It doesn't matter if it's Rush Limbaugh or the Ku Klux Klan, free speech exists for all. Take it from one person, and eventually it will be taken from all.
- The Loft -
Ever since the Democrats took control of Congress, they have sought to take control of talk radio... or to be more precise, conservative talk radio. You see... on radio, the market place (yes, left-wingers hate the "market place") has spoken, and people love conservative talk radio. Not only that, but they hate liberal talk radio.
There have been multiple attempts to revive the so-called "fairness doctrine" by the Democrats which would force radio stations to carry left-wing talk shows whether the listening audience wanted them or not. These attempts were met with enough resistance, that the Democrats stopped trying to overtly bring back the "fairness doctrine." However, that simply means they are trying covert methods instead... thus, the creation of America's new "diversity czar" at the FCC... and this guy is a real doozy.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter yesterday to Julius Genachowski, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In it, Grassley expressed his concerns over the appointment of Mark Lloyd as the commission's associate general counsel and chief diversity officer. The senator "is concerned with the appointment due to Lloyd's writings on political talk radio and the Fairness Doctrine."
"The appointment of Mark Lloyd to be the Associate General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer is at odds with assurances that the FCC would not reinstate the Fairness Doctrine that Mr. Genachowski made prior to his U.S. Senate confirmation," Grassley said. "I hope Mr. Genachowski stands by his word and reaffirms his commitment to me that the FCC won't be considering anything that accomplishes the goals of the Fairness Doctrine."
So, what is Mark Lloyd all about? As Grassley notes in his letter to the FCC chairman, Lloyd served as a Senior Fellow at the left-wing Center for American Progress. During his tenure, he helped author a paper titled The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio.
Lloyd and co-authors note, "Our analysis in the spring of 2007 of the 257 news/talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners reveals that 91 percent of the total weekday talk radio programming is conservative, and 9 percent is progressive." Progressive? Give me a break. Even they are too afraid to use the word "liberal." Here are a few more notes by Lloyd and company:
* Each weekday, 2,570 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk are broadcast on these stations compared to 254 hours of progressive talk—10 times as much conservative talk as progressive talk.
* A separate analysis of all of the news/talk stations in the top 10 radio markets reveals that 76 percent of the programming in these markets is conservative and 24 percent is progressive, although programming is more balanced in markets such as New York and Chicago.
Liberal (or progressive) talk radio has tried to gain an audience time and time again. People don't like it. They won't listen to it. And these radio stations can't make money during those time slots. So, the shows get canceled. Seems like a pretty simple formula, right?
Just look at the "remedy" for fixing the ills of conservative talk radio as proposed by Lloyd:
* Restore local and national caps on the ownership of commercial radio stations.
* Ensure greater local accountability over radio licensing.
* Require commercial owners who fail to abide by enforceable public interest obligations to pay a fee to support public broadcasting.
Pay a fee to support public broadcasting? This is absolutely crazy, but it shows the liberal mind in action. If the American public won't support left-wing ideas through the market place, then the American public will "support" them through government radio. Forcing radio owners to pay fines to support public radio if they don't abide by "public interest obligations" is scary. Doesn't the public decide what's in the public interest?
Lloyd wants to tax radio stations to the point of airing left-wing programs. This is the ultimate in government coercion! The liberals don't like the fact that the public prefers conservative talk radio, so they will force radio stations to change.
Grassley and others have a right to be concerned, and they should demand that Lloyd be replaced. (I recommend that the whole "diversity czar" position be eliminated.) The government needs to keep out, and let the public decide what the public wants to listen to on the radio.