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Waxman Wants ‘Fairness,’ The Internet

More from the (always great) Prowler at The American Spectator:


By The Prowler on 2.16.09

Senior FCC staff working for acting Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps held meetings last week with policy and legislative advisers to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman to discuss ways the committee can create openings for the FCC to put in place a form of the "Fairness Doctrine" without actually calling it such.

Waxman is also interested, say sources, in looking at how the Internet is being used for content and free speech purposes. "It’s all about diversity in media," says a House Energy staffer, familiar with the meetings. "Does one radio station or one station group control four of the five most powerful outlets in one community? Do four stations in one region carry Rush Limbaugh, and nothing else during the same time slot? Does one heavily trafficked Internet site present one side of an issue and not link to sites that present alternative views? These are some of the questions the chairman is thinking about right now, and we are going to have an FCC that will finally have the people in place to answer them."

One idea Waxman’s committee staff is looking at is a congressionally mandated policy that would require all TV and radio stations to have in place "advisory boards" that would act as watchdogs to ensure "community needs and opinions" are given fair treatment. Reports from those advisory boards would be used for license renewals and summaries would be reviewed at least annually by FCC staff

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is also looking at how it can put in place policies that would allow it greater oversight of the Internet. "Internet radio is becoming a big deal, and we’re seeing that some web sites are able to control traffic and information, while other sites that may be of interest or use to citizens get limited traffic because of the way the people search and look for information," says on committee staffer. "We’re at very early stages on this, but the chairman has made it clear that oversight of the Internet is one of his top priorities."

"This isn’t just about Limbaugh or a local radio host most of us haven’t heard about," says Democrat committee member. "The FCC and state and local governments also have oversight over the Internet lines and the cable and telecom companies that operate them. We want to get alternative views on radio and TV, but we also want to makes sure those alternative views are read, heard and seen online, which is becoming increasingly video and audio driven. Thanks to the stimulus package, we’ve established that broadband networks — the Internet — are critical, national infrastructure. We think that gives us an opening to look at what runs over that critical infrastructure."

Also involved in "brainstorming" on "Fairness Doctrine and online monitoring has been the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, which has published studies pressing for the Fairness Doctrine, as well as the radical MoveOn.org, which has been speaking to committee staff about policies that would allow them to use their five to six million person database to mobilize complaints against radio, TV or online entities they perceive to be limiting free speech or limiting opinion.

Regular readers will recognize the “Center For American Progress.” It is was one of the first and is one of the most powerful of the George Soros 527s. And it is the group that eventually spawned the despicable Media Matters.

Do we really want Media Matters deciding what can and cannot be broadcast over the air or over the internet?

Even if by some miracle the “fairness doctrine” is not reinstituted and the government does not take control of the internet – are we not witnessing “the chilling of free speech”?

Remember when that used to be a crime against humanity?

Of course now it isn’t. Since it is the Democrats who are doing the “chilling.”

(And come to think of it, it always has been the Democrats doing the “chilling.”)

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, February 17th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

38 Responses to “Waxman Wants ‘Fairness,’ The Internet”

  1. specialed says:

    Maybe this is a good thing? More conservatives could be heard on NPR, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, ABC?

    Hannity is boring now without Colmes.

    • BillK says:

      Why would they allow the networks to air “hate speech,” as anything with a conservative point of view has come to be called?

  2. nascarnation says:

    Maybe Baraq & Co could get tips from Hugo Chavez……

  3. canary says:

    Isn’t this where American should do a peaceful protest. Signs saying Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom to petition. This would open a can of worms, and only clutter the lives of Americans. King Obama and his militants would never adhere to it. Isn’t this slavery, also.

  4. canary says:

    should we plan a welcome party for terrorists to come on board.
    Prehaps Rush should just rename is program as a religious program. Surely, the Obamisams would not stop freedom of religion. The new Rush Anti-Obamisams

  5. Colonel1961 says:

    Waxman is an alien. I am not kidding. His physiognomy is not of this planet…

  6. proreason says:

    Waxman is high in the pantheon of wierd and dangerous fanatics.

    We should make these guys pass behavioural tests.

    God only knows what he does when the cameras are off.

