FCC's war against over-the-air TV

The FCC is chipping away at the First Amendment not with a scalpel but with a sharp chisel.

The American Spectator reports that the FCC has opened a new front in their attack on broadcast television, which President Obama's FCC views as a medium the government does not yet control, along with talk radio and the internet.  Last month FCC chairman Julius Genachowski appointed a Duke University law professor, Stuart Benjamin, as a key advisor on "spectrum policy and the First Amendment."

Much of Mr. Benjamin's academic research has been devoted to spectrum issues, but it appears that his spectrum knowledge is being used to further the FCC agenda to eliminate free broadcast television:

Benjamin recommends the FCC impose onerous "broadcast regulations that seem undesirable on their own terms but that may result in such harms to broadcasting that broadcasting leaves the [radio-TV] spectrum."

Benjamin argues in favor of "new regulations on broadcasters that will make broadcasting unprofitable." ... Benjamin favors regulatory measures that "will reduce the viewership of broadcasting and thus hasten the demise of broadcasting -- what I [Benjamin] would regard as a win-win."

According to the Spectator piece, the argument that the television slice of the spectrum is needed for other uses is specious at best, and feeds into the FCC's agenda of controlling "free" speech.

This is what should most alarm the public. Moving broadcast television to subscription-only platforms such as cable and satellite or shutting down the service altogether eliminates a free, mass media First Amendment vehicle.

While local television is currently in the FCC's crosshairs, broadcast radio is no doubt somewhere on the agenda. One only has to look to remarks from Administration officials, including those by the President himself, to conclude that talk radio is on the President's "naughty and not nice" list.

Silencing dissent can be very attractive to those who wish to implement unpopular programs. [emphasis added]

FCC diversity Czar Mark Lloyd has called for a " ‘confrontational movement' against private media," and is a cheerleader for Hugo Chavez' takeover of the Venezuelan media.  Lloyd's advocacy of using local content and diversity rules against talk radio appears to be echoed in the Benjamin tactic of using spectrum regulations against broadcast television.  The pattern of deception and hidden agenda is reflected again in the FCC tactic of pushing co-called net neutrality or open internet as the foot in the door for government control of the internet.

The Spectator article does point out that resistance on the local television front may come from Congressmen, not for first amendment reasons, but because the members enjoy easy access to constituents via local television.

Whatever alleged tacking-to-the-middle the Obama media acolytes may proclaim, Obama's political appointees are systematically attacking free communications, and are well underway in undermining our First Amendment protections.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

The FCC is chipping away at the First Amendment not with a scalpel but with a sharp chisel.

The American Spectator reports that the FCC has opened a new front in their attack on broadcast television, which President Obama's FCC views as a medium the government does not yet control, along with talk radio and the internet.  Last month FCC chairman Julius Genachowski appointed a Duke University law professor, Stuart Benjamin, as a key advisor on "spectrum policy and the First Amendment."

Much of Mr. Benjamin's academic research has been devoted to spectrum issues, but it appears that his spectrum knowledge is being used to further the FCC agenda to eliminate free broadcast television:

Benjamin recommends the FCC impose onerous "broadcast regulations that seem undesirable on their own terms but that may result in such harms to broadcasting that broadcasting leaves the [radio-TV] spectrum."

Benjamin argues in favor of "new regulations on broadcasters that will make broadcasting unprofitable." ... Benjamin favors regulatory measures that "will reduce the viewership of broadcasting and thus hasten the demise of broadcasting -- what I [Benjamin] would regard as a win-win."

According to the Spectator piece, the argument that the television slice of the spectrum is needed for other uses is specious at best, and feeds into the FCC's agenda of controlling "free" speech.

This is what should most alarm the public. Moving broadcast television to subscription-only platforms such as cable and satellite or shutting down the service altogether eliminates a free, mass media First Amendment vehicle.

While local television is currently in the FCC's crosshairs, broadcast radio is no doubt somewhere on the agenda. One only has to look to remarks from Administration officials, including those by the President himself, to conclude that talk radio is on the President's "naughty and not nice" list.

Silencing dissent can be very attractive to those who wish to implement unpopular programs. [emphasis added]

FCC diversity Czar Mark Lloyd has called for a " ‘confrontational movement' against private media," and is a cheerleader for Hugo Chavez' takeover of the Venezuelan media.  Lloyd's advocacy of using local content and diversity rules against talk radio appears to be echoed in the Benjamin tactic of using spectrum regulations against broadcast television.  The pattern of deception and hidden agenda is reflected again in the FCC tactic of pushing co-called net neutrality or open internet as the foot in the door for government control of the internet.

The Spectator article does point out that resistance on the local television front may come from Congressmen, not for first amendment reasons, but because the members enjoy easy access to constituents via local television.

Whatever alleged tacking-to-the-middle the Obama media acolytes may proclaim, Obama's political appointees are systematically attacking free communications, and are well underway in undermining our First Amendment protections.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

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