Boehner vs. the FCC

House GOP leader John Boehner claims the FCC is up to no good:

Under the rubric of “broadcast localism” it is clear the Commission is proposing no less than a sweeping takeover by Washington bureaucrats of broadcast media. The proposals and recommendations for Commission action contained in the NPR amount to the stealth enactment of the Fairness Doctrine, a policy designed to squelch the free speech and free expression of specifically targeted audiences.

Forcing licensees to recreate so called “advisory boards” of a by-gone era will encumber broadcast media with onerous bureaucratic burdens not faced by cable, satellite, or Internet. The report’s assertion these boards would help stations “determine the needs and interests of their communities” or promote “localism and diversity” borders on fantasy. The recreation of pre-1980s advisory boards will place broadcast media squarely on a path toward rationed speech.

Two other proposed rules completely disregard a generation of technological and media advancement. Both the Main Studio Rule and rules regulating the physical operation of stations suggest the Commission has apparently decided to regulate broadcast media based on the needs of 1934 (the year FCC was created) instead of the proven realities of 2008.

Licensees and stations should serve the needs of local citizens. But adding more restrictions and Washington mandates is retrograde considering the constant technological evolution of the media market. I urge the Commission to rescind these proposed rules.
Unfortunately, this also highlights yet another Republican deficiency: if this sort of thing is going on, it’s not enough to “urge” your opponents to change course in letters nobody except for political junkies are ever going to see. It’s not enough to count on Rush and Hannity to be their personal spokesmen. Our elected leaders have to go on the offensive, grabbing every camera they can, putting very public pressure on the other side to explain their actions to the American people.

One thought on “Boehner vs. the FCC

  1. I would agree that restoring the old original Fairness Doctrine at this time is not the thing to do.There appears to be a hysteria at this time, however, of linking Fairness Doctrine and the need for discussion of Main Studio and Operator on Duty policy. The published proposals are overkill. The reaction of this Blog may be overkill. There needs to be rational discussion of the topic of LOCALISM.If the current breed of broadcasters who have put three and four radio stations in one building and left an automation machine in charge for the entire weekend do not want to discuss having a least one human being available to take calls about emergencies that the public should know about, then it is time to rewrite the rules so that conscientious entrepreneurs could compete to obtain that license and do what needs to be done. Goat Rodeo Cowboy


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