It appears the leftist group “Media Action Center” Lost it bid to stifle free speech by using the Zapple doctrine to back door the Fairness Doctrine back into existence. In her blog post Sue Wilson (the founder of Media Action Center) made the claim that I did not know the FCC rules.

 WI Broadcasters Assn knows the rules, don’t you? (1+ / 0-)

See pages 5 and 6.

http://www.gklaw.com/…

By the way, I have been a broadcaster – a NEWS broadcaster since 1987.  Emmy’s, AP, RTNDA awards…  I do get things right.

by Sue Wilson on Mon May 21, 2012 at 03:51:16 PM PDT

To Which I responded.

You conveniently ignore the fact that on page four (of your document)  section C  The equal opportunities requirement applies to “legally qualified candidates”   and section D that only opposing candidates are afforded equal time.

In another blog post Mz Wilson was forced to admit that I was in fact correct.

 [new]  Section 315 A Communications Act (3+ / 0-)

This law does say equal time for major party candidates only.  I disagree with that law, but for now, if I can at least get the Democrats represented on radio in the 60 days before an election, rather than Republicans only, that’s a really good start.

by Sue Wilson on Fri Jun 01, 2012 at 01:33:31 PM PDT

But the attack on freedom of speech doesn’t end there.  The Empire has literally struck back with a petition campaign. Of course they make the socialist claim that the “Airwaves are government owned” with the following statement from the petition.

The Media Action Center (“MAC”) and local Milwaukee area residents and members of MAC Ray Grosch and Randall Bryce (declarations attached),oppose the renewal of the broadcast license of station WISN-AM  (“Station”) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,  because existing management is failing to serve the public interest in the community, and is using the publicly owned airwaves with political intent which violates existing FCC rules.  Renewal of said license would detrimentally and irreparably harm the public.

Of course that statement is patently false.  It is true that like many industries Radio is heavily regulated, regulation does not mean ownership!  The vast majority of the regulations are in effect to keep stations from interfering with each other or putting up an even larger transmitter that would overpower smaller stations.  The fact that the Fairness Doctrine was found unconstitutional shows that the government does not have control over content.

How is it that these programs can take political positions without triggering requirements that opposing candidates get equal time? Under FCC rules, unless a candidate’ recognizable voice or image is broadcast by a station, there is no right to equal opportunities. In the past, until the FCC abolished the Fairness Doctrine by declaring it to be unconstitutional, even without a candidate appearance, the station would have had an obligation to give both sides of a controversial issue of public importance, such as an election, free time to respond to on-air statements by an announcer. When the doctrine was abolished, stations were free to air pointed programs taking positions on issues, giving rise initially principally to the conservative commentators, and more recently to their more liberal counterparts such as those heard on Air America radio.

The abolition of the Fairness Doctrine also allowed broadcasters to editorialize, even endorsing candidates for political office without having to give the opponent of their favored candidate equal time, just like print media can do.

In the petition Sue makes the following argument.

According to the FCC, programs must meet three tests to be considered “bonafide news.”  The program must be regularly scheduled, producers must be in control of guests and content, and the program must be non-partisan, not supporting any candidates.

As I pointed out in a previous blog post she is yet again dead wrong. She as most leftist claim to support the “First Amendment” ignore and bastardize it’s intent.

First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or 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.

By dictating content they are infringing on the rights of the broadcasters right to free speech and the freedom of the press. As pointed out earlier print media has always had the right to endorse a candidate and it is worth repeating.

The abolition of the Fairness Doctrine also allowed broadcasters to editorialize, even endorsing candidates for political office without having to give the opponent of their favored candidate equal time, just like print media can do.

The “First Amendment” prohibits the federal government from interfering with the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press. Compelled speech is just as much an infringement as much as a denial of speech. Here is Judge Andrew Nepolitano’s take on it.

On the other hand, if our rights come from our humanity and our humanity is a gift from God, then we would still enjoy the freedom of speech, whether it is insulated from government interference by the First Amendment or not. The wording of the First Amendment itself gives us a peek at what its authors thought. They wrote: “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.” It doesn’t say that Congress shall grant freedom of speech; rather, it prohibits Congress from interfering with it. And by referring to free speech as the freedom of speech, the drafters recognized that the freedom of speech already existed before the country that they were founding even came to be.

