New FCC ‘Chief Diversity Officer’ Co-Wrote Liberal Group’s ‘Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio’
By Seton Motley
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced a new “Chief Diversity Officer,” communications attorney Mark Lloyd.
But Doctor of Jurisprudence Lloyd is far more than merely a communications attorney. He was at one time a Senior Fellow at the uber-liberal Center for American Progress (CAP), for whom he co-wrote a June 2007 report entitled “The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio.”
Which rails against the fact that the American people overwhelmingly prefer to listen to conservative (and Christian) talk radio rather than the liberal alternative, and suggests ways the federal government can remedy this free-market created “problem.”
- Restore local and national caps on the ownership of commercial radio stations.
- Ensure greater local accountability over radio licensing.
- Require commercial owners who fail to abide by enforceable public interest obligations to pay a fee to support public broadcasting.
These last two get perilously close to the use of “localism” to silence conservative (and Christian) radio stations, about which we have been warning for quite some time.
Note: For those that HAVE NOT read Mark Levin’s book Liberty and Tyranny, I suggest you go to your nearest store, buy it, and READ IT!
A radio report from Mark Levin:
FCC’s Chief Diversity Officer Wants Private Broadcasters to Pay a Sum Equal to Their Total Operating Costs to Fund Public Broadcasting
Thursday, August 13, 2009
By Matt Cover (CNSNews.com) – Mark Lloyd, newly appointed Chief Diversity Officer of the Federal Communications Commission, has called for making private broadcasting companies pay licensing fees equal to their total operating costs to allow public broadcasting outlets to spend the same on their operations as the private companies do.
Lloyd presented the idea in his 2006 book, Prologue to a Farce: Communications and Democracy in America, published by the University of Illinois Press.
Lloyd’s hope is to dramatically upgrade and revamp the Corporation for Public Broadcasting through new funding drawn from private broadcasters.
The CPB is a non-profit entity that was created by Congress and that currently receives hundreds of millions of dollars in federal subsidies each year. In fiscal 2009, it is receiving an appropriation of $400 million.
“The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) must be reformed along democratic lines and funded on a substantial level,” Lloyd wrote in his book.
“Federal and regional broadcast operations and local stations should be funded at levels commensurate with or above those spending levels at which commercial operations are funded,” Lloyd wrote. “This funding should come from license fees charged to commercial broadcasters. Funding should not come from congressional appropriations. Sponsorship should be prohibited at all public broadcasters.”
Along with this money, Lloyd would regulate much of the programming on these stations to make sure they focused on “diverse views” and government activities.
“Local public broadcasters and regional and national communications operations should be required to encourage and broadcast diverse views and programs,” wrote Lloyd. “These programs should include coverage of all local, state and federal government meetings, as well as daily news and public issues programming.
“In addition, educational programs for children and adults, and diverse, independent personal and cultural expression should be encouraged,” he wrote.
Dennis Wharton, Executive Vice President of Media Relations at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) told CNSNews.com that his organization, which represents radio and television broadcasters, supports public broadcasting, but that that support should come from the public in general not broadcasters alone.
Lloyd wrote Prologue to a Farce while a senior fellow at the liberal Center for American Progress. In that capacity, he co-authored the 2007 report The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio, which concluded that 91% of talk radio programming is conservative and 9% is “progressive.”
The report argued that large corporate broadcasting networks had driven liberals off the radio, and that diversity of ownership would increase diversity of broadcasting voices.
Mark Lloyd has recently been appointed “Chief Diversity Officer” at the Federal Communications Commission. Conservative groups believe his installation is merely another way to impose the dangerous principles contained in the Fairness Doctrine.
Lloyd is a longtime Democrat activist who has strategized about ways to censor conservative media under the guise of “local accountability.” In 2007, he co-wrote a report that called for, among other things, the restoration of local and national caps on the ownership of commercial radio stations and fines for commercial radio station owners if their stations didn’t air enough “progressive” content. Those fines would go directly into the pockets of liberal competitors with fewer listeners.
“Our conclusion is that the gap between conservative and progressive talk radio is the result of multiple structural problems in the U.S. regulatory system, particularly the complete breakdown of the public trustee concept of broadcast, the elimination of clear public interest requirements for broadcasting, and the relaxation of ownership rules,” he wrote.
In addition to having this new CDO title, Lloyd will also assume the title of Associate General Counsel, giving him what seems to be a substantial amount of authority to pursue these objectives. But Seton Motley, Director of Communications for the Media Research Center, said that there is no way of knowing at this point how much authority Lloyd will have.
“We frankly don’t know what role the CDO will play,” he said.
Lloyd’s past work includes stints at the Center for American Progress (CAP) and vice president of strategic initiatives at the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR). CAP is funded by the liberal financier George Soros and LCCR focuses on representing “persons of color, women, children, labor unions, individuals with disabilities, older Americans, major religious groups, gays and lesbians and civil liberties and human rights groups.”
In a blog post, LCCR praised the selection of Lloyd by saying that he will “help the FCC to develop communications policy that will increase media diversity and address the needs of low-income people, women, minorities, people with disabilities.” The LCCR and Lloyd have been careful to distance themselves from the notion that they support the Fairness Doctrine, while actually backing every principle the doctrine stands for.
“We call for ownership rules that we think will create greater local diversity of programming, news, and commentary. And we call for more localism by putting teeth into the licensing rules,” he wrote in an article on CAP’s website titled “Forget the Fairness Doctrine.” “But we do not call for a return to the Fairness Doctrine.”
Motley isn’t convinced.
“They don’t want equality of opportunity, they want equality of outcomes – giving equal time for people who get listeners and people who don’t,” he said.
