The Spectacle Blog

Al Sharpton Helping FCC Design Rush Limbaugh ‘Free Speech’ Show Trials

By on 12.20.10 | 12:15PM

December 21 is the darkest day of every year. This year it will be especially dark due to the last of the 2010 lunar eclipses

Thus it is the perfect day for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to vote to take over in unsanctioned fashion the Internet -- which they are currently scheduled to do.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has in fact conducted the entire process leading up to this unelected bureaucrat Web power grab shrouded in shadow. One of the many authoritarian facets of this authoritarian procedure has been the lack of any public hearings on the new Internet order on which the FCC is about to vote. 

This is a move to commandeer control of one-sixth of the nation's economy -- we should at least be given an opportunity to weigh in prior, right?

Apparently not -- because apparently the FCC is looking into warping beyond all recognition its definition of "public hearing" -- with the Reverend Al Sharpton lending a hand.

Public hearings would instead be used to drag unfavorables like Rush Limbaugh before the Commission to "explain how they justify" their availing themselves of their First Amendment rights. And to threaten their stations' broadcast licenses should they fail the FCC's definition of "justification." 

How do we know this? Because Reverend Al appeared on Tom Joyner's radio show on December 15 and said the following:

I spent yesterday, Tom, in Washington on two issues I want to raise quickly this morning. 

One, we met -- the heads of the National Action Network and I -- with some of the FCC Commissioners. And we're asking for public hearings on what should be standards in regard to race and gender on publicly regulated TV and radio.

What Rush Limbaugh and others have done I believe has pushed the envelope beyond free speech.

We all have the right to free speech, we all have the right -- including those on the right-wing -- to express ourselves. But if there are standards on decency that the government gives and enforces for regulated licenses for television and radio, then included in that ought to be those that make references explicitly or implicitly based on race, gender and sexual orientation.

And we intend to follow that up with public hearings and bring some of those in front of a public hearing to explain how they justify the use of federally regulated airwaves to offend people based on who they are -- not using free speech based on what their opinions may be.

This Sharpton dictatorial inanity is fairly self-explanatory. The fact that he is being indulged by the FCC is more than a might disturbing. The fact that Sharpton first publicly called in November for the FCC to make this censorious move -- and it garnered the FCC's interest, not ridicule and summary dismissal, is more disturbing still. 

That Sharpton is a White House visitor -- he was present at the tax rate extension signing with no hint of irony as to the millions he and his Network owe the IRS -- means his FCC meetings may carry the Administration imprimatur.

This particular portion of the FCC trend towards the totalitarian may be explained thusly -- they have in their employ as their inaugural Chief Diversity Officer Mark Lloyd

Who in 2007 co-wrote a Center for American Progress-Free Press "report" -- entitled The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio -- that calls on the government to "equalize" Conservative talk radio. 

Who wrote a follow-up essay that directed "community organizations" (run one would think by community organizers) to threaten the FCC broadcast licenses of stations with whom they do not agree politically.

(And who thinks "white people" need to be forced to "step down" "so someone else can have power" and loves Venezuela's dictator Hugo Chavez and his "incredible, democratic revolution.")

So isn't Sharpton -- a community organizer with a community organization -- doing EXACTLY that for which Lloyd called in his essay? Going to the FCC to threaten the licenses of the stations and their broadcasters with whom he doesn't agree? 

Indeed he is. And Lloyd is there to welcome him in.

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