READER COMMENTS ON
"FCC: No More Equal Time Requirements for Political Campaign Supporters Over Our Public Airwaves"
(23 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 5/14/2014 @ 8:02 am PT...
I'm appalled at the FCC, though unfortunately I can't exactly say I'm surprised.
Very glad to know about the MAC's work.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 5/14/2014 @ 5:23 pm PT...
I anticipated this would happen, as I wrote earlier in the BradBlog:
But despite the results of the Scott Walker Recall Talk Radio monitoring report, despite the fact that Talk Radio is not bonafide news, despite the multiple requests made by the supporters of his opponent Tom Barrett to WISN and WTMJ for comparable time (as per FCC guidelines,) this is no slam dunk to get the FCC to rule on behalf of We the People.
Although its underpinnings come from Section 315 (a) , the Zapple Doctrine was framed in context of the Fairness Doctrine, which was ordered by the Reagan Administration to be no longer enforced by the FCC as of 1987. It was finally, formally buried last July and removed from the FCC rule book entirely. The FCC says it is uncertain whether Zapple is still enforceable given the absence of the Fairness Doctrine.
But the intent of Section 315(a) is clear, and even the original language of Zapple says the Commission can legally view supporters of candidates as a logical offshoot of the intent of that longstanding Congressional law.
But at least we have an answer so we can now begin asking the next question: where's the rule (and/or law) prohibiting this?
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 5/14/2014 @ 8:29 pm PT...
LEGALIZED SHILLING: The timing of this long-delayed ruling seems suspiciously close on the heels of McCutcheon. The fact that every radio station can now legally shill:
"...[n]either Capstar’s programming nor its refusal to provide air time to supporters of Tom Barrett violated the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, or any Commission rule or policy."
This is saying there's no longer a link between the "public interest" and the idea that both sides should be heard in a given election.
As a school teacher, I can attest to the fact that we still teach children that arguments should be made honestly, with critical consideration given to counter-arguments. Intentionally suppression of relevant facts and perspectives is deceit, historically known as propaganda.
The question for the public now is whether the FCC is serving the public interest or private interests with the new edict that hearing just one side in a close campaign is sufficient to inform the electorate.
Here is another crucial point:
"...the Commission cannot exercise any power of censorship over broadcast stations with respect to content - based programming decisions. A licensee has broad discretion --- based on its right to free speech --- to choose the programming that it believes serves the needs and interests of the members of its audience."
The FCC is now saying it's in acceptable to exercise bias in a listening area because the station owners believe that bias is in the public interest. Is not the whole idea of having a public Petition To Deny process a mechanism for redress?
I think the tricky language of "public interest" is key. It doesn't say the public's best interests, so there is no duty to be balanced to keep people well-informed. The FCC just gave permission to private companies to exploit and deceive the public right over it's own airwaves.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 5/15/2014 @ 11:34 am PT...
Given the fact that it was a democrat and a leftist group that sued the FCC to put biased programming on "Public Radio" are you surprised? Of course it's funny the modern leftist want rules to silence others but don't want those rules to apply to them. Can I say it now? Yes I do know the rules, Do you?
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 5/15/2014 @ 12:07 pm PT...
As I have stated for years, it was entirely likely that the FCC would rule in exactly the way it has. This is no surprise, just the first step of many to correct this obvious wrong.
However, your link incorrectly cites the Syracuse Peace Council case as deciding the Fairness Doctrine is unconstitutional. No such finding has ever been made, in fact quite the contrary. The Supreme Court in Red Lion makes it clear that
"it is the right of viewers and listeners, not the right of broadcasters, which is paramount."
Please see http://scholarship.law.s...39&context=lawreview for a thorough explanation.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 5/15/2014 @ 1:23 pm PT...
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 5/15/2014 @ 1:46 pm PT...
Marshall Keith lied again @ 4:
Given the fact that it was a democrat and a leftist group that sued the FCC to put biased programming on "Public Radio" are you surprised? Of course it's funny the modern leftist want rules to silence others but don't want those rules to apply to them.
