Obama’s blitzkrieg against the Constitution has broadened to include an assault on talk radio and the Internet to silence radio critics and growing opposition organized on the Internet from the tea party movement.
It also appears that the Obama administration is contemplating bailing out failing newspapers and through such bailouts selecting executives and members of the boards of directors of newspaper publishing companies, implying the kind of permanent government control that we are seeing now in some of the banks and in the auto industry.
Talk radio and the Internet are preparing to fight back.
A small group of talk hosts, show producers, and business people from radio and the Internet gathered in Washington, D.C., this weekend to form a broad-based coalition to fight for the right to speak out and for the right of Americans to listen and to participate. I was unanimously selected chairman of this new “Don’t Touch My Dial” coalition.
In the coming days and weeks, this coalition will reach out to all who want to fight to preserve First Amendment freedoms on the radio and on the Internet.
Here’s what alarmed the coalition organizers to the extent that they put aside normal competitive attitudes and rivalries. Last week the Obama administration confirmed the worst fears of talk radio by appointing Henry Rivera chairman of the FCC’s “Advisory Committee on Diversity for Communications in the Digital Age.”
Rivera was the 1980s FCC commissioner who championed the “Fairness Doctrine.” President Reagan replaced him on the FCC to get a majority to repeal the “Fairness Doctrine” and usher in the talk radio era, which has given conservative Americans for the first time a media outlet with real clout.
During the transition, Rivera was active in promoting Julius Genachowski as Obama’s nomination to give the Democrats a 3-2 majority on the FCC.
Already circulating are draft FCC regulations first proposed in February 2008 to impose “localism” and “media ownership diversity” on talk radio.
The concept of localism would require government-mandated community advisory boards, which would co-manage talk radio stations and whose membership would be composed of leftist community organizers. To further intimidate conservative radio, license renewal fights would be mounted under the guise of “diversity” of ownership to break up Clear Channel and other radio station ownership.
Under the guise of “cyberspace security,” Sens. Rockefeller, Snowe and Nelson have introduced S.773 which would, critics say, give the federal government control over the Internet including, under emergency conditions, the right of the president to shut down the whole Internet or, sites on it, including the interruption of e-mail.
More details on these moves to stifle free speech and what the new coalition intends to do about them will be available later in the week at DontTouchMyDial.com.
We invite your feedback and participation in this defense of our basic freedom to speak, be heard, and write.