Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hands off the 1st Amendment! ~ By Henry Lamb

Henry Lamb discusses the reality of people in the federal government actually suggesting regulations on broadcasters that "dictate the content broadcasters are required to air." And of course, he's talking Obama appointees, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps and regulatory information czar, Cass Sunstein.

As Henry writes:
In a free society, it is not the job of government to decide what people should hear. In a socialist, communist or other dictatorial society, deciding what people should hear is the first priority of government.
That would seem to be a no-brainer, but what is even more obvious to us that love America and freedom is the last few lines of Henry's column:
It's hard to imagine a more effective way to destroy a free society than to empower government to control the flow of information available to its citizens. The crowd now in power in Washington seems to want this power – badly. They will take it, unless they are stopped. They can be stopped only by making sure that the president who appoints these bureaucrats honors, respects and abides by the Constitution. (emphasis my own)

Hands off the 1st Amendment!
By Henry Lamb

December 11, 2010 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2010

"Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press …," but the progressives on the Federal Communications Commission think their job is to do just that – regulate the speech of individuals and of the press. Speaking to the Columbia School of Journalism, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps spelled out his idea for a "community values test" to be applied to media outlets with every license-renewal application.

This is not a new idea from Copps. In 2007, at a Walter Cronkite Awards dinner, he told journalists that license holders should be required to meet a laundry list of standards the FCC dictates. What happened to the idea that in a free market, consumers set the standards? If the market does not like what the broadcaster is producing, the broadcaster will soon be out of business.

The FCC's only legitimate function is to see that broadcasters comply with laws enacted by Congress. It is certainly not the function of the FCC to dictate the content broadcasters are required to air. Copps is also bent out of shape because there are not as many black and Latino owners of broadcast stations as he thinks there should be. He wants the licensing process to insure that the distribution of ownership opportunities meets his requirements, even if it means taxing successful broadcast stations to provide a subsidy for new minority operators.

Could it be that Copps believes that the FCC is not limited by the First Amendment? Could it be that Copps thinks that requiring broadcast outlets to present content dictated by the FCC is not really "abridging" the freedom of the press? Or, could it be that he just doesn't give a damn what the Constitution says?


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