Not sure what "leftist group" you're talking about. But, that said, you once again have inaccurately stated that someone ("leftists", as you like to pretend) "want to silence others".
Can you offer any evidence that anyone, "leftist" or otherwise, sought to "silence" anyone by asking the FCC to follow the law and allow supporters of the opposing candidate to have similar time that the radio station corporations' favored candidate enjoyed over our public airwaves?
I appreciate you like to play the victim, and wish to keep enjoying government welfare largess for Rightwingers and Rightwingers only, but it's somewhat pathetic that you feel the need to make up issues that aren't in question.
As to your second response to Sue above @ 6, it's yet another red herring. Nobody in the MAC complaint ever implied that the views of the corporations expressed over our public airwaves were those of the government, to my knowledge.
You are very good at creating strawmen and then destroying them. Not nearly as good as actually responding to the matter at hand.
Given your apparent position however, that corporations should control our public airwaves and the public should, apparently, just fuck off, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that you continue to argue everything but the facts at hand.
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 5/15/2014 @ 1:49 pm PT...
I meant to say the stations have wide editorial discretion. And it was that ruling that narrowed the equal time rule to candidates only.
Court upheld the right of access for federal candidates imposed by 312(a)(7) of the Communications Act both because that provision "makes a significant contribution of freedom of expression by enhancing the ability of candidates to present, and the public to receive, information necessary for the effective operation of the democratic process," id., at 396, and because it defined a sufficiently "limited right of `reasonable' access" so that "the discretion of broadcasters to present their views on any issue or to carry any particular type of programming" was not impaired. Id., at 396-397 (emphasis in original). Finally, in Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc. v. Democratic National Committee, supra, the Court affirmed the FCC's refusal to require broadcast licensees to accept all paid political advertisements. Although it was argued that such a requirement would serve the public's First Amendment interest in receiving additional views on public issues, the Court rejected this approach, finding that such a requirement would tend to transform broadcasters into common carriers and would intrude unnecessarily upon the editorial discretion of broadcasters. Id., at 123-125. The FCC's ruling, therefore, helped to advance the important purposes of the Communications Act, grounded in the First Amendment, of preserving the right of broadcasters to exercise "the widest journalistic freedom consistent with [their] public obligations," and of guarding against "the risk of an enlargement [468 U.S. 364, 380] of Government control over the content of broadcast discussion of public issues."
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 5/15/2014 @ 2:50 pm PT...
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 5/15/2014 @ 4:52 pm PT...
Marshall Keith said @ 9:
The leftist group I am speaking of is the California League of Women Voters.
Ah. I see. Those "leftists".
Well, if your completely unrelated legal cites --- and laughable characterizations of them --- were not enough to help everyone here understand that you should not be regarded as anything even close to a serious person, I guess that remark just did.
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 5/16/2014 @ 7:15 pm PT...
This concern harkens back to the days of the Iraqi terrorist campaign conducted by and for the Republican Right with ample assistance from the Democratic Right, Center and Left. In those good old bad old days, one slighty left leaning candidate on Phil Donohue's talk show was cause to insist, demand and insure that multiple righties would be present to, ahem, balance the show. Well, now things have come around again only this time zero lefties is enough to insist, demand and insure that multiple Righties get to speak their piece uninhibited by any conflicting viewpoint at all. Good government at its best, the satirist might say.
To the fellow who says the some negatory or unreasonable action (which may never have occurred, BTW) by the CA League of Women Voters is reason enough to allow Scott Walker et al air time without allowing compensatory Democratic Party air time, I say: nah nah na nah nah - two wrongs don't make a Right!
We are at a crossroads where billionaires have somehow got the little people to defend their nefarious activities to the detriment of little people everywhere. It is the Robber Baron age all over again but worse worse worse. Is it not enough that the last Republican presidential candidate came right out and made his views of the 1% vs. 99% clearly known? Yet at least a goodly portion of the 99% support the Republican nonsense, support gutting their own Social Security, support letting bankster criminals in civil and government jobs walk despite clear violations of law and fair play, support misogynistic talk show entertainers, support removing the seperation of religion and state, and on and on. How did we get here?
