Report: FCC staff meeting with Waxman aides about bringing back Fairness?

posted at 3:57 pm on February 16, 2009 by Allahpundit

Too juicy not to post, too sketchy to take very seriously. It’s the Prowler, guys. Caveat emptor.

Senior FCC staff working for acting Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps held meetings last week with policy and legislative advisers to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman to discuss ways the committee can create openings for the FCC to put in place a form of the “Fairness Doctrine” without actually calling it such.

Waxman is also interested, say sources, in looking at how the Internet is being used for content and free speech purposes. “It’s all about diversity in media,” says a House Energy staffer, familiar with the meetings. “Does one radio station or one station group control four of the five most powerful outlets in one community? Do four stations in one region carry Rush Limbaugh, and nothing else during the same time slot? Does one heavily trafficked Internet site present one side of an issue and not link to sites that present alternative views? These are some of the questions the chairman is thinking about right now, and we are going to have an FCC that will finally have the people in place to answer them.”…

“This isn’t just about Limbaugh or a local radio host most of us haven’t heard about,” says Democrat committee member. “The FCC and state and local governments also have oversight over the Internet lines and the cable and telecom companies that operate them. We want to get alternative views on radio and TV, but we also want to makes sure those alternative views are read, heard and seen online, which is becoming increasingly video and audio driven. Thanks to the stimulus package, we’ve established that broadband networks — the Internet — are critical, national infrastructure. We think that gives us an opening to look at what runs over that critical infrastructure.

Unusually menacing, fluidly articulate quotes from anonymous Democrats are a hallmark of Prowler items, especially those having to do with the Fairness Doctrine, but there’s a grain of plausibility here. FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, a Bush appointee, warned last summer that if the left took a run at bringing back Fairness, the ‘Net would be on their radar. The basic line of attack described in the quote, i.e. “localism,” is also familiar as a favored lefty strategy for sneaking in Fairness without calling it Fairness. The Center for American Progress hailed it in its 2007 report on how to “reform” talk radio and Boehner sent a letter to the FCC opposing it last year (scroll down to the last update). The one bit of good news? The public’s enthusiasm for reinstituting the doctrine has cooled since last year, according to a new poll from Rasmussen. A near-majority now oppose it, marking a sharp shift in just six months. I don’t know how to explain that except to chalk it up to the public’s wariness of one-party control, but at least we stand a chance of defeating it if The One lurches in this direction.

Exit question: If the FCC imposes it on the Net, which lefty should Hot Air hire to ensure “Fairness”?


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Herein lies the real problem. The country is facing a severe financial crisis and brain dead idiots like Waxman and his fellow leftist fools in the congress are wallowing in trivia. This once great nation is sick and on the fast track to total destruction. Go ahead Waxman, act like the slimy slug you are and waste our time and money on this vengeful crap.

rplat on February 17, 2009 at 9:00 AM

I find it ironic that the first black president has such an abysmal disregard for civil rights. Free speech rights, firearm rights ARE civil rights.

From the 14th Amendment: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Bludgeon on February 17, 2009 at 9:06 AM

Once again.
“Fairness” or even the appearance of it, or how it would be implemented are not the issues.
What these scoundrels want is CONTROL.
Laws to enable the suppression of opposition to and criticism of their administration and interests.
That’s it, that’s all.

PaddyJ on February 17, 2009 at 9:09 AM

Any lefty will do, right? Hire Specter or Collins.

Done That on February 17, 2009 at 9:12 AM

It will be interesting to see if the fairness doctrine is actually pushed-I, for one, think Michael Savage, Rush and others would have a field day with this, both on air and in court. this might be the hot button issue to push American conservatives over the edge.

ptylenda on February 17, 2009 at 9:19 AM

If the FCC imposes it on the Net, which lefty should Hot Air hire to ensure “Fairness”?

Tammy Bruce, she is still a registered Democrat…

right2bright on February 17, 2009 at 10:08 AM

I believe the article is right in that some of the administration want to push “The Fairness Doctrine”, but even with the deck stacked against them (conservatives) it would be hard to pass as written. What I believe will happen is something called “localism”. This is where they would frame the law so that most of the air time, on radio only of course, must be devoted to local events. This eliminates all of the syndicated programs like Beck, Hannity, O’reilly etc. while keeping the appearance of fairness for everyone.

I think Obama will probably be the worst president in quite some time, but I don’t think he is stupid. I do think he is extremely cunning, sly, and manipulative. He wants to ensure his brand of “Hope and Change” never appears as heavy-handed politics.

txaggie on February 17, 2009 at 10:16 AM

After they silence us, they’ll do the next step. But this poll is interesting….and related I think to the road we’re headed down…..

I only hope this is a reflection of the country as a whole. Dream, dream, dream….

OwlorNothing on February 17, 2009 at 10:30 AM

Better exit question. Who’s the Daily Kos going to hire to ensure “fairness”?

