Skip to comments.Jailed For An Insult?
Posted on 01/28/2009 2:14:06 PM PST by Delacon
|Mr. Spencer is director of Jihad Watch and author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)", "The Truth About Muhammad" and the forthcoming"Stealth Jihad" (all from Regnery -- a HUMAN EVENTS sister company).|
I didn’t think Bam Bam would jump on this right away. He has to be stopped.
There was a saying that politics stops at the water’s edge meaning that the US should present a united front in the world arena. Well we all know that ship has sailed. Now the opposite is happening. Certain politicians are joining other countries and foreign organizations as a united front in attacking the US constitution and its institutions. Obama may surf a tidal wave of european born threats to our freedoms onto our own shores. My apologies for the tortured metaphores.
The Fairness Doctrine would only apply to public broadcast spectrum. Right?
In other words, satellite radio, cable TV, and so forth would not be subject to it. Only AM, FM, UHF and VHF TV. Correct?
Not that I’m in favor of it (which I’m definitely not), nor do I think it’s “harmless” (I think it’s VERY harmful).
However... the blowback from a reinstituted fairness doctrine might just be the accelerated death of the broadcast media, and an explosive new subscriber rate to e.g. satellite radio.
That might be kinda cool.
Thanks for the heads up. I’ll correct it.
And has most likely increased Rush's listenership in the process.
That's what it should apply to, if everyone follows the rules. If someone rewrites the rules to cover other communications channels, then anything could happen.
Since The One's goal is to eliminate dissent, I expect he'd write something that covers any channel that could hurt The Party's dissemination of ideas and knowledge.
He'll likely go after talk radio, but consider too all the web sites where we can see real climate data as opposed to the stuff Gore spews.
The first effect will be as you predict, I think, with many radio stations folding when the money-making hosts are gone.
Well what about streaming media (voice and TV) delivered via wireless internet services on frequencies previously allocated to TV broadcasting?
>> If someone rewrites the rules to cover other communications channels, then anything could happen.
I see your point, but as a practical matter, it would be very difficult, if not intractable, to control Internet content. Then too, there are free speech issues with trying to impose “fairness” on paid subscriber channels that I don’t think the Supremes could ignore. I wouldn’t put it past the communists to try, however.
>> many radio stations folding when the money-making hosts are gone.
If I remember correctly, AM radio was in the doldrums until President Reagan rescinded the Fairness doctrine... then it exploded. A renewed Fairness Doctrine might kill AM. Who the hell would listen to music on AM?
Side point: I would almost — ALMOST — be in favor of a “fairness doctrine” if every program INCLUDING NEWS AND PRIMETIME TEEVEE was included. Just think, a 1/2 hour of “news” plus a half hour of conservative rebuttal! Or, “Will and Grace”... followed by a Christian sitcom with a clear anti-homo message! I’m not serious... but I’m almost serious.
It is my thinking (and it is only conjecture) that the internet will eventually moot the fairness doctrine, the FCC, advertising limits, censorship and all such other constraints on information sharing of just about any kind.
Much as movable type ended the Roman Catholic Church’s monopoly on Bible ownership, the internet will shatter today’s puny political shackles.
The Information Age and the Printing Press: Looking Backward to See Ahead
“However... the blowback from a reinstituted fairness doctrine might just be the accelerated death of the broadcast media, and an explosive new subscriber rate to e.g. satellite radio.”
I think you are correct. Conservative talk radio makes money. if they were prohibited from broadcasting Satellite media would flourish by picking up the conservative talk shows. I already listen to Hannity and a bunch of others on Sat and only tune to AM to hear Rush.
I hereby volunteer to be the token liberal counter to all of rushes comments ! I can make liberals look worse than the idiots they are with my version of their side ! Sort of a butt head rebuttal per se.......
>> Well what about streaming media (voice and TV) delivered via wireless internet services on frequencies previously allocated to TV broadcasting?
