Thursday, February 19, 2009

MRC's Free Speech Alliance Calls on Pres. Obama to Oppose All Forms of Government Censorship on the Radio

The President’s stated opposition to the Censorship Doctrine is not enough

The Media Research Center’s Free Speech Alliance (FSA) today called President Barack Obama’s stated opposition to a reinstatement of the Censorship Doctrine, also mis-known as the “Fairness” Doctrine, just a first step towards ensuring that talk radio remain free from government censorship. The FSA calls on the President to publicly declare his opposition to all forms of regulatory assault on talk radio.

Conservative and Christian talk radio face the real threat of government censorship on several fronts. Besides the so-called “Fairness” Doctrine, the nebulous FCC “diversity” in ownership and “localism” requirements may also be used to deny stations their broadcast licenses.

Liberal organizations and individuals like, ACORN, John Podesta’s Center for American Progress, House Energy and Commerce Chair Henry Waxman (D-CA) and others have expressed their intention to silence talk radio by these alternative regulatory means so as to avoid the outcry from millions of Americans should they try to reinstate the mis-named “Fairness” Doctrine.

MRC President L. Brent Bozell:

“We are glad that President Obama says that he ‘does not believe the (so-called) Fairness Doctrine should be reinstated.’ But he should state his opposition to the use of any FCC regulation with the intent of censoring talk radio. He should also guarantee a veto of any bill that will silence free speech on the airwaves.

“The President should also insist that his nominee for FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski, publicly pledge right away – before his confirmation hearing -- that he too vows not to use the regulatory powers of the FCC to silence talk radio. We need to know definitively that the man who will head up Obama’s FCC will in every way possible preserve free speech on the airwaves.

“Only then will the American public – conservatives and liberals alike -- who oppose government censorship know President Obama is serious about protecting free speech on the radio.”

Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist:

“While I’m pleased to hear the President say he opposes revival of the ironically named “fairness doctrine,” I’d like to hear him come out with full-throated support for freedom of speech. Government censorship has many forms, and while President Obama now opposes this form, where does he stand on the more ominous issue of censorship by proxy under the friendly sounding ‘localism’ banner?

“Call me a skeptic, but while what a politician says worries me, what they explicitly don’t say worries me even more. If liberals want an equal voice on talk radio they simply need to produce a product the public wants to hear. It’s the public rejection of the products they’ve offered thus far that has made liberal talk radio a failure, not some ‘vast right-wing conspiracy.’ Bullying through the power government to force their shows on the air won’t grow them an audience. This isn’t Field of Dreams, just because you build it doesn’t mean they’ll come, you have to provide a good product. That’s where liberal talk radio fails, not in some mythical ‘smoke filled room’ somewhere.”

The Free Speech Alliance ( is made up of fifty-nine (59) organizations representing millions of Americans...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fairness Doctrine: Better Off Dead or Alien Resurrection?

Fairness Doctrine fever has now spread through Congress, with efforts to contain the malady only exacerbating the affliction. Looks like we'll just have to let nature take its course.

The Great Fairness Doctrine Panic (FDP) of 2009 continues, hurling gigabytes of fear, loathing, and speculation across the blogosphere like so much digital flotsam. Our recent story raised doubts about the likelihood that anyone on Capital Hill was serious about reviving the 22-years-dead policy. But it turns out that there are a number of people who think it's high time the Fairness Doctrine was resurrected after all.

And so, in penance, I don the personae of Andrews the prison warden, played by Brian Glover in Alien 3. "Rumor control," he soberly tells his off-world brood of sociopaths. "Here are the facts."

Theres' some chatter on Twitter about the Fairness Doctrine so I decided to try and find the latest. Hence, story above and the stories below.

Legal Group Prepares to Battle Fairness Doctrine
The American Center for Law and Justice, a legal group which specializes in constitutional law, said Monday it is preparing a litigation strategy to combat the Fairness Doctrine should it return.

Support drops for Fairness Doctrine
In a new Rasmussen poll, only 38 percent of respondents supported the fairness doctrine.