Free speech plan booted by House committee
‘The last thing we want is a government takeover of the airwaves’July 15, 2009
By Bob Unruh
An amendment proposed to the Financial Services Appropriation Bill that would have protected free speech by preventing the Federal CommunicationsCommission from restoring the so-called Fairness Doctrine regulations to U.S. airwaves has been rejected by members of a U.S. House committee.
“Unfortunately, Democrats on the Rules Committee decided that the freedom of speech, though enshrined in the Constitution, is not a right they were willing to afford their colleagues in the House,” said Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., who along with Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., sponsored the plan.
“I am profoundly disappointed,” Pence said.
The Rules Committee voted 8-4 along party lines to reject the amendment that would have halted any proposals by the FCC that would restore the Fairness Doctrine, which was abandoned in 1987 under President Reagan.
Pence explained in a website statement that the First Amendment “is not a partisan issue; the preservation of constitutional freedoms should be the paramount duty of every elected representative and should take precedence over partisan gamesmanship or heavy-handedness.”
He said what made the decision by majority Democrats both disappointing and baffling was that more than 300 members of the House already have expressed support for broadcast freedom.
“Today, the interests of the American people and the interests of this august institution were not served,” Pence said. “Every time a vote concerning the freedom of a people, abroad or here at home, has come to the floor of the People’s House, freedom has always won; yet tonight freedom was blocked from getting even a chance to be voted on.”
The amendment, the sponsors explained, was intended to block regulations that would result in government censorship of political and religious talk radio.
“Congressman Pence and I are continuing our longstanding fight against the government takeover of free speech on the airwaves,” Walden said.
“The federal government is intruding on various sectors of American life. The last thing we want is a government takeover of the airwaves,” he declared.
A number of prominent Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have indicated a desire to see the FCC restore the speech restrictions. While the program under the Fairness Doctrine name is unlikely, the FCC has recently floated new rules that would add layers of restrictive oversight to radio programming.
“As a radio station operator of over 21 years, I can say from experience that there’s only one group qualified to judge a station’s performance: the listeners,” Walden said. “If they’re tuning in, you’re doing something right. If they’re not, it’s time to reconsider. Sounds simple enough, but some here in the nation’s capital want the government to intrude on that basic principle.”
In encouraging a “yes” vote on the issue, Pence said, “The American people cherish freedom, especially freedom of speech and of the press. That was why President Reagan repealed the so-called Fairness Doctrine back in 1987.
“For more than four decades, the federal government regulated the content of American talk radio and some of the most powerful Democrats in the House and Senate would like to see it restored. Bringing back the Fairness Doctrine today would amount to government control over political views expressed on the public airways,” he said.
Read the rest HERE
AP to distribute Soros-funded ‘journalism’
Slammed as ‘lapdog on leash sworn in advance to left-wing causes’
Posted: August 09, 2009
By Aaron Klein
JERUSALEM – The Associated Press is delivering to its subscribing 1,500 American newspapers content, it has emerged, penned by groups with financing from philanthropist George Soros and another far-leftist billionaire who not only campaigned for President Obama but also topped donor lists to groups like ACORN and MoveOn.org.
The AP announced last month it will allow its subscribers to publish free of charge work by four nonprofit groups, the Center for Public Integrity, the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, the Center for Investigative Reporting and ProPublica.
Controversial Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., a friend of President Obama who was embroiled in a recent national race scandal, sits on the board of ProPublica. The group defines itself as “an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.”
ProPublica was founded with a $10 million yearly grant from Herbert and Marion Sandler, the former chief executives of the Golden West Financial Corporation , which was one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders.
The Sandlers are major donors to the Democratic Party and are top funders of ACORN, MoveOne.org, the American Civil Liberties Union and other far-leftist groups like Human Rights Watch.
In 2008, the Sandlers were behind two controversial California Political Action Committees, Vote Hope and PowerPac.org, which spent about $5 million in pro-Obama ads in that state. The two groups were run by the Sandler’s son-in-law, Steve Phillips, the former president of the San Francisco School Board.
The journalistic integrity of the Sandler-backed ProPublica, however, has been repeatedly called into question.
A report by the Capital Research Center concluded ProPublica “churns out little more than left-wing hit pieces about Sarah Palin and blames the U.S. government for giving out too little foreign aid.”
Slate reporter Jack Shafer raised questions about ProPublica’s ability to provide independent nonpartisan journalism in light of the nature of the Sandler’s political donations, which include “giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic Party campaigns.”
The watchdog website UndueInfluence.com slammed ProRepublica’s claim of independence, stating the site is “as independent as a lapdog on a leash with allegiances sworn in advance to left-wing causes.”
Meanwhile, another of the nonprofits being distributed by the AP, the CPI, is funded by Soros’ Open Society Institute.
CPI churns out regular partisan pieces. One widely debunked CPI study from last year, covered extensively by the AP, claimed it found President Bush and top administration officials had issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq as “part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.”
Writing on FrontPageMag, Richard Poe, a writer for the Center for the Study of Popular Culture, concluded CPI and other Soros-funded so-called watchdogs “have a long history of coordination with Soros and his Shadow Party. They are beholden to Soros personally for his financial support. His influence often shows in their choice of targets.”
The AP itself has called the arrangement to distribute pieces from the Soros and Sandler-funded nonprofits a six-month experiment that could later be broadened to include other investigative nonprofits and to serve its nonmember clients, which include broadcast and Internet outlets.
“It’s something we’ve talked about for a long time, since part of our mission is to enable our members to share material with each other,” said Sue Cross, a senior vice president at the AP.