Who controls the spectrum? Does the FCC license it to a few lucky owners? Or can anyone broadcast there? And, is it free for all to receive it, or is it “scrambled” like satellite and you have to pay for a key to unsubscribe it?
Who is likely to control the launch and control of the satellites?
Who controls the frequencies the satellites use to communicate with the ground?
The lefties already have the MSM, PBS, NPR, etc. that are their propoganda machine. Of course, they deny that they are liberal media, but sponsors of talk radio know the audience of the conservative shows ARE wage-earners and buyers of goods and services. Unlike Lefties, who have to be funded by TAXPAYERS because their voterbase ain’t got two nickels to rub together, and is dependent on handouts for their survival.
Of likely interest to you two.
There are all sorts of new services that are supposed to start up for customers of companies that lease spectrum from the FCC. The ironic thing is that I bet it is much more wasteful of spectrum for 10 million people to stream the same program to their wireless devices at various times of day than it is for one radio station in each market to broadcast the same program once.
People here are starting to figure out that the Wilders persecution does not just affect the Dutch.
His biggest asset is his brain, his greatest flaw is his ego. I suspect that the plan is to insult his ego enough that Rush reacts in a way that will take him down. It has happened before, but I hope that Rush has learned how to control himself.
Those are good questions.
I think the relative “freedom” of satellite broadcasting is due to the sheer number of choices made available by huge bandwidth. Instead of fighting over half hour time slots, an opposing view can have a whole damn channel! (And sink or swim according to the relative popularity of that view.) It’s a different proposition from having only a few channels and trying to make each of them “fair” within itself.
As for launch... several countries can now get your satellite into the air.
I will confess that I’m no expert on the technology or its business aspects — and, again, you bring up provocative points.
I hope that someone who knows more about it will enlighten us.
Well China and the Middle East do a pretty good job of controlling the internet in their respective countries. Hell they even have Yahoo and Google under their thumb and those two mega companies are outside their jurisdiction. Nah, look for the internet to first be taxed and if it can be taxed it can be controlled.
Two men are talking about "rights" and the Constitution.
The first man askes the second man, "Do you believe in the First Amendment right to free speech?"
The second man replies, "Absolutely!"
The first man then asks, "Do you believe in the Second Amendment right to carry arms?"
The second man says, "No, I don't believe people should own guns."
The first man then says, "Then shut the heck up!"
>> Controlling the Internet would be easy, just ask China.
Turns out it’s really *not* that easy, even for China. And it may be a bit of hyperbole to fear at this point that our government can and would turn into one as repressive as Red China. Not impossible, but unlikely IMHO. And if it comes to pass, what they do with the internet won’t matter to me, because I will already have been killed trying to stop it. If you know what I mean.
“The Fairness Doctrine would only apply to public broadcast spectrum. Right?”
Wrong. There already are efforts to apply the fairness doctrine to the internet because it also is a thorn in the side of those that would like to silence dissent.
A pertinent passage from some recent reading.
Dismantling Utopia: How Information Ended the Soviet Union Scott Shane
Ivan R. Dee, Chicago, 1994, 324 pp.
Chapter 3: What Price Socialism? An Economy Without Information
My informal survey suggested that some of the longest lines in Moscow were for shoes. At first I assumed that the inefficient Soviet economy simply did not produce enough shoes, and for that reason, even in the capital, people were forced to line up for hours to buy them. Defitsit, shortage, was a workhorse of colloquial Soviet speech. The adjectival form, defitsitny, had become a term of praise, since everything desirable was in short supply: Look at this pottery I found its very defitsitny. So they needed to make more shoes, I figured. Then I looked up the statistics.
I was wrong. The Soviet Union was the largest producer of shoes in the world. It was turning out 800 million pairs of shoes a year twice as many as Italy, three times as many as the United States, four times as many as China. Production amounted to more than three pairs of shoes per year for every Soviet man, woman, and child.
