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Obama Declares War on Conservative Talk Radio
AmericanThinker ^ | November 17, 2008 | Jim Boulet, Jr.

Posted on 11/16/2008 11:57:23 PM PST by ebiskit

Barack Obama sought to silence his critics during his 2008 campaign. Now, with the ink barely dry on this November's ballots, Obama has begun a war against conservative talk radio. Obama is on record as saying he does not plan an exhumation of the now-dead "Fairness Doctrine". Instead, Obama's attack on free speech will be far less understood by the general public and accordingly, far more dangerous. The late community organizer Saul Alinsky taught his followers to strike hard from an unexpected direction, an approach known asAlinsky jujitsu. Obama himself not only worked as an organizer for an Alinsky offshoot organization, Chicago's Developing Communities Project, but would go on to teach classes in Alinsky's beliefs and methods.

"Alinsky jujitsu" as applied to conservative talk radio means using vague rules already on the books to threaten any station which dares to air conservative programs with the loss of its valuable broadcast license.

Team Obama and the "localism" weapon

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule in question is called "localism." Radio and television stations are required to serve the interests of their local community as a condition of keeping their broadcast licenses.

Obama needs only three votes from the five-member FCC to define localism in such a way that no radio station would dare air any syndicated conservative programming.

Localism is one of the rare issues on which Obama himself has been outspoken.

On September 20, 2007, Obama submitted a pro-localism written statement to an FCC hearing held at the Chicago headquarters of Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.'s Operation Push.

Furthermore, the Obama transition team knows all about the potential of localism as a means of silencing conservative dissent. The head of the Obama transition team is John Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress.

In 2007, the Center for American Progress issued a report, The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio. This report complained that there was too much conservative talk on the radio because of "the absence of localism in American radio markets" and urged the FCC to "[e]nsure greater local accountability over radio licensing.

Podesta's choice as head of the Federal Communications Commission's transition team is Henry Rivera.

Since 1994, Rivera has been chairman of the Minority Media Telecommunications Council. This organization has specific ideas about localism:

In other words, it would not do for broadcasters to meet with the business leaders whose companies advertise on their station. Broadcasters must reach beyond the business sector and look for leaders in the civic, religious, and non-profit sectors that regularly serve the needs of the community, particularly the needs of minority groups that are typically poorly served by the broadcasting industry as a whole.

Rivera's law firm is also the former home of Kevin Martin, the current FCC chairman. Martin is himself an advocate of more stringent localism requirements.

It was on Martin's watch that on January 24, 2008, the FCC released its proposed localism regulations. According to TVNewsday: "At the NAB radio show two weeks ago, Martin said that he wanted to take action on localism this year and invited broadcasters to negotiate requirements with him."

FCC complaints as politics by other means

Remember that an FCC license is required for any radio or television station to legally operate in the United States. A single complaint from anyone can significantly hinder a station's license renewal process or even cost the station its FCC license entirely.

There have been some attempts to utilize the FCC complaint process for partisan political ends, most memorably in 2004, when Sinclair Broadcasting agreed to air a documentary questioning Senator John Kerry's war record:

Poised to pre-empt programming on its 62 television stations to run a negative documentary about Sen. John Kerry, Sinclair Broadcast Group has come under fire from critics calling it partisan and questioning whether it is failing federal broadcast requirements to reflect local interests.

Members of Congress and independent media groups have questioned the company's willingness to respect "localism," a section of federal law that requires media companies to cover local issues and provide an outlet for local voices.

One group, The Leftcoaster, went further:

But what isn't done a lot which requires the broadcaster to rack up expensive legal fees, is to challenge every one of their affiliates' FCC license renewals as they come up this year and next. ... [T]here still is time to organize and file Petitions or objections by November 1, 2004 for Sinclair stations in North Carolina and South Carolina, and for Florida by January 1, 2005.

More recently, the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium issued a "fill in the blanks" official FCC complaint form which begins "Anything that you feel is offensive is worth reporting."

Community advisory boards as permanent complaint departments

These random efforts could be far more effective at silencing conservatives if they could only be systematized and institutionalized. That is exactly what the FCC proposed on January 24th. Every radio and television station would be required to create:

[P]ermanent advisory boards comprised of local officials and other community leaders, to periodically advise them of local needs and issues, and seek comment on the matter. ...

