The acting chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has told members of a “diversity” committee who almost exclusively represent left-leaning organizations to tackle the status quo in America’s broadcast industry and suggest “aggressive” solutions to what they see as problems.
According to The O’Leary Report, published by author Brad O’Leary, author of “Shut Up, America!: The End of Free Speech,” the FCC’s “Diversity Committee,” headed by “Fairness Doctrine,” supporter Henry Rivera, has begun its work.
The report said the committee made it clear at a meeting yesterday its members will force President Obama’s supporters into positions of power within the broadcast industry.
The message came when acting FCC chief Michael J. Copps “forcefully denounced the current racial and gender makeup of the broadcast industry and called its lack of diversity ‘a shameful state of affairs,'” the report said.
“Is it any wonder that minorities are so often stereotyped and caricatured and that the positive contributions of the minority community are so often overlooked?” Copps claimed, according to the report.
The members, who represent groups such as the National Urban League, the Asian American Justice Center and One World Economy, were told by Copps:
“Be bold. Take these issues and run with them. This is not a ceremonial appointment. This is your chance to make a real and lasting difference. I hope that you will set an aggressive agenda for yourselves and that you will not hesitate to propose aggressive solutions,” the report said.
WND reported earlier when the membership of the committee was named. It also was reported when a think tank headed by John Podesta, co-chairman of Obama’s transition team, mapped out a strategy in 2007 for clamping down on conservative talk radio by requiring stations to be operated by female and minority owners, which the report showed were statistically more likely to carry liberal political talk shows.
That report found the best strategy for getting equal time for “progressives” on radio lies in mandating “diversity of ownership” without ever needing to mention the former FCC policy of requiring airtime for liberal viewpoints, known as the “Fairness Doctrine,” a plan thrown out in the 1980s.
The mission of the new diversity committee, according to the FCC website, is to “make recommendations to the FCC regarding policies and practices that will further enhance the ability of minorities and women to participate in telecommunications and related industries.”
Seton Motley, director of communications for the Media Research Center, further commented on the lineup of 31 activists and media moguls chosen to form the committee.
“Not a single conservative organization is taking part in this commission,” Motley writes. “More than a dozen leftist groups are. A little ironic for a ‘diversity’ panel, is it not?”
At no time during the committee meeting was mention made of a recent Zogby poll that showed 66 percent of American voters opposed the creation of advisory committees designed to promote diversity in the broadcast industry.
Rivera’s statements were no less ominous than Copps’.
“The public is here and the press is here so you might want to keep that in mind as you formulate your thoughts,” he warned.
Nowhere was the process of selecting committee members explained, nor was there an explanation why conservative groups were not included.
But Rivera did confirm the committee now will begin making suggestions to the FCC on how broadcasters will be required to submit reports on the race and gender of individuals in their companies.
That will be a large part of what the “Diversity Committee” will analyze, Rivera said, with a “race-based rulemaking procedure” possibly in the offing, according to the report.
O’Leary’s book warns that the FCC also may look to shortening the broadcast license renewal period from eight years to two, forcing broadcasters to make immediate changes or jeopardize their license.
After the FCC abandoned the “Fairness Doctrine” in 1987, talk radio exploded from fewer than 150 stations nationwide to more than 3,000. But many of those stations carry popular syndicated programming from politically conservative hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, prompting some politicians to seek more “balance” on the airwaves.
As WND has reported, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has joined up with other influential Democrats, including former President Bill Clinton, Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa and Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, in calling for a resurrection of the so-called “Fairness Doctrine.”
And President Obama, while he has eschewed support for the “Fairness Doctrine” by name, has made statements in speeches and on the White House website that read as through they were taken directly from Podesta’s plan for using “diversity” to make radio more “fair.”
The full membership of the committee is listed below:
- Henry Rivera, Emma Bowen Foundation for Minority Interests in Media
- Rauï€ˆl Alarcï€ˆon, Jr., Spanish Broadcasting System
- Jenny Alonzo, Mio.TV
- James M. Assey, Jr., National Cable and Telecommunications Association
- Geoffrey C. Blackwell, Chickasaw Nation Industries, Inc.
- Matthew Blank, Showtime Networks
- Maria E. Brennan, American Women in Radio and Television
- Kathy Brown, Verizon
- Toni Cook Bush, Virgin Mobile
- Alan B. Davidson, Google, Inc.
- Ralph de la Vega, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets
- Steve Hillard, Council Tree Communications
- David Honig, Minority Media and Telecommunications Council
- Rodney Hood, National Credit Union Administration
- Ronald Johnson, Ronson Network Services
- Debra Lee, BET Holdings, Inc.
- Jane Mago, National Association of Broadcasters
- Robert Mendez, ABC Television Network
- Marc H. Morial, National Urban League
- Karen K. Narasaki, Asian American Justice Center
- Melissa Newman, Qwest
- Jake Oliver, Afro-American Newspapers
- Susan K. Patrick, Patrick Communications
- Lisa Pickrum, The RLJ Companies
- Rey Ramsey, One Economy Corporation
- Michael V. Roberts, Roberts Broadcasting Companies LLC
- Andrew Schwartzman, Media Access Project
- Anita Stephens Graham, Opportunity Capital Partners
- Diane Sutter, Shooting Star Broadcasting
- Charles Warfield, Inner City Broadcasting
- James Winston, National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters