Dem Thuggery Directed Toward Talk Radio

Rick Moran
They told me that if George W. Bush were re-elected, we'd see enemies lists, dossiers, and naked abuse of political and regulatory power in order to silence criticism and secure an unfair electoral advantage. And they were right!
(Glenn Reynolds)

Mr. Reynold's pithy obvservation is best illustrated by this bit of thuggery from one of the most powerful Chairmen in the House who heads up one of the most powerful Committees in Congress:

Others on the Democrat side are pushing ahead with other plans. Rep. Henry Waxman has asked his investigative staff to begin compiling reports on Limbaugh, and fellow radio hosts Sean Hannity and Mark Levin based on transcripts from their shows, and to call in Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin to discuss the so-called "Fairness Doctrine."

"Limbaugh isn't the only one who needs to be made uncomfortable about what he says on the radio," says a House leadership source. "We don't have as big a megaphone as these guys, but this all political, and we'll do what we can to gain the advantage. If we can take them off their game for a while, it will help our folks out there on the campaign trail."
This is political hardball being played at the street level. The Democrat controlled Congress is putting conservative talk radio hosts on notice that unless they mute their criticism, they may very well find themselves out of a job sometime soon.

The Fairness Doctrine theoretically doesn't need Congressional authorization to be implemented. It can come into being at the stroke of a pen by the President. Legislation passed earlier in the year, however, prevents the FCC from spending any funds to implement it so just how it could be enforced is a puzzle.

But just the threat of reviving the Fairness Doctrine is chilling. Not that Limbaugh, Hannity, or any other conservative talk radio host worth their salt will pull in their horns because of it. But their bosses who run the networks they appear on may take a different view. Corporations hate having the government looking over their shoulder and while the hosts themselves may thumb their noses at Waxman and his gangster staff, those who ultimately control their access to the airwaves might, at some point down the line, try and put their foot down.

Is this just Waxman blowing smoke? Indeed it may very well be. But it is effective smoke blowing in that it may accomplish what they want anyway without going to the extremes of bringing back the Fairness Doctrine.

 
They told me that if George W. Bush were re-elected, we'd see enemies lists, dossiers, and naked abuse of political and regulatory power in order to silence criticism and secure an unfair electoral advantage. And they were right!
(Glenn Reynolds)

Mr. Reynold's pithy obvservation is best illustrated by this bit of thuggery from one of the most powerful Chairmen in the House who heads up one of the most powerful Committees in Congress:

Others on the Democrat side are pushing ahead with other plans. Rep. Henry Waxman has asked his investigative staff to begin compiling reports on Limbaugh, and fellow radio hosts Sean Hannity and Mark Levin based on transcripts from their shows, and to call in Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin to discuss the so-called "Fairness Doctrine."

"Limbaugh isn't the only one who needs to be made uncomfortable about what he says on the radio," says a House leadership source. "We don't have as big a megaphone as these guys, but this all political, and we'll do what we can to gain the advantage. If we can take them off their game for a while, it will help our folks out there on the campaign trail."
This is political hardball being played at the street level. The Democrat controlled Congress is putting conservative talk radio hosts on notice that unless they mute their criticism, they may very well find themselves out of a job sometime soon.

The Fairness Doctrine theoretically doesn't need Congressional authorization to be implemented. It can come into being at the stroke of a pen by the President. Legislation passed earlier in the year, however, prevents the FCC from spending any funds to implement it so just how it could be enforced is a puzzle.

But just the threat of reviving the Fairness Doctrine is chilling. Not that Limbaugh, Hannity, or any other conservative talk radio host worth their salt will pull in their horns because of it. But their bosses who run the networks they appear on may take a different view. Corporations hate having the government looking over their shoulder and while the hosts themselves may thumb their noses at Waxman and his gangster staff, those who ultimately control their access to the airwaves might, at some point down the line, try and put their foot down.

Is this just Waxman blowing smoke? Indeed it may very well be. But it is effective smoke blowing in that it may accomplish what they want anyway without going to the extremes of bringing back the Fairness Doctrine.