Posted by iusbvision on February 16, 2009

They call ity the “Fairmness Doctrine or “Localism” – but in practice it is plain old fashioned censorship in spite of the Orwellian relabel. Democrats are being stupid with this. If they try and do it it is likely that the Supreme Court won’t stand for it. If on the slim chance that they do Republicans would have two options when they take power again: eliminate it or enforce it on MSNBC, NBC, CBS, CNN and ABC just to see how the Democrats like it. Without these networks covering for the Democrats and spreading propaganda for them as they did in the last campaign, they would have a much smaller chance at holding power again.

Back in the campaign….

Remember when the Left laughed at conservatives’ concerns over the Fairness Doctrine? Barack Obama already said he opposed the reimposition of the FCC rule, they said.  After all, Obama’s campaign gave this definitive statement in June 2008:

“Senator Obama does not support re-imposing the Fairness Doctrine on broadcasters,” said press secretary Michael Ortiz in an e-mail to B&C late Wednesday.

“He considers this debate to be a distraction from the conversation we should be having about opening up the airwaves and modern communications to as many diverse viewpoints as possible,” said Ortiz.


Today, Chris Wallace interviewed David Axelrod and asked him directly about the Fairness Doctrine — and suddenly the White House adviser got a lot less definitive:

WALLACE: Will you rule out reimposing the Fairness Doctrine?

AXELROD: I’m going to leave that issue to Julius Genachowski, our new head of the FCC, to, and the president, to discuss. So I don’t have an answer for you now.

That’s hardly a denial, as Politico’s Michael Calderone notes:

Lester Kinsolving, the conservative radio host, has twice asked Robert Gibbs about it in the briefing room, and each time, the press secretary didn’t reveal the administration’s position.

Last week, I reached out to press office staffers in order to find out if the administration’s position is the same as in June, and have not yet received a response.

Allahpundit at comments:

It’s an easy question.  Does this administration believe in free speech or government censorship?  Their sudden inability to provide a clear answer, when they had no problem giving such assurances eight months ago, does not bode well for the answer.

I’d like to say I told you so to all of those who accused us of paranoia, but the window on that ability to do so on the airwaves looks like it’s about to expire — like all of Obama’s campaign promises.

The American media should be ashamed of themselves on this issue.  They pose as the defenders of the First Amendment and free speech.  Why are Chris Wallace and Michael Calderone the only MSM people pursuing this?

Talk radio has a much larger audience than the TV networks. The “elites” at CBS and NBC can’t be happy about that. If talk radio is censored it will make talk radio’s ratings tank. No one will listen to it. The “MSM” thinks that their propaganda will become the default place for information after that.

Update:  Now they are back to saying no censorship. Was a nice trial balloon hugh Axelrod?

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