Some Democrats hope to reinstate Fairness Doctrine
The Fairness Doctrine, a vestige of an America that had radio and TV but no Internet, could be poised for a comeback. A regular parade of Democratic politicians has expressed interest in reviving the rule that - until it was abolished by President Ronald Reagan in 1987 - forced stations to toe an ideologically neutral line. And although some experts scoff at the suggestion that the rule could ...

(Warning: this is from the Huffington Post)
Dave Johnson: Revive The Fairness Doctrine
Let's start a discussion about reviving the Fairness Doctrine to re-introduce the commons and the idea that we tell the corporations what to do! A...

47% Oppose Fairness Doctrine, But 51% Think Congress Likely To Bring It Back
Just 38% of U.S. voters think that the government should require all radio stations to offer equal amounts of conservative and liberal political commentary.

AJOC Editorial: Conspiracy or coincidence with Fairness Doctrine
Now that the Democrats have risen to power again, they are wasting little time in efforts to control what you hear on the radio. The Fairness Doctrine is making a comeback. Could be coincidence; you decide.

Rush Roundup

Despite facts to the contrary the "I hope he fails" bit continues to make the "news". The number of articles and stories (and these are just a very few) show they're still going after the talkmaster. The Fairness Doctrine looms. It's time to speak up if you're ever going to have a voice. I just saw a post on the Internet Infantry blog where a comment purported to Howard Dean talks about targeting conservative Internet sites. Be assured that if they're successful in taking down Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and others, they'll be coming for your favorite conservative hangout.

Partisan Politics in an Unsure Economy
Bi-College News - Haverford,PA,USA
Conservative radio announcer Rush Limbaugh has gone so far as to pointedly say—referring to Obama’s plan to revive the economy—“I hope he fails. ...

Rush Limbaugh: Leader of the GOP
TPMCafé - New York,NY,USA
Rush Limbaugh is the leader of the GOP. Well, Is he right?!?!? I mean, there was this announcement he made, which was not news to me, that Rush Limbaugh was ...

The ‘Truth to Power’ Gap
National Review Online - New York,NY,USA
Various White House assaults on Rush Limbaugh have him laughing all the way to the bank. And yet, I’ve met innumerable writers and editors who are scared, ...

Limbaugh Falsely Claimed Homeless Woman at Obama Town Hall asked ...
eNews Park Forest - Park Forest,IL,USA
Washington, DC--(ENEWSPF)-- Discussing President Obama's February 10 town hall event in Fort Myers, Florida, Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that a homeless ...

Irony: Pat Robertson denounces Rush Limbaugh; Jeb Bush gets in on ...
By Robert_Santurri
Pat Robertson Denounces Rush Limbaugh For Hoping Obama Fails This was on the front page I guess and linked to me by a nonboard member friend who said I wouldn't believe it. It's the huff but And Jeb Bush gets on in the fun too!
US Message Board - Political... -

Let Freedom Rain: When you know Rush Limbaugh has gone too far
By Jymn
When you know Rush Limbaugh has gone too far. When Pat Robertson criticizes a far right comedian, you know that comedian has lost credibility. "That was a terrible thing to say," Robertson responded. "I mean, he's the president of all ...
Let Freedom Rain -

Limbaugh, unhappiest, most miserable person alive? Perhaps at Our ...
By Jeremy without comments.
According to a recent U.S. News & World Report story, conservative talk show commentator and Christian Broadcasting Network founder Pat Robertson criticized Rush Limbaugh’s comments, heard here: ...
Our Daily Train A blog by Jeremy... -

Pat Robertson denounces Rush Limbaugh, hell freezes over Crooks ...
By SilentPatriot
Rush Limbaugh revealed a whole lot about his brand of "patriotism" when he made those ridiculously bone-headed remarks. It really is quite amazing that the GOP has turned so enthusiastically to him as their savior. ...
Crooks & Liars Video Podcast -