Lotteries! Yes, people, what used to be illegal, run by the Mafia in big cities and known simply as the "Numbers Game", what once was the bane of Vice Squad officers in every big city, is now the law of the land. Common folks think their three-dollar lottery ticket gives them a real chance at being the next muti-millionairs member of the 1%. So, they don't reallly want to make the 1% pay for their sins, it would be like cutting off their nose to spite their face, them being up and coming billionaires themselves.
Years ago it was Unions who caused the shift from Dem to Republican - auto workers making fifty grand thought they were the new upper class because they had two new cars and health insurance (both subsidized by their employer)and a boat and a nice fat mortgage. So they voted Republican, to their own eventual detriment, and see where that got them, his name is Scott Walker and his clones; even Obama is not far left of the most-est right-ist Repub. Our two-term president serves (and has been serving) Wall Street as well as Ronnie Reagan ever thought to.
Face it Americans, when people, with loud and angry rhetoric, work and vote against their own interest, and the incredibly rich 1% owns and writes the rules and laws, and owns the lower mid and upper courts, both houses of congress, and the President, we have nothing left of our country's once-bright future except, ahem, toil sweat and tears. But our toil serves the 1%, our sweat is something the 1% does not understand, and our tears are wasted on the wrong people, shed for the wrong reasons.
It's about time we had another good war, dontcha think? Iraq is over, Afganistan is going away. After the longest 'war' in our nation's history, our soldiers leave the field as we found it, a backward stone age culture full of feuds and fighting and a culture inimical to women and children, and dangerous or deadly for anyone who does not channel whatever mullah has the most lethal supporters at any particular time and place.
I am embarrassed to hand this country over to my grandchildren. It is, I think, beyond saving, without a revolutionary new something or other to even the playing field for the 99%, and to put some of the 1% in the jails they so reichly (sic) deserve.
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 5/16/2014 @ 7:18 pm PT...
@Brad Friedman. You can spin all you want. Red Lion was about a journalist (Fred J. Cook) doing a hit piece on Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater in print. Then a radio station did an "editorial" to counter his hit piece and he sued to get time on their station. Then in the "California League of Women Voters" along with Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman sued the FCC to put biased programming on "Public Radio". Not commercial radio but "Public Radio". They won which made the FCC reconsider its stance on the "Fairness Doctrine" Then when a radio station exercised its right to editorialize it's right to "editorialize" a constitutional right guaranteed by the constitution an upheld by the California League of Women Voters the left then wanted censorship again in Meredith Corp. v. FCC. I guess the real question is why does the left only believe in freedom of the press when it suits their agenda>
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 5/16/2014 @ 8:40 pm PT...
Marshall Keith @ 12:
You are hilarious, dude! I "can spin all" I "want"?!
You called the CA League of Women Voters a "leftist" group. You described the attempts by non-Rightwingers to have access to the public airwaves an attempt "to put biased programming on 'Public Radio'", an article about Goldwater a "hit piece", and the League of Women voters attempting "censorship".
As I said, you are not even close to a serious person. But keep choking that Rightwing chicken, my friend! We'd hate to have access for all over our public airwaves. Especially when you wingnuts need to keep using government largess/welfare to try and help you win elections with an unfair advantage over those public airwaves.
Don't worry, I'll keep fighting for for rights and freedom for all, even as you, clearly, don't give a shit about 'em.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 5/17/2014 @ 7:45 am PT...
@Brad Friedman. Given your ad hominem, class warfare etc etc etc. I'm surprised that anyone takes your blog serious. A simple look at the California League of Woman Voters issues bares out the fact that they are a leftist organization.
Your comment "But keep choking that Rightwing chicken, my friend!" shows that it is you that shouldn't be taken serious. I am a Libertarian who actually believe in the "classic liberalism" of the founders and the limited government that they founded. The fact that both your blog and mine exist shows that no ones freedom of speech is being infringed. If you believe in true freedom of speech why would you call on restrictions of on media that is not imposed on all. Here's a friendly reminder of the first amendment.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 5/18/2014 @ 8:29 am PT...