To ensure that these discussions include representatives of all community elements, these boards would be made up of leaders of various segments of the community, including underserved groups.

The "community advisory board as permanent complaint department" model may well be based upon the 1995 revisions of the Community Reinvestment Act, as described by Howard Husock in City Journal:

[T]the new CRA regulations also instructed bank examiners to take into account how well banks responded to complaints. ... [F]or advocacy groups that were in the complaint business, the Clinton administration regulations offered a formal invitation. ...

By intervening-even just threatening to intervene-in the CRA review process, left-wing nonprofit groups have been able to gain control over eye-popping pools of bank capital, which they in turn parcel out to individual low-income mortgage seekers. A radical group called ACORN Housing has a $760 million commitment from the Bank of New York...[emphasis in original].

Understand that even allowing conservatives to be radio talk show guests may provoke a FCC licensing complaint. Just ask "right wing hatchet man" Stanley Kurtz.

For Obama, when it comes to radio talk, silence is golden, at least when it comes to conservatives.

Can localism be stopped?

FCC observers agree that the outpouring of complaints from groups like the National Religious Broadcasters during the original comment period helped delay matters.

However, Kevin Martin's determination to enact a localism regulation has led him to ask the broadcast industry to accept a voluntary standard that the FCC would then enact. If industry failed to agree now, Martin warned, "a future FCC may be less willing to compromise than the current one."

This scare tactic -- agree to our demands today or suffer dire consequences tomorrow -- is having an impact.

What broadcasters need to do: speak up now

Radio and television station owners need to become engaged in the localism issue and then take the time to educate their own Congressman and Senators about the dangers of the FCC's proposals.

If broadcasters get involved, it just may be possible to block implementation of any localism rules during the few months remaining of the Bush Administration.

This delay is critical, since once it is the Obama Administration leading the fight for rules which would shut down conservative talk radio, Republican Congressmen and Senators will find it easier to fight back.

The Senate needs to draw a line in the sand: free speech, not localism

While President Obama will have the authority to name Commissioners as their terms end, these nominations must be confirmed by the Senate.

A few pointed questions on localism to FCC nominees during their confirmation hearings would be useful. A filibuster of any and all pro-localism FCC nominees would be even better.

Any Senator leading such a filibuster would earn the gratitude of millions of fans of talk radio as well as everyone who believes in free speech..

Jim Boulet, Jr. is the founder of the anti-localism web site, Research assistance for this article was provided by Richard Falknor of Blue Ridge Forum.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 111th; 1stamendment; agenda; bho2008; censorship; democrats; fairnessdoctrine; fascism; fcc; freespeech; liberalfascism; localism; obama; obamabrownshirts; obamagestapo; obamaregime; obamatransitionfile; presidentelectobama; radio; rats; talkradio
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By hook or crook, BOHICA the censorship of free speech and our to right to peaceably assemble. Not to mention, it restricts our ability to form coalitions that petition our government for redress. Talk radio hosts are our 'community organizers'. It will result in absolute loss of all the tenets of the 1st Amendment. After #1, #2 will be thusly subverted illegally. Check out The comments there are insightful as well on the subject. We are in for it. They want to shut us up. What is next, the death of with Net Neutrality? Sleep tight FReepers and may God go with you.



1 posted on 11/16/2008 11:57:24 PM PST by ebiskit
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To: ebiskit

Bookmark for later. If the site is still here.

2 posted on 11/16/2008 11:59:54 PM PST by IrishCatholic (No local communist or socialist party chapter? Join the Democrats, it's the same thing.)
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To: ebiskit

The article at site contains numerous informative links.

3 posted on 11/17/2008 12:00:07 AM PST by ebiskit (South Park Republican ( I see Red People ))
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To: ebiskit
Of course, none of these “localism” rules will apply to any other media outlets.
4 posted on 11/17/2008 12:00:29 AM PST by pnh102 (Save America - Ban Ethanol Now!)
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To: bamahead


5 posted on 11/17/2008 12:03:15 AM PST by KoRn
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To: ebiskit

This “localism” b.s. does sound like a dire threat to syndicated conservative talk radio.

otoh, if the Obamanators move forward on this the explosive counter-reaction may be just what is needed to recharge the conservative movement.