By Fearguth
"Anybody, like Rush Limbaugh, who would pull against. our president is not exactly thinking rationally. All we. really need is a very small nuke dropped on Foggy Bottom. to shake things up like Newt Gingrich wants to do." ...
Bildungblog -

Friday, February 13, 2009

Alinsky-ites at the Gates of Talk Radio

You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done. - President Barack Obama to Republican Lawmakers

Fellow citizens, if you like what ACORN did to the home mortgage industry, then you're going to just plum love what the Democrats have in mind for talk radio. For the past few years, hardly a week goes without some Democratic Party Senator or Representative throwing out the term, "Fairness Doctrine." Hardly a month passes without a Democrat spurning the so-called "dangers" of conservative talk radio, often invoking Rush Limbaugh by name.

Why, if I didn't know better, I might think there's a vast left-wing conspiracy afoot, an evil conspiracy to storm the gates of talk radio.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Democrats Want to Resurrect the "Fairness Doctrine."

An article by Air America Radio founder that might surprise you... Received via the National Federation of Republican Women no less!

Members of the Democratic congressional party are attempting to silence talk radio by resurrecting the "Fairness Doctrine." Although Democrats would tell you otherwise, the regulation would limit free speech.

Freedom of speech, one of the rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. However, now Democrats want to silence a select few. Our government does not, nor should it ever, have the responsibility to modify that right and thus regulate content of speech.

Limbaugh Is Right on the Fairness Doctrine
Liberals don't need equal-time rules to compete

Conservative talk radio has worked itself into a tizzy lately over the rumored revival of the Fairness Doctrine -- the FCC policy that sought to enforce balanced discussion on the nation's airwaves.

As the founding president of Air America Radio, I believe that for the last eight years Rush Limbaugh and his ilk have been cheerleaders for everything wrong with our economic, foreign and domestic policies. But when it comes to the Fairness Doctrine, I couldn't agree with them more. The Fairness Doctrine is an anachronistic policy that, with the abundance of choices on radio today, is entirely unnecessary.

Instituted in 1949, the Fairness Doctrine obligated stations to "afford reasonable opportunity" for opposing views on topics of "public importance." At the time, most cities outside of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles had only a few stations. AM radio was in everyone's car and home, but there were just three or four stations per market. FM radio was still a quarter of a century away from commercial success.

Policy makers who introduced the Fairness Doctrine were worried that crafty special interests could overwhelm the airwaves with one-sided propaganda and tilt elections, sway public sentiment or foment civil unrest. Their fears were understandable. Joseph Goebbels effectively used radio in service of the Third Reich.

Contrary to what some people would have us believe today, the Fairness Doctrine was primarily an issue on TV, since radio didn't have much talk. Until the 1970s, AM stations had a steady diet of music with a couple of minutes of news at the top of the hour. But by 1978, music had migrated to FM, leaving AM in a programming lurch. The history of media is replete with new technologies stealing the content of the ones they supplant. Motion pictures killed vaudeville; radio was full of dramas and comedies before Jack Webb and Jack Benny switched to TV. As for AM radio, it was not until Rush found an audience on WABC in New York City in 1988 that the AM operators knew what to do with their once mighty stations.

The conventional wisdom is that Rush's success depended on the 1987 repeal of the Fairness Doctrine. Some say that if he had to make time for opposing opinions, Rush would have flopped. Personally, I think he is most entertaining when he is dismantling opposing arguments. He's successful because he is a superior entertainer.

Rush created the new AM template, and it spread like wildfire. When programmers and sales managers get a whiff of success, it is cloned in every conceivable way until the audience, once grateful for innovation, tunes out.

So why didn't liberal talk radio flourish as well? There are several reasons, none of which has to do with a lack of talent. Bill Maher, Al Franken, Stephanie Miller, David Bender, Janeane Garofalo, Jon Stewart and Rachel Maddow all have the chops.

First, boring hosts made the occasional, unsuccessful foray (sorry, Mario Cuomo). Second, some talented lefties like Mike Malloy were cast into the abyss of right-wing talk radio where they were completely out of place. (Radio is a mood servicing drug; format purity rules.)