Actually, I think Marshall is right on the left-leaning CA LWV (see his link @ 14), and more power to them!
They support such hugely controversial measures as public education, right to know what toxic chemicals the frackers use, reducing the threat of war, reducing gun violence, a decent existence for all, reproductive choice for women, climate awareness and action, y'know, all that awful Lefty stuff!
Thanks, Marshall, for bringing it to my attention. I'm glad to know the right wingnuts haven't totally overrun the earth.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 5/18/2014 @ 8:26 pm PT...
Marshall Keith kept choking the chicken @ 14 with:
Given your ad hominem, class warfare etc etc etc.
"Class warfare"? Really? Where did I engage in "class warfare"? (Not that I'm against doing so, just that you appear to have completely pulled that charge, similar to your other arguments, straight out of your ass.)
Are you such a dyed-in-the-wool rightwinger that you can't possibly debate anything with anybody without making up strawmen? Have you ever had a legitimate discussion with anybody about anything? Given your complete failure to debate the actual merits of this case --- repeatedly --- I suspect the answer is pretty clear to anybody following along.
Your comment "But keep choking that Rightwing chicken, my friend!" shows that it is you that shouldn't be taken serious. I am a Libertarian who actually believe in the "classic liberalism" of the founders and the limited government that they founded.
Wait. You're saying you're not a rightwinger, cause you're a "Libertarian"? (I suspect one that became so embarrassed by the Bush administration that you decided to call yourself a Libertarian sometime around 2009.) And, btw, since I believe in what the founders founded as well, I guess I'm a Rightwinger too?
The fact that both your blog and mine exist shows that no ones freedom of speech is being infringed.
That, of course, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the corporate takeover of our public airwaves and the FCC's woeful failure to do their job. But, you seem to have difficulty offering more than a sentence or two without launching a new strawman, so that's a nice new one!
If you believe in true freedom of speech why would you call on restrictions of on media that is not imposed on all.
Do you really not understand how the very limited public airwaves are supposed to work? Or is your belief that the fictional entity with the most money gets the most "speech"?
I am going to try one more time, to help you understand what I suspect you already know, but are required to pretend to not understand. If the government gave the contract to manage our national parks to a Democratic-leaning company, and that company then allowed only registered Democrats to visit those parks, you'd be cool with that? Why wouldn't you be? Republicans can sleep anywhere else they want? And, besides, you and I each have blogs! (Or whatever ridiculous argument you're offering.)
You getting this yet? If you had a problem with the above, and wanted registered Republicans (or Libertarians) to be allowed to visit the national parks as well, wouldn't think me a complete jackass if I responded to you by saying: "You just want to make sure Democrats never get to visit any national parks! Why are you trying to restrict liberals from visiting Yellowstone?"
Yes, it's all absurd. But such is your ridiculous case defending the indefensible when it comes to our public airwaves being used to help Republicans get elected without Democrats or the like enjoying similar access to those airwaves...even when they've repeatedly, and politely requested it (and when the FCC and the courts have all found long ago that they should have such access)?
Instead, you continue to choke the wingnut chicken that someone --- whether Sue or MAC or myself --- is hoping to "restrict" or "silence" anybody.
Simply because you are incapable of arguing the actual facts of the case --- that if one candidate and/or their supporters get to use the public airwaves, so should the opposing candidate(s) and/or supporters --- demonstrates that you are, with all due respect, either a clown or a wingnut operative here to keep blowing smoke. Either way, it makes you a non-serious person who has already used far more of my time than you have merited.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 5/18/2014 @ 8:30 pm PT...
Lora said @ 15:
Actually, I think Marshall is right on the left-leaning CA LWV (see his link @ 14), and more power to them!
But, of course, Marshall didn't claim they were "left-leaning". He claimed they were "leftists", which is dog-whistle in Marshall's Fox "News" world for "socialist", which is dog-whistle for "communist", which is dog-whistle for "Marxist", which is dog-whistle for "de-humanize them as anti-patriotic, so I can delegitimize them, rather than respond to their actual argument".
