Obama’s threat to free speech

High on the democrats wish list should they achieve the votes, is to bring back the Fairness Doctrine. Obama has said, if you can trust his word, that he does not seek to re-impose this legislation.
He does however plan more subtle regulations to muzzle the right. Brian C. Anderson, editor of City Journal and co-author of “A Manifesto for Media Freedom”, explains:

Even with control of Washington and public support, Dems would have a big fight in passing a Fairness Doctrine. Rush Limbaugh & Co. wouldn’t sit by idly and let themselves be regulated into silence, making the outcome of any battle uncertain. But Obama and the Democrats also plan other, more subtle regulations that would achieve much the same outcome.
He and most Democrats want to expand broadcasters’ public-interest duties. One such measure would be to impose greater “local accountability” on them – requiring stations to carry more local programming whether the public wants it or not. The reform would entail setting up community boards to make their demands known when station licenses come up for renewal. The measure is clearly aimed at national syndicators like Clear Channel that offer conservative shows. It’s a Fairness Doctrine by subterfuge.
Obama also wants to relicense stations every two years (not eight, as is the case now), so these monitors would be a constant worry for stations. Finally, the Democrats also want more minority-owned stations and plan to intervene in the radio marketplace to ensure that outcome.
It’s worth noting, as Jesse Walker does in the latest Reason magazine, that Trinity Church, the controversial church Obama attended for many years, is heavily involved in the media-reform movement, having sought to restore the Fairness Doctrine, prevent media consolidation and deny licenses to stations that refuse to carry enough children’s programming.
Regrettably, media freedom hasn’t been made an issue by the McCain campaign, perhaps because the maverick senator is himself no fan of unbridled political speech, as his long support of aggressive campaign-finance regulation underscores. But the threat to free speech is real – and profoundly disturbing.

Read the New York Post article here.