Finally, most broadcast owners are conservative. Programs like Rush's have made them rich, so the last thing they want is to mess with success, particularly if it entails airing opinions they don't share. Trust me, it took us years to get them to play rock 'n' roll.

No one tried a national, 24-hour liberal station before Air America Radio. When we founded Air America, we aimed to establish a talk network that lived at the intersection of politics and entertainment. Of course, we were motivated by our political leanings. But as a lifelong broadcaster, I was certain that at least half the American audience was underserved by conservative talk radio. Here was an opportunity to capture listeners turned off by the likes of, say, Sean Hannity. The business opportunity was enticing.

It never occurred to me to argue for reimposing the Fairness Doctrine. Instead, I sought to capitalize on the other side of a market the right already had built.

When conservative talking heads wave a red flag about the possible revival of the Fairness Doctrine, they know it's a great way to play the victim and rally supporters. But I'll let Rush continue with his self-righteous indignation -- and if I want, I'll tune into Rachel Maddow, or one of the thousands of other voices that populate radio today.

Mr. Sinton is the founding president of Air America Radio.

Want to Learn More?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

They are SO coming after Rush and talk radio

All you need to do is scan the headlines to see that they're continuing to go after Rush with the ultimate goal of shutting down talk radio and any opposition viewpoints.

On the radio: Barack Obama - George Rush feud adds heat, not light
New York Daily News - New York,NY,USA
By David Hinckley Bob Slade of WRKSÂ was asking the other day, rhetorically, why President Obama had taken on Rush Limbaugh by name - knowing he was pouring ...

Judge a president in three weeks? Breathe....
Kansas City Star - MO,USA... in the Senate—and their inclusion of too many pet projects handed choice weapons to Rush Limbaugh and company, and embarrassed their own president. ...

The Fairness Doctrine and Rush Limbaugh
National Ledger - Apache Junction,AZ,USA
An ongoing battle with President Barack Obama and radio host Rush Limbaugh continues. Obama recently scolded Republicans, "You can't just listen to Rush ...

Understanding Limbaugh
Northwest Herald - Crystal Lake,IL,USA
I heard the interview with Rush Limbaugh by Sean Hannity and saw it on TV. The “hope President Obama fails” remark is taken out of the whole sentence which ...

President calls on Republicans to be patriots not dittoheads - USA
Let’s show that we are and let’s do whatever it takes to keep the promise of America alive in our time.” Will Republicans serve Rush Limbaugh or the ...

Don’t be like Limbaugh
Kansas City Star - MO,USA
Or would you rather join Rush Limbaugh’s bandwagon and hope President Obama fails, therefore putting party politics before the welfare of country? ...

GOP Leaders Embrace Rush Limbaugh As Their ‘Unofficial Leader’
Think Progress - Washington,DC,USA
By Faiz Shakir at 1:30 pm The Los Angeles Times’ Faye Fiore and Mark Z. Barabak observe that “Rush Limbaugh has his grip on the GOP microphone,” having ...

Rush Limbaugh's GOP Role In Question
Post Chronicle - USA
by Staff US conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh has a place in the Republican Party, but may not as a self-proclaimed party leader, party officials say. ...

Rush Limbaugh has his grip on the GOP microphone
Los Angeles Times - CA,USARob Carr / AP Rob Carr / AP LOUD AND CLEAR: After President Obama called out the radio host by name, he went on the air and said: "I am Rush Limbaugh, ...

Ruben Navarrette Jr: Extremists turned Hispanics against the GOP
San Jose Mercury News - CA, USA
That's pretty much what radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh said during a recent interview with fellow talker Sean Hannity. I like listening to Limbaugh, ...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

ABC's Sawyer to McCain: 'Are You Offended' by Rush Limbaugh?