6 posted on 11/17/2008 12:03:35 AM PST by Enchante (Thanks, Mediascum, you "elected" your candidate and now the country will pay....)
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To: ebiskit

But all thel left leaning TV news shows are OK....

7 posted on 11/17/2008 12:06:13 AM PST by Islaminaction
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To: ebiskit

Prepare to fight FReepers. Prepare to fight.

8 posted on 11/17/2008 12:10:25 AM PST by GOP Poet
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To: ebiskit

Live internet streaming until the UN takes over the internet?

9 posted on 11/17/2008 12:11:25 AM PST by IreneE ("The apprehension of beauty is the cure for apathy." - my paraphrase of Thomas Aquinas)
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To: Enchante
otoh, if the Obamanators move forward on this the explosive counter-reaction may be just what is needed to recharge the conservative movement.

I agree. This kind of a move would galvanize support behind conservative talk radio. This could get very ugly very quickly.

10 posted on 11/17/2008 12:14:47 AM PST by teletech (Friends don't let friends vote DemocRAT)
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To: teletech
This could get very ugly very quickly.

Too late.

11 posted on 11/17/2008 12:16:42 AM PST by Txngal
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To: ebiskit


12 posted on 11/17/2008 12:18:19 AM PST by VR-21
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To: ebiskit
IOW the King Hussein will declare talk radio abolished, never mind the sponsors and owners and most of all the absolute violation of our rights to free speech.

Leftwing radio has failed consistently , so the airwaves would be full of--what? Propaganda issued from the King's reincarnation of Goebbels? Supported b\y tax money? This man is a serious psychopath. Make all the conjectures you want, I certainly am. I see a Soviet Amerika beginning if he is not stopped in his tracks by the Supreme Court. This intense refusal to show his true birth certif. must bring him down. The Court will have no other choice. We will have either Pres. Biden or Pres. McAmnesty; the enemies we know are better than the secretive ones we don't.

13 posted on 11/17/2008 12:20:40 AM PST by luvadavi (Important old novel: The Moon Is Down, John Steinbeck, 1942)
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To: ebiskit


I’m not a kook.

14 posted on 11/17/2008 12:20:49 AM PST by Tzimisce (
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To: ebiskit

He is a uniter! He is the President of ALL of us! Or so the wussies say... /sarc

15 posted on 11/17/2008 12:23:06 AM PST by SolidWood (Sarah Palin - Everything that is Sweetness and Light! WE STAND WITH HER!)
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To: ebiskit
This “localism” BS is yet another reason that any content regulation of broadcast media must be outlawed. Only the owners of radio and TV stations should be allowed to determine content.
16 posted on 11/17/2008 12:23:24 AM PST by pnh102 (Save America - Ban Ethanol Now!)
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To: pnh102
Of course, none of these “localism” rules will apply to any other media outlets.

Or even all of radio. Dollars to doughnuts, NPR national programming won't be counted as "non-local."

17 posted on 11/17/2008 12:26:12 AM PST by denydenydeny ("The monster state is a source of many evils; but it is, above all, an engine of envy."-Paul Johnson)
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To: ebiskit
When my friends wonder why I am not "high" on Obama as they are, I tell them that he and his handlers will take away our rights.

They don't see it coming, or they refuse to look.

Soon, Americans will wake up to the horrors of one-party rule and say "What have we done to our country?"

18 posted on 11/17/2008 12:28:29 AM PST by Jess Kitting
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To: Islaminaction

Correct. But we should still file a multitude of complaints against mainstream stations that broadcast in your area, as well as the PBS and NPR stations.

The only defense will be to inundate the review board with so many complaints that it basically brings the system to a halt.

19 posted on 11/17/2008 12:30:12 AM PST by PugetSoundSoldier (Indignation over the sting of truth is the defense of the indefensible)
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To: ebiskit


20 posted on 11/17/2008 12:31:26 AM PST by Pinkbell (Liberals are only tolerant of those with whom they agree.)
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