    All I know is I wouldn’t want to be in a room with him alone. Neither would fruit flies, mice or sheep.

    • Howard Roark says:

      Waxman et al are true communists. “Statists” doesn’t do them justice–they are totalitarian communists.

      I really think that if they begin to dictate how radio stations air political speech on their stations that we may FINALLY see the Dems over reach to the point that regular folks like us start a revolution or at least armed insurrection.

      At least it’s just a dream.

    • 1sttofight says:

      Oh contraire proreason, I would just love to have 5 min alone with him in a locked room. Just think what we could talk about. ;)

    • proreason says:

      1st, I have a feeling you will be very useful in the next few years!!

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Damn the talk man…….I wanna see that head so shiny….. the Virgin Mary would want to scobb it herself!!

  7. Howard Roark says:

    Doesn’t Waxman’s nose look like the snout of a pig? Kinda like the pigs from Orwell’s “Animal Farm”.

    “Four legs good, two legs bad”.

  8. patricko says:

    “Does one heavily trafficked Internet site present one side of an issue and not link to sites that present alternative views? These are some of the questions the chairman is thinking about right now..”

    This all sounds vaguely familiar. It seems like the discussions from years ago about outcome based education, where the subtle but perverse shift was made from equal opportunity, to equal outcomes. It’s not enough that Air America and the Huffington Post have just as much access to readers/listeners as Rush Limbaugh and The Drudge Report. The focus will be on how to get their ratings equal. Of course they would only be taking Rush off the air in order to equal things out, I mean it’s not like they are trying to stiffle free speech or anything. Maybe they’ll just decide to open up re-education camps where armed members of Moveon.org stand over your deak and make you listen to Ed Schultz all day.

    • AmericanIPA says:

      I had never visited either site before today, but after reading this article I went to Huffington Post and then Daily Kos. Needless to say there are no links to “sites that present alternative views” like this idiotic staffer suggests there should be. The gold digger’s site has a link to Fox News which is all they probably even know exists. Shouldn’t McDonald’s, Coke, and Wal-Mart be advertising for their customers to patronize Burger King, Pepsi, and Target as well? And shouldn’t there be a rabbi and a baptist preacher at every mosque to present an “alternative viewpoint” as well? Is common sense extinct or what?

      What a scary time to live in America. We’re constantly told how oppressive Bush’s administration was and about all of the liberties and freedoms that were stolen and the rights that were trampled on, even how many times he had “shredded the Constitution”. But which political party’s members and representatives want a government-controlled big brother deciding which opinions should be heard and which shouldn’t? Which party is scared that the truth will get out to the population as a whole, instead of just to the people that go searching for it in the last bastions of truth on the internet or radio? And which party is always ready to let the people decide, by vote, on whether or not a social issue should be thrust upon them? Of course when the liberal agenda is voted down, all of a sudden democracy wasn’t such a good idea, and a “responsible” judge steps in and remedies things.

      The best question for anyone who thinks they might support a “fairness doctrine” is whether it would also be a good idea if conservatives were in power and controlled 90% of all media. I know, libs already believe that conservatives control everything. There’s no arguing with a stump.

    • Colonel1961 says:

      The only site I have bookmarked (or know of, period) which provides both yin and yang is the brilliant RealClearPolitics.

    • patricko says:

      You just know he’s referring to Drudge when he talks about “heavily trafficked internet sites.’ The ironic part is that Drudge has always had links to lots of liberals on his front page: Every NYT columnist, Joe Conason, Jonathan Alter, Susan Estritch, Richard Cohen even the Huffingtton Post itself, which has a reciprocal link to Drudge but never to a conservative columnist. I promise he’s not talking about the Daily Kos when talking about sites that need “balance.”

  9. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Ah, state sponsored media. Lovely, GRAND in fact. What shall we call it? PRAVDA? Or house about…”Fairness”?

    Aside from the fact that Waxman is as ugly as his position on government, he is truly nuts.

    Perhaps the real irony here is that with literally thousands of MSM sources, outlets, etc, the dem-o-cretins are worried about a relatively few conservative sources. The reasons for this can only be obvious. However, I do know that the EIB Network has several million listeners tuned in around noon to hear the other side of the story, and dare I say it, the CORRECT side of the story…not just the politically correct side.