Good Morning America host Diane Sawyer on Monday repeatedly pressed Senator John McCain to attack Rush Limbaugh's assertion that he hopes Barack Obama's liberal policies fail. After playing a selectively edited clip that implied racial overtones and left out all context of what the radio host meant, Sawyer challenged: "Are you offended by what he said?"

A few seconds earlier, editing together two separate clips of Limbaugh, the GMA host played a misleading, racially-suggestive soundbite of the conservative star: "[From January 16 on radio] I don't need 400 words. I need four. I hope he fails. [From Fox News January 21 interview.] We are being told that we have to hope he succeeds. Because his father was black. Because this is the first black president. We've got to accept this." (More on the selective editing in a post, "Rush Limbaugh Wants Obama to 'Fail' for Racial Reasons, ABC's Diane Sawyer Suggests," at: )

[This item, by the MRC's Scott Whitlock, was posted Monday afternoon on the MRC's blog, ]

Sawyer then challenged the former GOP presidential nominee. "So, he says he hopes the Obama presidency fails. What do you say to Rush Limbaugh," she wondered. McCain refused to take the bait and simply asserted that all Americans hope the President can get the economy moving. Not getting the answer Sawyer was looking for, the journalist followed up: "One more try here. But, do you hope the President succeeds?" The GMA host closed out the line of questioning by pressing McCain as to whether he was "offended" by Limbaugh. The Arizona Senator also appeared on CBS's The Early Show and was asked no such question.

In contrast to the conservative radio host, Sawyer offered McCain just one question on Tom Daschle, Obama's Health and Human Services nominee. Daschle is under fire for owing three years and $140,000 of back taxes. (He's since paid them.) The ABC host simply queried: "The Senate is getting ready to consider in earnest the tax problems of former Senator Daschle who is going to be nominated for the vital issues of health care. Have his apologies satisfied you? Would you vote for him?" She certainly didn't wonder if McCain was offended by Daschle's failure to pay taxes. (Reporter Jake Tapper did cover this story in another segment, but this was the only question Sawyer offered on the subject.)

A transcript of the February 2 segment, which aired at 7:10am:

DIANE SAWYER: Just a few moments ago we were joined by a major Republican player in the stimulus package and, of course, in the loyal opposition, as he says, Senator John McCain of Arizona. And good morning, Senator McCain. Great to have you with us again. And, oh, it was close last night. It was so close.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: They came- yeah, I was very proud of them and very proud of the way they came back and you've got to hand it to a Pittsburgh team who pulled a rabbit out of the hat. But it was a great game and everything that everybody wanted except for victory for us Cardinals fans.

SAWYER: There's always another year. There will be another year. Well, I want to turn to the news of the day as we know. The Senate is getting ready to consider in earnest the tax problems of former Senator Daschle who is going to be nominated for the vital issues of health care. Have his apologies satisfied you? Would you vote for him?

MCCAIN: It hasn't, quote, satisfied me. I just think we need to find out more information, his relationship with Mr. Henry, what he did for the millions of dollars and why it is that he didn't report a great deal of income in taxes. But I'd like to wait and see for all the facts to come out before I make a decision. I think we'll know that in the next couple of days.

SAWYER: Turning on to the stimulus package, you have come out against the current form of the package and also have said you don't think the administration has been collaborative enough with the Republicans. Have you called the President to express to him what you think should be in that bill?

MCCAIN: Well, the President met with both House and Senate and that was- House and Senate Republicans and I think that was a very important gesture and very helpful in establishing the climate. But in the House and in the Senate, the Democrats really didn't negotiate at all with the Republicans. We have got to have a truly bipartisan approach. I think the President can and will lead in negotiations to eliminate so many billion, tens of billions of unnecessary and non-stimulative projects. They are- this is a spending bill. This is the spending projects that frankly the more liberal members of Congress who have wanted to spend for a long time. It doesn't cut payroll taxes. It doesn't cut business taxes. It doesn't have a provision for when we start reducing this deficit.

SAWYER: Another big issue in the news and out there on the internet, of course, is Rush Limbaugh who basically says that Republicans have got to take sides and here was the question that he posed. Here is the challenge he posed.