Had he said "left-leaning", I might not have said a word, even though the vast majority of items on that list of issues from the non-partisan LWV, are right down the center, as well as wildly popular to the majority of Americans.
That is, right down the center to everyone but those who, after years of a failed Republican "Presidency" have decided to call themselves "Libertarian".
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 5/19/2014 @ 9:55 am PT...
Newsflash @Brad Friedman, I have been a Libertarian since the early 80s. I stood with the left against the patriot act. Which you people opposed until Obama started using it. Again you ignore the supreme court ruling that as brought about by the law suit by the league of women voters. The ruling guarantees the right to editorialize which is exactly what talk radio is. From the ruling.
Section 399 is just such a regulation, for it singles out noncommercial broadcasters and denies them the right to address their chosen audience on matters of public importance
The bottom line is that leftist like you and Sue are pushing sour grapes because of the popularity of "Right Wing" talk radio as opposed to the unpopularity of "left wing" talk radio and demand that the listeners of the stations be forced to listen to your views. If they wanted to they could simply tune in one of your stations or listen to the podcast or live steaming on the internet. The fact that all of the programming is available on the internet renders the claims of scarcity obsolete.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 5/19/2014 @ 2:07 pm PT...
Newsflash @Marshall Keith:
I have been a Libertarian since the early 80s. I stood with the left against the patriot act. Which you people opposed until Obama started using it.
Proving once again you can't go more than two sentences into an argument on anything without pulling something completely out of your ass.
The ruling guarantees the right to editorialize which is exactly what talk radio is.
So, as the MAC complaint stated, when the two different corporations using public largess to get their message to the people began recruiting volunteers for the Republican campaign (and only the Republican campaign), you consider that simply "editorializing". Seriously?
And the SCOTUS ruling which guarantees that right, only guarantees it to the corporations who had enough money to take control of a public radio license? Really?
If that was all we were talking about, of course, you wouldn't have had to go on and on about "leftists" and attempts to "restrict free speech", and so forther. But that's never been why you advocate for restricting the free speech of everyone but the corporate interests you believe should have exclusive access to our public airwaves.
The bottom line is that leftist like you and Sue are pushing sour grapes
And, there we have it again. I guess, by that math, you must be a fascist tyrant to the far, far Right of Attilla the Hun. But intellectual honesty is of little interest to wingnut operatives such as yourself, it seems.
demand that the listeners of the stations be forced to listen to your views.
Well done! Yet another point that has absolutely nothing to do with the discussion at hand. You're quite a piece of work, Marshall.
As mentioned previously, we'll keep fighting for the rights of the people, even as you apparently couldn't give a shit about them. And again, you're welcome. Keep up the pathetic work, amigo! (Though it's getting really, really boring.)
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 5/20/2014 @ 10:29 am PT...
Brad @ 17,
Thanks for the distinctions. Language matters.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 5/22/2014 @ 9:56 am PT...
Ah yes more class warfare. Those evil corporations. Of course what is a corporation but a group of people with a common cause. In the case of broadcast radio that cause is to make money. There are both left wing talk stations and right wing stations and each has their own following and target audience. The sour grapes from the left is quit laughable. The fact is "progressive radio" is not popular and what you demand is that an audience that does not want to listen to you, LISTEN TO YOU. This is not about freedom of speech, you have that. It is all about forcing those who choose not to listen to you by virtue of what station they listen to to hear your message. That's not freedom of speech it is a demand for compelled speech on a station you don't own. Of course we see the same fascistic tactics in many forms from the left.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 5/22/2014 @ 2:49 pm PT...
Another disturbing event happened recently - Sean Hannity installed as guest host a candidate running for congress, Dan Bongino. He allowed Mr. Bongino to host for the entirety of the program - and it was carried on all the MD affiliates. How does Equal Time apply here? Three hours a day for a candidate somehow doesn't allow equal response from his opponent?
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 5/22/2014 @ 7:12 pm PT...
Chris Stevens if that is true then his opponent can demand equal time. The equal time rule does apply to candidates. That has always been it's intent.