With Henry Waxman as high priest.  Come, bow down before him:

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.”

I have a question.  So what?  Another question.  Ever hear of the First Amendment?  A third.  Have you heard of the revolutionary new concepts dubbed Change The Channel and Search the Web?  Talk about being out of touch.

How to get a handle on all that unfettered speech:

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.

Opportunity knocked, and the stimulus package answered:

“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.”

About those above-mentioned advisory boards:

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.

So, the perceptions of the people who brought us General BetrayUs will determine what we see, hear, read and post on the internet.

From Redstate’s Brian Darling:

The problem from their perspective is that conservative talk radio absolutely kills with the ratings, therefore they need the government to help force feed boring liberal talk radio on America.

The solution they propose includes three specific government actions for a de facto nationalization of talk radio:

1. Limit the number of stations one evil conservative company can own both locally and nationally;
2. Shorten license terms so they can use government pressure to get snoozers like Bill Press on more radio stations; and,
3. Require that these broadcasters prove that they operate in the “public interest” including the government mandated reporting requirements that the content of the programs contain both popular conservative viewpoints and unpopular liberal viewpoints.

The “public interest” will require the public to hear what the public isn’t interested in hearing.  Got it.

Redstate’s Erick Erickson:

So it’ll no longer be what the market wants. It’ll be what the left demands.


Protein Wisdom:   This is campus “hate-speech” prohibition applied to the nation as a whole.  Its sole purpose is to skew the playing field in the direction of whatever beliefs it supports, and to punish those who would take exception to them.  Soon enough, you may find yourself relegated to a little free speech zone ghetto, so enjoy your privilege (not right) to express yourself as you will while you’ve got it.

Like driving is a privilege.  No wonder they call it the Drive-By Media.

Oh, well, I don’t have to worry about government controlling internet content.  I’m a low-traffic blog.  Wait.  What did you say?  Something about people coming for people, and you didn’t speak out?

You have a point.

No one will dictate to me who I will link to.  No one.

Justbkuz has spoken.