    But it’s ok. If Waxman et al get their way, you will see the return of underground radio in huge numbers, still broadcasting the truth just as Radio Free Europe did.

    This administration, like their predecessors, Stalin, Mao, Castro, all assume that the people are collective morons and by virtue of the last election, I can see how they would think that way. But there are still plenty of smart, independent thinkers who believe what the Constitution and Bill Of Rights say.

    Given the opportunity, I would point out to Wax-head, that “The truth may hurt, even sting a bit, but that’s not hateful speech, that’s just the truth”.

    • proreason says:

      Could be wrong, but I’m predicting the Fairness Doctrine will be where some rubber hits the road.

      We’ll see whether they think they REALLY have power……and whether millions of military and police will follow down a path to tyranny.

    • 1sttofight says:

      Are you Rusty from the Jawa Report?

  10. bl says:

    Fairness, my ass. Look, they had better come to terms with the fact that about 55 million or so did NOT vote for them. They better come to terms with the fact that they are being watched like a hawk. In other words, we are doing exactly what they are doing. Listening to Rush and Fox and all the others. They make it so damn obvious that they are so scared that any opposition voices or opinions can actually pin them down to explain WHY? they feel so nervous about other sides exposing all there crap! Any minute now I expect a revision of when Bush’s dad was in office. The Chinese students actually tried to say “wait, our opinions count”. In return, (China’s govt.) they tried to steam roll them down….literally, steam roll them down. To bad for Rambo, earWAXman, and Obambi. Democracy says “Yes we can”!! Ha! ha!

  11. jobeth says:

    My husband (a Brit) told me that back in the 60s the state run radio stations didn’t want Pop music played and banned all but what they approved of (Classical, high brow etc).

    (Yes Virginia, even way back then the Brits were becoming well socialized)

    The Pop stations just bought a boat with a powerful broadcasting antenna and broadcast Pop music just off shore…out of Brittish waters.

    The state run stations had to back down over time.

    I doubt that the left will succeed but it sounds like a plan if the leftists ever get their way. God forbid!

    There is always a way around their stupidity.

    For more about Radio Caroline you can check it out at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_Caroline.

    Bear in mind it IS Wikipedia…so….
    You can also google Radio Caroline to find out more about this station, that is still broadcasting today.

  12. catie says:

    Some say this won’t happen but I am afraid it will. I’m not Cindy Crawford by any stretch of the imagination but this is one of the ugliest people (inside and out) that walks the face of the earth. That nose hair is atrocious.
    Yes, Hannity is boring without Colmes but I’m not a big fan of his though so that may be part of the problem anyway.

  13. Consilience says:

    catie; I agree w/you’re observation concerning Hannity—I do not care for him. He puts leftists on his radio show talking about how friendly they are—these are people hell-bent on ruining our Republic. If I happen to keep the radio on after Rush; one segment is enough of Hannity—his faux-self-deprecating manner is transparently insincere.

  14. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    My wife isn’t as politically active as I am but even she sees the danger of trying to regulate the content of internet speech. But more encouraging is her remarks that the internet is already fair and balanced. Her observation is that any sane, moderate, or nut job can use the internet as their soap box. Whether the individual discusses rational thought or is deluded enough to believe in black helicopter theories, she believes the internet should be left alone for it may become the last line of defense for free speech.

  15. wardmama4 says:

    I guess I must email Waxman with a question – Who decides what is ‘fair’?

    There in lies the key -Who makes the decision – You or Me and does anyone have that right? Let’s look at the 1st Amendment:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free expression thereof; abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    By my reading – nope. To use a time worn flippant remark from the drivel and garbage put out from hollyweird and tv – ‘If you don’t like the content – turn the channel, don’t go to that website again.’