ExSubNuke on February 17, 2009 at 10:30 AM

this might be the hot button issue to push American conservatives over the edge.

ptylenda on February 17, 2009 at 9:19 AM

I’d like to believe that

but…

Outrage after outrage comes down the pike, and yet:

Talk radio people just talk.

People on blogs and forums just post pithy comments.

No plans for rallies, marches, demonstrations, tax revolts of any kind. No action plan from any conservative groups on how to strike back at the socialists via boycotts, letter campaigns, whatever.

Right now everyone here…everyone…is just whistling past the graveyard.

Face it, the conservative “movement” if it can be called that presently, has no leader, no coordination, no solid agenda to get behind. exhuming Reagan from the grave time and again and reminiscing about the good old days is not helping. The liberals have us on the run, and they know it. And they are going to keep beating us down until someone draws a line in the sand and says “No farther will you go” You have to stand up to a bully, or they just keep rolling you.

At this point I believe the ideologies have grown so partisan and far apart as to be completely exclusive of the other. There are 2 visions in this country of what America should be and they are simply not compatible. Unless some earth shattering event occurs that forces everyone to pull together for mutual safety I see internal conflict looming large in this countries future. Even if Obama and the Democrat congress are removed in the next elections, the rancorous partisanship will just ratchet up another notch as it switches sides. It’s like a death spiral that we have no control over.

And before someone posts “Why aren’t you doing something then”, to be blunt I know my role and I’m not an organizer nor a leader. I’m a follower.

Somebody for gods sake give me something worth following.

Sugarbuzz on February 17, 2009 at 10:40 AM

I want a fair and balanced White House press corps!!!!
Who should balance out Helen Thomas? Ann Coulter?

terryannonline on February 16, 2009 at 4:18 PM

Can you imagine if they let those two sit together? The elbowing (sp?) would never end…after all, Ann has long arms. Naaah, they would sit Ann back in China.

ProudPalinFan on February 17, 2009 at 10:45 AM

I go for the Cryptkeeper!!!

ProudPalinFan on February 17, 2009 at 10:46 AM

http://www.moonbattery.com/archives/Henry_Waxman.jpg the Waxman Photo of all Waxman Photos.

bloggless on February 16, 2009 at 4:34 PM

Yowza! Now I am going to go rinse my eyes with a bottle of Clorox.

tru2tx on February 16, 2009 at 4:45 PM

OOOhhhh!!! I call him “The Who” (as in Dr. Seuss’ books).

ProudPalinFan on February 17, 2009 at 10:55 AM

Here’s what I’m thinking. If the leftist fascists pursue this in any way it’s going to start a severe backlash unlike any we’ve seen in my generation. I’ve never seen one political party in our two-party system try to blatantly silence the opposition. Obagonga seriously can’t be this stupid to want to go down in history as America’s first banana-republic tyrant, but if so, time to roll people.

And for the record, we all know conservative talk radio comes with gobs of revenue, hence the fascist’s egregious jealousy over it. The advertiser’s cashflow will follow these conservative radio heroes wherever they will go, be it the internet, podcasts, print media, cable, the barren reaches of the Australian outback etc so I fear not their voices being extinguished for too long.

Sorry fascist libs, simple fact of life in America: Statistics show the average person would rather tweeze their eyeslashes off than be subjected to a liberal talk radio show. Just look up what happened to Obama Radio. LOL

RepubChica on February 17, 2009 at 10:57 AM

Radio is fair enough as it is. Anyone who can raise $25,000* per minute in sponsorship gets all the coverage they want. Those who cannot entertain their audience and generate sponsors cannot stay on the radio.

* actual prices vary by region

bOB4094 on February 17, 2009 at 11:03 AM

Sugarbuzz…post of the year.

OwlorNothing on February 17, 2009 at 11:03 AM

I want to balance out keith olbermann!!!

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on February 17, 2009 at 11:10 AM

Has anyone checked on the canary? Somehow I think he may be horizontal.

Fuquay Steve on February 17, 2009 at 11:13 AM

Exit question: If the FCC imposes it on the Net, which lefty should Hot Air hire to ensure “Fairness”?

None. Go down fighting.

Akzed on February 17, 2009 at 11:13 AM

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST

???

Akzed on February 17, 2009 at 11:15 AM

Can anyone imagine a group of more shifty, hypocritical partisans?

marklmail on February 17, 2009 at 11:23 AM

The GOP should’ve gotten rid of the FCC when they had power. It’s going to come back to bite them lol. Why did the GOP bother with pragmatism when they had power of all of government? Here’s the reason. They’re fake proponents of free markets. They’re just corporatsts that want votes. Seems like they always go back to the Libertarian Party line once they lose power.

Libertarian Joseph on February 17, 2009 at 11:26 AM

I think hot Air should have Al Sharpton as their fairness. Might as well make it amusing.

ORconservative on February 17, 2009 at 11:44 AM

They are already doing it here in Maine. the one FM radio station that carried a local morning show that blasted the maine GOV. plus it had rush, savage, ingrham. one day the station was gone this past fall with no explanation. and a sports radio was in its place. A new radio station just pop up the voice of maine but it is not near a conservitive as the other one was.

tengger on February 17, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Exit question: If the FCC imposes it on the Net, which lefty should Hot Air hire to ensure “Fairness”?

