Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

All is fair in love and war

I'd like to focus on the latter, above, because the overreaching Democrats seem content on bringing back the Fairness Doctrine. they don't wan to call it that because of the negative connotations it evokes. But make no mistake, they want to stifle not only free speech but criticism, specifically. The Spectator reports that they don't just want to target talk radio, but the Internet, as well: (HT to Gateway Pundit)

Senior FCC staff working for acting Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps held meetings last week with policy and legislative advisers to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman to discuss ways the committee can create openings for the FCC to put in place a form of the "Fairness Doctrine" without actually calling it such.

Waxman is also interested, say sources, in looking at how the Internet is being used for content and free speech purposes. "It's all about diversity in media," says a House Energy staffer, familiar with the meetings. "Does one radio station or one station group control four of the five most powerful outlets in one community? Do four stations in one region carry Rush Limbaugh, and nothing else during the same time slot? Does one heavily trafficked Internet site present one side of an issue and not link to sites that present alternative views? These are some of the questions the chairman is thinking about right now, and we are going to have an FCC that will finally have the people in place to answer them."

Copps will remain acting chairman of the FCC until President Obama's nominee, Julius Genachowski, is confirmed, and Copps has been told by the White House not create "problems" for the incoming chairman by committing to issues or policy development before the Obama pick arrives.

But Copps has been a supporter of putting in place policies that would allow the federal government to have greater oversight over the content that TV and radio stations broadcast to the public, and both the FCC and Waxman are looking to licensing and renewal of licensing as a means of enforcing "Fairness Doctrine" type policies without actually using the hot-button term "Fairness Doctrine."

Memo to Henry Waxman: Go to Hell.

The First Amendment reads, as follows:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Do you get it, you dim bulbs? Congress can't regulate the freedom of speech unless that speech is defamatory, libelous, slanderous, or a danger to the general public. An example of the latter is yelling "FIRE" in a crowded, public area. But they can't prevent me from referring to Nancy Pelosi as Granny Rictus. (You can argue that the nickname is defamatory, but she is a grandmother, and when she smiles she has a rictus grin. I cite this image in my defense) They can't prevent me from stating that the president lied about the Pork-A-Palooza stimulus bill. They can't stop me from criticizing the government, as a whole, for what I feel is gross mismanagement and misconduct.

In short, they can't shut me up. They can't shut you up. If this is reenacted, Waxman and his dim bulb cronies had better be prepared for lawsuit after lawsuit that will explode across the courts in this nation. Imagine the radio hosts and corporations like Clear Channel who will march into court challenging the gross abridgment of freedom of speech. And if Waxman's counting on the Supreme Court being on his side, he'd better reconsider that. We have four justices on the high court -- the conservative wing -- that are strong proponents of free speech. Justice Kennedy is also an advocate of free speech, and has been on the side of free speech cases that would drive Waxman batty. (Not that he's not batty as it is.)

Let's turn to the Internet now. How exactly is he going to "regulate" the Internet? Is he going to go to sites like Instapundit, Hot Air, Hugh Hewitt, Little Green Footballs, National Review, or Ace of Spades and demand they invite the frothing Lefty bloggers to post on their sites? Will they make it mandatory? I think not.

Unlike Blogger, those people pay for their sites. Demanding they give a counter-point point-of-view is like demanding homeowners open their homes to homeless people. The government can't demand that a blog site, such as those listed above, cave into their demands. (I'm pretty sure all of those listed above could be defined as a business given their traffic, and the output of money to keep them going.)

Furthermore, if Waxman goes down this road, what about network and cable news outlets? Will they enforce the balance on them, as well. Will CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc., be forced to carry "token" conservatives? If not, then Waxman can shove his regulations where the sun doesn't shine. As a matter of fact, he can regulate my free speech -- and everyone else's free speech -- when he pries the pistol from my cold, dead hand.

The Founding Fathers knew that for the nation to remain healthy and vibrant, free speech could not be squelched. There had to be an open exchange of ideas, and with that exchange comes criticism. We're not going to agree on everything. If we're not allowed to voice our opinions openly then it will lead to tension in the nation that will only be quenched with violent outbursts. (Some will say I'm exaggerating that point, but I think not. Trust me on that.)

Waxman has no chance of enacting this. The Supreme Court will cut him off at the knees. And I won't go into how unfeasible it'll be to regulate the Internet. It's too big, and there are too many of us who will fall through the cracks. Reenacting the Fairness Doctrine is a fool's pipe dream. It is the defense of the intellectually bankrupt that can't handle criticism or defend themselves. America will see right through this veil, and Waxman and his cronies in Congress will be the ones to suffer our wrath at the polls.

Publius II


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