Conservative Talk Fading in America?

Promoted from the diaries by Erick. BTW, you can get a copy of Brian’s book here.

As a veteran talk radio programmer, we are on the verge of censorship that has never been seen before in our nation. Although Democrats say they now have no intention of restoring an Orwellian Fairness Doctrine, they are going through the backdoor to enforce more regulations on talk radio that will result in fewer conservative voices in America. And, they want to extend their efforts to other media including cable. If one reads the “Durbin Doctrine” amendment passed recently by Senate Democrats, the door is wide open for the soon – to – be Democratic FCC to have its way with conservatives. It reads, “To encourage and promote diversity in communication media ownership, and to ensure that the public airwaves are used in the public interest.”  Really clear, huh?  Make no mistake, Democrats loathe conservative talk and they have two FCC Commissionsers in their corner and await Senate confirmation of Julius Genachowski who will give them full control of the FCC.

After I left Citadel Broadcasting as the company’s corporate news, talk, and sports programming head, I was contacted by Simon & Schuster to write a book on the many attempts to censor conservative talk in America. Using my contacts in talk radio throughout America, we have written a “collective voice of radio” to fight censorship. Rush Limbaugh has endorsed it and Sean Hannity was kind enough to write the foreword. Congressman Greg Walden wrote the preface.  Censorship:  The Threat to Silence Talk Radio will be published May 5th.  For those who love talk radio and know how important it is in America, I hope you read this book.

One only has to read the language in the Democratic platform in 2008 to understand the threat to conservative talk.  “We will encourage diversity in the ownership of broadcast media, promote the development of new media outlets for expression of diverse viewpoints, and clarify the public interest obligations of broadcasters who occupy the nation’s spectrum.”  These are code words for a “new” Fairness Doctrine and Democrats will focus on these goals soon.  The FCC has been under fire from Democrats for years for not promoting more localism in broadcast media.  Democrats upset with the highly successful conservative talk shows on radio are hoping that more diverse ownership and localism requirements will shove aside these voices and redefine what you hear on the radio.  Already, the FCC has held nationwide hearings and from these efforts there are suggestions for “permanent programming advisory boards” for stations.  These boards would give voice to the “diverse” views that Democrats want.  In other words, their voice – not ours.  This is the image and the goals of the “community organizer” himself.

There are other frontal assaults on conservative talk radio in America.  The Council for American Islamic Relations – CAIR has gone after several conservative hosts claiming “hate speech”.  They were successful in getting Michael Graham fired from WMAL in Washington DC.  They have tried an advertiser boycott against Michael Savage and we can expect other groups to join the parade.  In fact, they have.

The National Hispanic Media Coalition is asking the FCC to probe hate speech and conservative talk radio.  Alex Nogales, President and CEO of the NHMC stated on January 28, 2008, “We are very respectful of the first amendment and free speech, but the hateful rhetoric, particulary against the immigrant minority communities, espoused by irresponsible TV and radio talk show hosts on American airwaves needs to be addressed…and we will present a three-prong stategy to do so.”  Using the UCLA/Chicano Studies Research Center, the group claims to have isolated over 300 instances of hate speech in eighty minutes of radio programming.  They looked at John & Ken’s show at KFI, Los Angeles, the Michael Savage show, and the Lou Dobbs show.

When I was programming radio stations across America, I witnessed hate speech charges first hand.  Whenever a conservative host used the word “illegal” in talking about immigrants crossing our border, he was automatically labeled a “hate monger.”  But who defines hate speech and can it be defined under the fist amendment?  The FCC?  The Democrats will hide behind this agency to re-program conservative talk in America.  The reality is clear – our values are under siege in America.  The intent is to quash our free speech rights by convincing everyone it is hate speech and they will use broad agendas such as “diversity”, “localism”, and “programming advisory boards”, to “clarify public interest obligations” that will only mean less conservative talk in America.  In upcoming articles, I will share with you just how important conservative talk is, why Air America has been a dismal failure, and how we can best protect our free speech rights as conservatives.  In reality, conservative talk is the only balance left in America.  Thank you.