Paging Dr. Powers?

Kid from Brooklyn on February 17, 2009 at 11:47 AM

Exit question: If the FCC imposes it on the Net, which lefty should Hot Air hire to ensure “Fairness”?

A committed leftist islamic thinker like Ayman al-Zawahri. His take on outreach cutting to the core of his critics would be most interesting.

Annar on February 17, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Liberalism cannot stand the light of day when an articulate conservative voice can be heard.

The libs have a commanding lead in the house and senate and they hold the White House. What are they afraid of?

Once despots gain power they immediately work to destroy the very engines that brought them to power.

Power, not freedom is thier goal.

The Rock on February 17, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Liberalism cannot stand the light of day when an articulate conservative voice can be heard.

Why even call it liberalism? They’re socialists.

Libertarian Joseph on February 17, 2009 at 11:59 AM

The “Fairness Doctrine” is electronic book burning by Democrats.

The Mighty Quinn on February 17, 2009 at 12:14 PM

“For those of you who have doubted me and my alarmist view in the past… I’m waiting for my apology. The day IS HERE. The radical are now at the door to the Constitution.

Who is ready to fight? Who has now seen the light? No longer is it IF they will kill our voice, it’s WHEN.”

Mark,

What can we do? Most of us are just hard working Americans who are trying to raise our families. Many of us try to practice our rights to free speech and religion in peace. I am as appalled as you are that the leftists are taking over the entire country. They have been doing this little by little for years. Now that they have power over both houses, the executive, and most of the courts, they don’t want to lose their power so they are trying to silence their opposition (aka. us). So, what can we do? I feel helpless to do anything. Apparently the government do not care what are views are on any of this (the pork bill, etc). We are the ones that are to be controlled.

I see similarities in how these leftists are acting in the government to how they have been acting in the universities, schools, media, and sadly the Church. Within my own church, many leftists have taken over the dioceses, the schools, and many of them are sadly bishops. They use the same tactics everywhere they go..take control and silence any opposition with NO regard to the views of the people that they control. We are nothing to them.

What are your suggestions? What can we do to stop this naked usurpation of power by the leftists?

rapunzel77 on February 17, 2009 at 12:41 PM

“FAIRNESS DOCTRINE” MOTTO: “Talk is sheep!”

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on February 17, 2009 at 1:03 PM

We want to get alternative views on radio and TV, but we also want to makes sure those alternative views are read, heard and seen online…

.
What does this mean? Are we going to be tested to see who really read what? This is a far cry from “Congress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. I guess I missed the clause that said “except to insure fairness.” But then again Liberals live in Hope.

Fred 2 on February 17, 2009 at 1:52 PM

What does this mean? Are we going to be tested to see who really read what? This is a far cry from “Congress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. I guess I missed the clause that said “except to insure fairness.” But then again Liberals live in Hope.

Fred 2 on February 17, 2009 at 1:52 PM

Our once great Constitution… D.O.A.!

And here we sit, watching it be shreaded!

Mark Garnett on February 17, 2009 at 2:13 PM

Let them pass their Fascist Doctrine. When Conservatives take Washington back we will then be able to kick out ALL of the socialist propaganda shows/sites under the heading of Un-American Activities.

DannoJyd on February 17, 2009 at 2:59 PM

Why should conservative talk radio be punished just because NO ONE wants to listen to a Liberal whine all day long?

TN Mom on February 17, 2009 at 4:20 PM

Cut the balls off Ann Coulter. They should do the same to Rush, Hannity, O’Reilly and the rest of the right wing circus freaks but right wing circus freaks unfortunately lack balls to cut off.

booyah on February 17, 2009 at 7:54 PM

I don’t believe that they will be able to hold this back if it comes to censorship. There are too many people wired in and armed and all of the older gun owners have seen the stealth BS gun tactics in other countries. You start tromping on gun owners and radio and there will be Unintended Consequences by John Ross. A good book that should be read by all.

GunRunner on February 17, 2009 at 9:29 PM

This is b.s.! We need to get more conservative thought on the internet if this u.n.-fairness doctine is ever put in place. Oh, wait. If that happens then the internet fairness doctine will be next…
(I am so exited btw. I called and got on the Michael Savage show today. It made my year!!!!)

Daniel-o-Hawaii on February 17, 2009 at 11:00 PM

Edit. Doctrine.

Daniel-o-Hawaii on February 17, 2009 at 11:01 PM

On exit question – Senator Specter will be looking for a job in two years.

This fairness doctrine on the internet isn’t going to happen unless better tube technology is in the porkulus package. I’ll part with a quote from ex-Senator Stevens on speaking of the internet. Quote from wikipedia.

“Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got…an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday. I got it yesterday [Tuesday]. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially.
[...] They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It’s not a big truck. It’s a series of tubes. And if you don’t understand, those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it’s going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.”

disillusioned on February 18, 2009 at 12:38 AM

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