RUSH LIMBAUGH: [From radio] I don't need 400 words. I need four. I hope he fails. [From Fox News interview.] We are being told that we have to hope he succeeds. Because his father was black. Because this is the first black president. We've got to accept this.

SAWYER: So he says he hopes the Obama presidency fails. What do you say to Rush Limbaugh?
MCCAIN: I hope that all of us as Americans can succeed in getting a package that will get this economy going, put millions of people back into jobs again and that we can all work together to do so without betraying our fundamental principles of our Republican Party, which is lower taxes, spending under control, fiscal responsibility and a high regard for the taxpayers' dollars.

SAWYER: One more try here. But, do you hope the president succeeds?

MCCAIN: I hope we all succeed working together. That's what the American people want us to do and if the President gets the credit for it, fine. I'll give it to him. What I want to do is work to get this country back on its feet again. This is terrible, Diane. I don't have to tell you or anybody watching how tough this situation is. That's when we have to act together.

SAWYER: Are you offended by what he said?

MCCAIN: Oh, listen, I think the important thing for us to do right now is to sit down and work together. Mr. Limbaugh is entitled to his opinion. I respect it as I do many other commentators on the issues of the day.

SAWYER: And before we let you go, can't help but note it is great to have you back with us. I just wonder now looking back at the campaign, what's the last thought you had about the race for the presidency?

MCCAIN: That I was proud of the campaign we ran. I lost to a very good candidate and I wish him every success because we need leadership now that the American people can get behind and two wars, tough economy And I'm proud of the campaign we ran and I'm sure we made many mistakes, Diane. But I'm proud of the people that supported us and the way we conducted the campaign and I'm honored and humbled to have had the opportunity to compete for the presidency of the greatest nation in the world.

SAWYER: Thank you, Senator McCain. Come often.

From: A usually-daily report, edited by Brent H. Baker, CyberAlert is distributed by the Media Research Center, the leader since 1987 in documenting, exposing and neutralizing liberal media bias.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Rush News for the day

You have to laugh when you see liberals telling the Republican Party how they should think and what they should think about Rush Limbaugh...

Teepen: Taking on Limbaugh the bully
Seattle Post Intelligencer - USA
There's worry among Democrats that President Barack may have unwisely stirred a hornets' nest when he lightly gigged Rush Limbaugh, the radio gasbag who ...

A blunt Newt Gingrich on Blago, Palin, and Limbaugh
Christian Science Monitor - Boston,MA,USA
Rod Blagojevich, conservative radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and past and present US Treasury secretaries. ...

Obama: Be President, Not Legislator in Chief - West Palm Beach,FL,USA
And why is Obama dumping on Rush Limbaugh, thereby elevating Limbaugh to equal status to the presidency? How can resuscitating the dispirited right possibly ...

Obama and Democrats Launch Stimulus Ad Blitz Against GOP - West Palm Beach,FL,USA
The strategy: Threaten to link vulnerable senators to talk radio’s Rush Limbaugh, thereby driving away moderate supporters and portray the senators as badly ...

Rush Limbaugh Dooms the Republican Party, but Michael Steele Could ...
U.S. News & World Report - Washington,DC,USA
On the other side of the road stands Rush Limbaugh, a crude and mean-spirited individual who gets rich by playing to base fears and likes to joke about ...

Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Bloviating Gas Bag
OpEdNews - Newtown,PA,USA
by Tom Degan Page 1 of 2 page(s) In a healthy country populated with an intelligent, enlightened citizenry, Rush Limbaugh would be standing on the bread ...

Rush Limbaugh Wants Obama to ‘Fail’ for Racial Reasons, Diane Sawyer Suggests

Rush Limbaugh Wants Obama to ‘Fail’ for Racial Reasons, Diane Sawyer Suggests( – On Monday morning, ABC’s “Good Morning America” gave Rush Limbaugh’s “I hope he (Obama) fails” comment a racial slant by editing it in a deliberately misleading way.