The problem with shoes, it turned out, was not an absolute shortage. It was a far more subtle malfunction. The comfort, the fit, the design, and the size mix of Soviet shoes were so out of sync with what people needed and wanted that they were willing to stand in line for hours to buy the occasional pair, usually imported, that they liked.
At the root of the dysfunction was the states control of information. Prices are information the information producers need in order to know what and how much to produce. In a market for product as varied in material and design as footwear, shifting prices are like sensors taped to the skin of a patient in a medical experiment; they provide a constant flow of information about consumer needs and preferences. When the state controlled prices, it deprived producers of information about demand.
The shoe factory boss churned out shoes to meet the Plan, a production quota set by bureaucrats who reported to Moscows hulking Gosplan, the State Planning Committee. The shoes were priced according to arcane formulae by another gos-institution (for gosudarstvo, state), Goskomtsen, the State Price Committee. The shoes were distributed by another beefy bureaucracy, Gossnab, the State Supply Committee. If the shoe factory boss was smart, the might produce 10 percent over plan, wind himself a bonus, and be named a Hero of Socialist Labor. But as far as the consumer was concerned, the factory manager operated in the dark, without any information from the market, without feedback.
Indeed, the factorys real customer was the state, not the consumer. The state purchased all the shoe factorys production, good, bad, or indifferent. The consumers choices were not allowed to enter into the matter. So, driven by the tireless efforts of the shoe factory hero and those like him, gross national product might rise and the Politburo might express satisfaction at the obvious economic progress. But on the street the picture looked less triumphant: many stores had bins of clunky shoes sitting around unbought, while down the street hundreds of people sacrificed their mornings waiting for imports.
The vague impression in the West that the Soviet economy was merely an enfeebled version of a Western economy was inaccurate. It was a different beast altogether. It was dreadfully inefficient, stubbornly resistant to change, but capable of huge feats of production. The statistical yearbooks, with their selective but impressive tables of Comparison with Leading Capitalist Countries, proved as much.
The shoes Soviet industry produced might end up in a landfill, but comrade, it could produce shoes.
We’ve already seen the Mark Steyn case in Canada come perilously close to shutting him down; and the minister in Sweden or Finland, can’t remember, who was acquitted-—but only after a trial-—of “hate crimes” for (I think) discussing the biblical view of homosexuality.
>> There already are efforts to apply the fairness doctrine to the internet because it also is a thorn in the side of those that would like to silence dissent.
I know the libs would give their left nut to control the Internet. However, it’s nearly an intractable problem. What’s more, I’ve never seen a serious attempt by a lawmaker to impose censorship or “fairness” on the net.
(By “serious attempt”, I mean for example a proposed draft of a bill to include the Intranet in the fairness doctrine. Not just liberal blather, which they do on a regular basis.)
Do you have a link or other source that indicates otherwise?
Commonwealth countries don’t have equivalent constitutional protections to our Bill of Rights. Do they?
Not saying our “rights” couldn’t be trampled, but I think we do begin with a huge advantage. So comparing us to Canada (or Britain) — or Sweden, which also doesn’t have such protection — may not be apples and apples.
One thing to think about is that since the internet came along, the music industry has tried everything under the sun to prevent file sharing (which is merely information sharing), all to no avail. Video clips go viral within moments of posting. YouTube cannot control them out no matter how hard they try.
Movies are available on the ‘net within hours of their release. It appears that most anything digitized cannot be hemmed up.
I see government’s efforts to control political speech to be no more successful than that of media companies trying to control their content.
Merely my thinking, of course.
>> I see governments efforts to control political speech to be no more successful than that of media companies trying to control their content.
That extends to political finance, as well. The only thing holding a candidate to obeying campaign finance laws is the candidate’s integrity. It’s not a technical challenge to funnel large amounts of money — domestic AND foreign — to a candidate using (guess what?) the Internet as a tool.
>> But here ya go:
This is not an example of a serious attempt to actually DO it.
This is just someone who, like you, is sounding the alarm that it could happening — without offering any concrete evidence, just opinion.
