New Media Overlords

Brian Anderson has a good preview of the legal techniques an overwhelmingly Democratic Congress and an Obama administration could use to crack down on dissent.  It’s mainly about the Fairness Doctrine, which Nancy Pelosi and Dick Durbin are huge fans of, but he also brings out some of the other forms of media coercion an Obama administration may unleash.

Obama also wants to relicense stations every two years (not eight, as is the case now), so these monitors would be a constant worry for stations….

It’s worth noting, as Jesse Walker does in the latest Reason magazine, that Trinity Church, the controversial church Obama attended for many years, is heavily involved in the media-reform movement, having sought to restore the Fairness Doctrine, prevent media consolidation and deny licenses to stations that refuse to carry enough children’s programming.

Relicensing stations every two years would make them more susceptible to the kind of crude intimidation that the Obama campaign has already engaged in here and here.  Back in 1988, Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-SC) said that “requiring relicensing of radio stations every three years served no public purpose and was best described as a full-employment program for Washington communications lawyers,” but short-term licensing can also be helpful in clamping down on opposing opinions.  Silly Fritz—he wasn’t into Hope!


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