Jun 6, 2010

Forgive Me, FCC

Jack KinsellaBy Jack Kinsella
The Omega Letter

The Federal Communications Commission has been given a new mandate - to 'save' mainstream journalism. It appears that the mainstream media, (the networks, [except Fox] the NYTimes, LATimes, Washington Post and [probably] the Huffington Post.

It appears that only the liberal 'mainstream' media needs saving, however. So-called 'conservative media' is doing just fine. According to the FCC's working papers, one of the ways they intend to save the mainstream is by monitoring 'hate speech' on the internet.

The FCC is responding to a petition signed by the National Hispanic Media Coalition, together with various other left groups, including Free Press, the Media Access Project, Common Cause, the Prometheus Radio Project, and the League of United Latin American Citizen.

Discoverthenetworks.org reports that even while Free Press [backed by George Soros] “calls for revolution, the overthrow of the capitalist system, and the socialization of America, Free Press has been regularly granted audiences not only with members of Congress, but with those overseeing media policy at the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.

For example, when Julius Genachowski became chairman of the FCC, he promptly appointed Free Press spokeswoman Jen Howard to be his Press Secretary. By late September … Genachowski announced his plan to push for net neutrality.”

Another group comprising the coalition is the Center for Media Justice, aka, the Center for “social justice” and “environmental justice.”

Likewise, the Media Alliance and the Benton Foundation are involved in the coalition. The mission of the Benton Foundation is to work "to ensure that media and telecommunications serve the public interest and enhance our democracy.”

This mission is pursued by “seeking policy solutions that support the values of access, diversity, and equity.” According to the petition:

“Hate speech against vulnerable groups is pervasive in our media — it is not limited to a few isolated instances or any one media platform."

“Indeed, many large mainstream media corporations regularly air hate speech, and it is prolific on the Internet. Hate speech takes various forms, from words advocating violence to those creating a climate of hate towards vulnerable groups. Cumulatively, hate speech creates an environment of hate and prejudice that legitimizes violence against its targets.”
I am trying to think of something more dangerous than the appellation 'hate speech' since 'hate' is a subjective term. If I tell a person that unless they come to Jesus in this life they will spend eternity in hell in the next, is that hate speech?

If you are the person being told that there is only one path to Heaven and you aren't on it, then you might qualify that as hate speech. But my motive for the speech isn't hate. It is love.

Why would I want to subject myself to the indignities and pejoratives and confrontations and arguments that come from informing someone he is on the road to hell if I hate him? Why would I want to spend eternity in heaven with someone that mocks me for offering?

Heck, if I hated the guy, then I would tell him that he's doing fine, that God will judge him based on whether or not he was good enough, and that all roads lead to heaven.

In what possible way can I benefit from leading someone to Christ?

I think it is fair to argue that of the obligations imposed on us by virtue of our salvation, the Great Commission is the least popular. I know many, many Christians that have never personally led anyone to Christ.

And many more that go out of their way to avoid sharing the hope that is in them, either because they are tired of arguing or because they are sick of being ridiculed.

I used to have a neighbor that, after I witnessed to him, would greet me with "Hi Diddly Doo, neighbor!" after the ridiculous "Ned Flanders" Christian caricature that lived next door to the equally-ridiculous Homer Simpson cartoon character.

As far as I was concerned, that qualified as 'hate speech' - my neighbor was not offering me a compliment. He offered it to make me uncomfortable - and to make the point that he thought I was as ridiculous as the Ned Flanders character.

Why would I want to subject myself to that? Because I hated my neighbor?

Hate speech in America is not speech that inspires hate - if it was, then the American Nazi Party wouldn't get police protection for its parades.

On June 14, 1977, the Supreme Court ordered Illinois to hold a hearing on their ruling forbidding the American Nazi Party from marching in Skokie, Illinois, home to a significant number of Holocaust survivors.

An Illinois county court blocked the march, forbidding the display of swastikas and demanding the Nazis obtain special permits and insurance for the march.

Illinois decided that the county court decision violated the First Amendment. The case eventually made it to the Supreme Court, who sided with the Nazis. In the end, the Nazis held three rallies, but not in Skokie.

But the decision set forth the definition of hate speech.
“Hate speech is a communication that carries no meaning other than the expression of hatred for some group, especially in circumstances in which the communication is likely to provoke violence. It is an incitement to hatred primarily against a group of persons defined in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and the like.”

Hate speech can be any form of expression regarded as offensive to racial, ethnic and religious groups and other discrete minorities or to women.
Nazis carrying swastikas through a town full of Jewish Holocaust survivors doesn't qualify in America as hate speech. That's free speech.

Hate speech would be something that offends anyone - except Christians, Jews, or white people of European descent (and excluding those descended from the Spanish, who are evidently of a different race).

The only way to "ensure diversity" is to let the government decide.

This bombshell was dropped on Friday just before the Memorial Day weekened, a typical White House tactic for burying a story by releasing it at the end of a news cycle.

The FCC and the White House are calling for the "reinvention of journalism" which means reinventing the 1st Amendment that puts journalism outside of the federal government's authority.

The government can't regulate journalism, but it can buy it off. So the FCC study includes five new taxes the feds can use to pay off preferred news organizations or stifle those it claims are 'hateful' - meaning those who oppose the Obama agenda.