Mind you, I’m not disagreeing with you that it would be a bad thing. On the other hand, I still haven’t seen any real evidence that it’s imminent, indeed if it’s even possible. So I’m not going to get my adrenalin pumping over it just yet.
Well the internet is still the wild west of the technology age but yes indeed efforts to control it have succeeded. Napster is a hollow shell compaired to what it was so no, not to no avail. The US government is obviously nipping around the edges on this powerful medium of free speech. When they feel that they can get away with biting a big chunk, they sure as hell will.
Thats ok. I am all for delegating vigilance. I'll keep getting my adrenalin pumping over this issue. You worry about other things. If you feel the need, you know where I'll be(keyword: fairness doctrine).:)
As soon as Napster folded, ten and more popped up to take its place. As evidence I cite the total ineffectiveness of the RIAA with all its resource to slow down file sharing (information distribution) one whit.
And to be sure, I agree Central Government will attempt censorship, but it will fail, I opine. See 'Gutenberg,' 'Bible,' and 'Roman Catholic Church.'
Cool. My poor adrenal glands are about all squeezed out over the bailout and other ‘Bammy boondoggles. They could use a break! :-)
Exactly. The One's just completed campaign drove a stake through the heart of McCain-Feingold more effectively than a hundred court rulings. The pattern's been set. Money is fungible and so is digitized information.
I don’t believe the fairness doctrine will be brought back...anytime soon. But I’ll be watching carefully...I take the 1st amendment very seriously.
Well I am not as optimistic. While I agree that the human desire for freedom will always ultimately prevail, efforts to control that freedom by government will always drive towards excess until that very human spirit rebels. There is an ebb and flow. It is inevitable and the founders knew this. That's why they put pen to paper to try and slow the tide and created the constitution. Honestly I'd be surprised if any of them thought that our government would last as a republic for as long as it has. These things happen in small increments and to assume that the government wont be able control the Internet is wishful thinking. Btw, owning a bible(or version of the bible) can still get you killed in many countries, and many more before now. And catholics weren't as free as protestants even in this country for most of our own country's history.
I think you are more optimistic than you let on. Otherwise you wouldn't be posting here and trying to educate people on how the Fairness Doctrine might be re-imposed. Hopeless people aren't proactive.
I have a brother that way. For fifty years, he's been bellyaching about the death of conservatism. But does he ever get up off his dead ass and do anything? No. I always talk about doing this or studying that or working for candidates and so forth. His response is to tell me I'm wasting my time; it's too late; "they've" taken control; yadda, yadda, yadda.
The day I get like that is the day I'm slashing my wrists. I'm going down fighting.
“I dont believe the fairness doctrine will be brought back...anytime soon. But Ill be watching carefully...I take the 1st amendment very seriously.”
Look for the terms localism and diversity to be used in the context of broadcast regulation. Of course they aren’t going to call it the fairness doctrine anymore. Like global warming being called climate change, amnesty being called immigration reform, increased government spending being called stimulus, the left isn’t going to call it fairness doctrine anymore. They are going to insist that the brunt of broadcasting be devoted to “local opinion” thereby shutting down the big names in talk radio and dividing and conquering.
Good point...local station strategy.
It may not be called that. Just hope that it is easily reversible when the next RINO administration takes over.
“The day I get like that is the day I’m slashing my wrists. I’m going down fighting.”
Well ya can’t go down fighting if ya slash your wrists, so don’t.:) Just keep on fighting and get your licks in. It is possible to be a pessimist about the future yet still be hopeful for mankind.
I agree. The studies are everywhere. The news media invented the method to demonstrate bias, and it can be used against them. Want a fairness doctrine? No problem. It means that NPR’s cast will take a fifty percent cut, the national networks will do likewise, and MSNBC will die the death it has so long deserved.
Plus, Limbaugh takes liberal callers all the time. He can just screeen for a few more, make sure they’re complete morons, and he’s presenting their side.