Of course Sue like all leftist concentrated on the “Scott Walker recall” ignoring the fact that Obama won the election proving that Conservative radio does not have the negative impact that they claim.  They just did not make their case to the public through their outlets.  Their Hypocrisy is also apparent in the fact that they do not hold left wing talk radio to the same standard. Ed Schultz was camped out in Wisconsin pushing for the leftist agenda.

Yet another “Progressive blogger” used similar arguments.

In a statement to Badger Democracy, Democratic Party spokesman Graeme Zielinski raised grave concern over this practice:

If it is not illegal it certainly is unethical for these broadcast corporations to be providing propaganda support in a scheme straight out of the Kremlin’s playbook. The employers at WTMJ and the other stations should explain how they are independent of the Walker administration and how their hours and hours of slavishly positive-and now, we see, coordinated-coverage fits within their own ethical guidelines and the rules and laws of Wisconsin and the United States.
The idea that the government can so directly control broadcasters who use public airwaves represents a major crisis for Wisconsin journalism.
A fellow member of “Media Action Center” Andrew defended Sue with the following comment.

AndrewR
Jun 14, 2012 @ 03:59:43 [Edit]

I seriously doubt that.
a) Even during the election cycles, the shows are free to be as partisan and one-sided as always whenever the topic is not about that current election.
b) How could constructive debate of both sides put them out of business? In fact, some of the most exciting and entertaining radio is when both sides are allowed to hash it out together. Why is WISN and WTMJ so afraid of that?
Progressive talk shows already have plenty of conservative guests on for debate. Take for example, http://www.thomhartmann.com/
3 million+ listeners tune in to hear him debate multiple conservative guests on almost every show. Why can’t Belling, Sykes, or McKenna do that?

Here is a classic example of Thom’s fair and balanced approach to Journalism.

Of course you don’t see Libertarians like me or even Conservatives calling for these shows taken off the air.  But then you don’t see any of us using class warfare,gender warfare or race baiting to make our case.  But there are warnings from the past on those that do.

Of course it is not only free speech that these “Progressives” are going after.  Your privacy is at stake.

A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans’ e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law.

CNET has learned that Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, has dramatically reshaped his legislation in response to law enforcement concerns. A vote on his bill, which now authorizes warrantless access to Americans’ e-mail, is scheduled for next week.

Leahy’s rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission — to access Americans’ e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge.

Revised bill highlights

✭ Grants warrantless access to Americans’ electronic correspondence to over 22 federal agencies. Only a subpoena is required, not a search warrant signed by a judge based on probable cause.

✭ Permits state and local law enforcement to warrantlessly access Americans’ correspondence stored on systems not offered “to the public,” including university networks.

✭ Authorizes any law enforcement agency to access accounts without a warrant — or subsequent court review — if they claim “emergency” situations exist.

✭ Says providers “shall notify” law enforcement in advance of any plans to tell their customers that they’ve been the target of a warrant, order, or subpoena.

✭ Delays notification of customers whose accounts have been accessed from 3 days to “10 business days.” This notification can be postponed by up to 360 days.

Update

I have frequently pointed out in the past that no one listens to liberal radio, that’s why Air America failed!  They were both in the progressive areas of Wisconsin and Milwaukee and yet they failed.  Freedom of choice dictates that if you don’t like the content you simply change the dial!

Rush put it eloquently.

RUSH:  All right, a couple more little blurbs here.  Sacramento Bee, Sue Wilson: “Considering a 2003 Gallup poll showing that 22 percent of Americans get their information from talk radio, we’re not just talking about what is fair play; we are talking about a threat to the democracy we hold dear.”  Lib talk radio dying. Lib talk radio “has been taken off the air in Boston; Fresno; San Diego; Madison, Wis.; Eugene, Ore.; Austin, Texas; New Haven, Conn.; Columbus, Ohio and other markets all across the country,” because it failed, because it got no listeners.  But yet there’s this 2003 Gallup poll showing that “22% of Americans get their information from talk radio.  We’re not just talking about what’s fair play.

He also said;

Let me answer your question, Sue. Corporate dollars are not the sole arbiter of what information you the people get to hear on publicly owned airwaves. Your little lib station, your little lib programming has had a couple of opportunities in Sacramento. Nobody wanted to listen to it. Corporations are not required to lose money in order to present a point of view and in such a way that irritates people just so there is so-called fairness.

 

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