Diary

FCC holding secret meetings with Marxist Free Presser McChesney

Senator Al Franken (D-MN) at NetRoots Nation, July 24, 2010; discussing “Net Neutrality”:

Notice at the very end the video tells us “sponsored by Free Press.” Free Press and it’s sister site Save the Internet were founded by avowed Marxist Robert McChesney. Josh Silver is the President & CEO of Free Press with McChesney now on the board.

McChesney in 2000 writes in the Marxist newspaper Monthly Review:

“Our job is to make media reform part of our broader struggle for democracy, social justice, and, dare we say it, socialism. It is impossible to conceive of a better world with a media system that remains under the thumb of Wall Street and Madison Avenue, under the thumb of the owning class.”

And again in 2008 in the same newspaper:

“…any serious effort to reform the media system would have to necessarily be part of a revolutionary program to overthrow the capitalist system itself.”

I’d say that’s pretty clear how he feels, wouldn’t you say? Now let me be perfectly clear. Both of McChesney’s sites are misnomers. He and his Marxist think tanks advocate a total government takeover of the entire media and internet.

McChesney will be sponsoring a public forum on “net neutrality” tomorrow, August 19 in Minneapolis with FCC commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn in tow. Other sponsors as can be seen by this announcement video are the Main Street Project and the Center for Media Justice:

The Main Street Project, according to their website:

is a grassroots cultural organizing, media justice and economic development initiative working to help increasingly diverse rural communities face today’s reality with hope.

and Center for Media Justice:

is a leader in change-based communications services for organizations and campaigns across the country.

Per the Twin Cities newspaper:

The hearing will focus on court decisions earlier this year that questioned the FCC’s authority to regulate broadband services.

So if a bunch of Marxists want to sit down with the FCC and the public in a transparent atmosphere, nothing wrong with that right? Free speech and all. Just so the public isn’t bamboozled into what Free Press stands for. However, per a two-part series from the Daily Caller the relationship between the FCC and Free Press ain’t all that transparent.

Free Press CEO Josh Silver has taken to task the FCC for what he calls “off-the-record” meetings with telecommunications companies. Says Silver:

“It is deeply disturbing that the FCC’s Chief of Staff is not only meeting exclusively with industry representatives on the future of the Internet but when faced with criticism,” Silver said, “he is also making weak excuses for the agency’s behavior alongside vague promises to include others somewhere down the road.”

But the Daily Caller is calling Silver a hypocrite for actually having “secret meetings” with the FCC himself. Silver’s lobbying records however tell a different story. The Daily Caller has records of ex parte meetings between multiple employees of the Free Press Action Fund and FCC staffers.

  • On February 18, 2010, Free Press policy advisor Chris Riley and Free Press legal advisor Aparna Sridhar met with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s Legal Advisor, David Goldman, to discuss net neutrality.
  • On February 3, 2010, Chris Riley of Free Press participated in two meetings with FCC staff.
  • On January 29, 2010, Ben Scott of Free Press met with Blair Levin of the FCC’s National Broadband Task Force.
  • On January 22, 2010, Ben Scott of Free Press met with Genachowski and four of the Chairman’s advisors.
  • On January 12, 2010, Chris Riley met with Paul de Sa, Chief of the Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis.

According to the same Daily Caller article Free Press employees have made a total of at least 29 visits to the FCC. Those employees are Ben Scott, Coriell Wright, Derek Turner, and Adam Lynn.

So much for “transparency” Mr. Silver. Not one of these visits made it into the Free Press Lobbying log. In a follow-up article the Daily Caller tells us Free Press Policy Counsel Chris Riley addressed the DC’s accusations on the Save the Internet site, not directly to the DC and:

Riley’s post fails to refute a single one of the discrepancies brought to light by information obtained from Free Press’s IRS returns, its lobbying reports, e-mails obtained via FOIA or previous press reports which note Free Press’s involvement in the crafting of two separate House bills introduced by two different congressmen.

All this brings into question the relationship and ethics between the FCC and Free Press.

Let’s hope someone at that transparent meeting is passing out fliers to educate the public.

Crossposted at Conservative Outlooks