The FCC plans a tax on consumer electronics (dubbed "the iPad tax") a tax on ISPs and cell phones, new advertising taxes on the 'Net, a tax on the broadcast spectrum, and a "spectrum auction tax" to create a "public media fund" estimated to raise $35 billion per year in bailout money for mainstream media.

Among some of the proposals the administration is proposing to curtail 'hateful' media include:
  • Establish a “Journalism” division of AmeriCorps
  • Increase Funding for Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • Establish a National Fund for Local News
  • Provide a tax credit to news organizations for every journalist they employ
  • Establish Citizenship News Vouchers (you get to choose what non-profit media outlet gets $200 of your tax money, but you don’t get to keep it yourself)
  • Grants to universities to conduct investigative journalism
The FCC also plans to expand copyright law and restrict the doctrine of fair use and fair comment. It plans to grant antitrust exemptions to allow publishers to collude on pricing.

The goal of driving a wedge between consumers and accessible information is evidential throughout the document, including in the following two proposals:
“allow news organizations to agree jointly to erect pay walls so that consumers must pay for access to online content” and “allow news organizations to agree jointly on a mechanism to require news aggregators and others to pay for the use of online content, perhaps through the use of copyright licenses.”
Other proposals include subsidizing news organizations by increasing government funding to public broadcasting; establishing an AmeriCorps to pay reporters; giving news companies tax credits for employing journalists; creating a national fund for local news, and giving the press an increased postal subsidy.

One of the most incredible proposals is that of granting news organizations tax exemptions. If a news organization takes the tax exemption, then their content is regulated by the IRS. Certain topics or perspectives might jeopardize their tax exemption.

(The OL will not register as a 501(c)3 ministry for that reason, even though not being able to issue tax-exempt donation receipts costs us dearly in lost donation revenue. Not that it matters. If the FCC plan goes through, the government will still be able to regulate speech in other ways.)

The FCC proposes a law making it a violation of the Fair Use Act "to copy original content done by a search engine in order to conduct a search." (That puts the OL out of business)

The FCC wants the authority to 'license' news organizations, making unlicensed dissemination of current events either illegal or too expensive for small organizations (like the OL).

Proposal Three, "Licensing the News" reads thusly:
Some suggest that some sort of industry-wide licensing arrangements be adopted, perhaps with the government’s help and support. Foreign governments have considered how to provide adequate incentives and funding for the news and are exploring, for example, the creation of government-fostered pilot programs to investigate new business models for IP [Intellectual Property] and discourage free-riding. Such programs might enable newspapers and other content providers to experiment with “micropayments” and other means to monetize digital content. Such market and policy experiments may provide useful insight to continued IP policy discussions.
Finally - and most dangerous of all - is the government's planned doctrine of 'proprietary facts'. The government would grant ownership of facts to certain news organizations. That would prohibit anyone else from sharing those facts.

It would be illegal for me to quote the Washington Post or the New York Times without first purchasing those facts - assuming the proprietary owner is willing to sell them to you. What if the NYTimes doesn't want to sell their facts to the OL because it doesn't like what we'll do with them?

So free speech will still be free. Provided you pay for it, it doesn't offend anybody, the government approves of it, and you are properly vetted and licensed by the Federal Communications Commission.

And you don't say anything that will jeopardize your license, your permits or your federal subsidies.
"And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed." (Revelation 13:11-12)
Am I suggesting that the Antichrist or the False Prophet may be sitting in the White House? Absolutely not. I might be suggesting that the FCC's plan is part of the conditioning process preparing us - and the system - just in time for their use.

But that might be considered hate speech and I want to set the record straight for the folks at the FCC.

For the record then, let me say that Obama is the best president in the history of the United States. I welcome the government takeover of health care.

I believe Islam is a religion of peace and love that was hijacked by a few terrorists and that jihad really means ‘internal struggle’. I believe Obama is a Christian and not a Muslim.

I don’t have any objection to Heather having two mommies. And of course, I have no objection to abortion on demand. I don't think a fetus is a human being.

I appreciate the government's concern for the Constitutional rights of foreign terrorists dedicated to America's destruction. I am sorry that America invaded Iraq.

I believe that George Bush toppled the economy, destroyed America's image abroad and probably blew up the oil rig out in the Gulf. Obama is just trying to set things right.

I don't mind giving up my Constitutional right to free speech if it will prevent some person I've never met from being offended because I don't agree with his perspective.

I am grateful for the opportunity to pay more taxes if it will help to make the internet more fair by regulating unlicensed opinion and thought.

I never thought Obama was a fascist or a racist or a liar and I am 100% certain he was born in Hawaii.

And I think next week I'm going to drive to Chicago and check out Obama's church. Maybe I've been too hard on Reverend Jeremiah Wright. I know that I've been way too hard on poor President Obama.

Forgive me, FCC.

Related Links
FCC to Become the 'Ministry of Truth'? - Americans for Tax Reform
FCC and FTC: Enemies of Free Press and Free Speech - New American
The high cost of free speech – When honesty is outlawed - Canada Free Press
Life on Asteroid 328 – RenewAmerica (Helen Valois)
The Last Generation – Jack Kinsella (Book)