  16. bl says:

    To catie, Consilience, You both make good points here. I stated earlier in my point that they must come to terms with the fact that over 55 million or so didn’t vote for them. So therefore, they can’t push opposition voices away, and not think people won’t get loud with them. Concerning Hannity…it’s very true what you both say. He was already to arrogant, sometimes rightly so w/Colmes. But at least Colmes could chime in and cut his arrogance down a little. Now it seems every guest he has on has to really kiss his behind or he’ll just go Alec Baldwin on them forever. (Not that I like that Baldwin character), it’s the idea that there’s no letup. Also, he made a mistake when he introduced Elisabeth Hasselback as defending Ann Coulter when she was on the View, a few weeks back. I didn’t get a sense she was defending Ann. More like, she has a hot button chapter and it’s gonna irritate people. Pick on the dad’s who run away too. Not seeing Ann’s point of stop screwing around, so govt. has to take care of teenage girls and boys and babies no one can afford. I think Hannity came off looking very foolish for trying to introduce her that way. He tries to play it on all sides, so they’ll be a guest. He would earn more respect for himself if he would stop trying to force it when obviously these two “R” women really don’t see eye to eye. ie….read one of Ann’s internet interviews, where she ends it by saying”since when did Elisabeth Hasselback become the spokesperson for the Republican party”. This is what separates Rush from all the rest. He’s not interested in being friendly and bringing these libs on his show. You are both right on. They just want to do these guys in all together. Unfortunatley, the in between stuff, I mentioned is the stuff that gives the silence doctrine power. Let’s hope not!!

  17. TwilightZoned says:

    I heard on Hannity’s radio show today there is a law firm ready to pounce IF the unfairness doctrine is pushed through the FCC. With Scalia and Roberts still sitting on the bench there may be good chance of wiping this thing out as unconstitutional. If not, Limbaugh, Hannity, Bennett, and the likes may need to consider ham radio.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      I can see use all hunkered down in the basement listening to a “Cats’ whisker” trying to get “RADIO FREE AMERICA” from Canada!!

  18. mybrotherkeeper says:

    Like Jo Beth said the other day, I now can put nothing past these folks. They have reduced themselves to children grabbing toys in a sandbox. One’s mouth gapes at their utter cravenness. It is like the Russian Revolution of 1917. Other groups overthrew the Czar, then the Bolsheviks overthrew them through sabotage and intrigue.
    They are, quite literally, reacting to the prospect of power like a wolf drooling over meat.
    Our options are in God’s hands: Sometimes you cannot do anything but endure. Sometimes you can organize and overthrow by force. Sometimes you can only act independently. We also should be aware that even our words here could be used against us in the future quite easily.
    On a lighter note, much lighter (I hope you forgive me)…
    I love rattling their cages about opening more land for Israeli resettlement!

  19. Smart Power says:

    I’m clingin and believen… and you know what I mean :)

  20. canary says:

    So why isn’t Micheal Moore, Madonna, and Dixie Chicks complaining. Doesn’t ah la Madonna know she won’t be able to do music vidios where she drops a grenade in the President’s lap.
    So, who will Obama bin Laden use for Hanoi radio host, now that Hannah Hanoi is off the air.
    ……meanwhile, the media is closely watching Obama ride Air Force 1, and Joe Biden on Air Force 2, on several unnecessary trips, that can be done over the phone, or let one of staff, fly to the White House instead. How much ya want to bet he’s worked the controls. I hope so.

  21. yellarcan says:

    So what I’ve read about the “Fairness Doctrine”, it will provide the government the power to try and make Americans read and listen and watch liberal driven agendas. They will try to smother the conservative views from the airwaves and the world wide web. Just because the liberals haven’t got the popular show hosts as the conservative hosts, their going to shove them down our throats just like the “tax us to death” package! They bitched about “civil liberties” with the Patriot Act. I guess the liberals won’t tread on civil liberties with this doctrine? I will do exactly what the gore-bots should have done in the first place, change my radio dial or T.V. station. They are begging me to be vulgar!

  22. canary says:

    Obama claimed every child would have computer and internet. Guess Christian shows will have to have filthy rap on it. Guess conversative views will have to be posted on Obama’s own site. Myspace will be mugshots of Christians and Republicans for kiddies to search and turn over to the ollah Obama new regine military.

  23. canary says:

    Obama’s plan is to rename Fairness Doctrine, this is a spin of smoke, to fizzle out public worry. Possible new name will be Obama Fairness for Minorities Act.


    • canary says:

      Correction. Obama’s latest statement opposing the re-enactment of the Fairness Doctrine is a spin of smoke to catch us off gaurd. Keep speaking out.

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