MAC (Media Action Center) is crying the blues. Broadcast Blues that is. Sue Wilson (the founder) has been trying for years to silence Conservative Talk Radio. She even had an exchange with Top conservative Talker Rush Limbaugh who gave it to her in spades in SacBee Laments Right-Wing Talk Radio as a “Threat to Democracy”
So at least one conservative was willing to give her a voice. This Libertarian and life long broadcaster has had several exchanges with her including exchanges on my blog and her own. The thrust of her argument was that the airwaves were owned by the people aka the government, which I thoroughly trashed here. She also tried to backdoor the unconstitutional “Fairness Doctrine” through the “Zapple Doctrine” claiming that the editorializing done by the pundits in talk radio constituted free time for a conservative candidate. Of course she ignores the part of the first amendment guaranteeing freedom of the press and their right to editorialize and the fact that Zapple applies to the purchase of advertising not the content of a talk show host. In the latest post by MAC they all but said the above.
For the Zapple Doctrine to be invoked, the supporters of the opposing candidate would have to specifically ask the station for air time. If the station refused, the supporters could then appeal to the FCC, but no such Zapple complaint has been made in at least eight years. Therefore, there was no violation of the Zapple Doctrine by the stations here, and even if there were, that would not be a basis for the denial of a license renewal, since programming has nothing to do with licensing in the first place.(Emphasis mine)
Zapple was and is intended to allow supporters of a candidate to purchase equal time as an opposing candidate, not to be used as a tool do dictate content of a show!
She then goes on to whine.
Perhaps, sir, you have forgotten our telephone conversation last May about this matter. Perhaps you have forgotten that, on May 24th of this year, I emailed you documents entitled “Formal Complaint to FCC re WISN and WTMJ,” and “addendum: Formal Complaint to FCC re WISN and WTMJ” citing specific Zapple violations by the stations. Perhaps you have forgotten that you emailed me back, acknowledging receipt of said complaint.
Perhaps Sue you should again read the emphasised portion of their response. Shall I repeat it reeeeaaaal Slooow. “and even if there were, that would not be a basis for the denial of a license renewal, since programming has nothing to do with licensing in the first place.”
For them to dictate programming would be a violation of the first amendment and freedom of the press. Or do you need a primer on the first amendment too.
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.
As far a the stations serving the public, I would say the arbitron about sums it up. I do not have access to the Milwaukee arbitrons but if they are anything like Madison more people listen to conservative then liberal and that is not the fault of programming. I have said this repeatedly, this is sour grapes because no one wants to listen to progressive radio and because of that no stations want to carry it.