Friday, November 7, 2008

FCC Czar selection pending

The man who has been tapped to play hatchet man for conservative talk radio is rumored to be none other than democrat DC lawyer Henry Rivera. Who is this guy you ask? He's a former FCC Commissioner under Reagan who resigned in frustration over the inability to obtain greater regulation of television programming for children. Here's an excerpt summary of his view on the matter found in a record of his testimony at a hearing before the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Consumer Protection and Finance:

At a meeting of the Albuquerque, New Mexico Bar
Association last November, Commissioner Rivera said that
"Broadcasters haven't been paying enough attention to the needs
of children. .. .the sad shape children's television is in today
serves to remind me that although reliance on market forces is
normally preferable to regulation, blind, unthinking or
rhetorical reliance on the marketplace is an abdication of our
duty to the public under the Communications Act."

If you read the testimony, you may agree that he was onto something. Look at the paltry offerings on Saturday morning television for children these days. A lot of offerings involve fantasy violence, which I argue is hardly appropriate for children of any age. While I may admire the stance of Mr. Rivera in this 1983 hearing, you can draw the conclusion that he has an over-arching interest in using government regulation to create a supposed balance as called for in the "Fairness Doctrine." Our only hope would be that Mr. Rivera realizes the fine line being walked with the First Amendment and that any subsequent action to pursue the Fairness Doctrine would subject both radio and television to the same standards so that cable news outlets like ONN (Obama News Network) and MSLSD enjoy the same wrath by Charles Schumer who somehow attempted to draw a common link between conservative talk radio and pornography.

I personally would like to see the Fairness Doctrine, if implemented, applied to public-funded PBS Commentator Bill Moyers.

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