Tuesday, August 12, 2008

FCC Commissioner: Return of Fairness Doctrine Could Control Web Content

These free enterprise idiots don't evidently care to understand jack about what they're actually supposed to be doing: "FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell raised that as a possibility after talking with bloggers at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. McDowell spoke about a recent FCC vote to bar Comcast from engaging in certain Internet practices – expanding the federal agency’s oversight of Internet networks."

FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell is an alarmist shit-for-brains who illustrates such ignorance of what his job is in that statement that he should be summarily dismissed. Like a proctologist doing business at a lemonade stand, McDowell doesn't understand the difference between an internet service provider (whose monopolies the FCC has deemed to be within its purview) and an internet content provider. Like me. And every other damned blogger out there. And the idiots at businessandmedia.org. The FCC has not now nor has ever had any control over what we say or do.

This burning sack of crap rhetoric -- flames being fanned by Matt Drudge -- comes to a stop now.

The FCC ruled that Comcast doesn't have the right to interfere with the free flow of information selectively as they see fit. As an internet service provider. So in other words, if Comcast were to enforce some kind of fairness doctrine -- perhaps forcing people to visit the same number of liberal and conservative news sites -- the FCC would also come down on their asses. Hard.

The only reason the FCC can enforce a Fairness Doctrine on broadcast spectra is because those are public commons licensed to the owners of those stations *to operate in the public interest*. It actually says that in their license! Can you believe it?! And I know, you know, it's hard to believe that listening to Michael Savage tell parents of autistic kids that they're just making it up and that they should just be better parents -- it's hard to believe that's not in the public interest. But maybe it is. Who knows. That's not the point.

The point is that the airwaves on which bloviating broadcasters like Rush Limbaugh spew their cynical contempt for democracy belong to me and the hippies next door as much as to you or your pastor. Or even Rush Limbaugh. They're not there for megamillion-dollar media conglomerates to abuse. They're not there for Clear Channel to buy up all the stations in a market and fire everybody. They're there to be operated in the public interest. And it's pretty much impossible to say that constant Republican warhawk invective is in the public interest. So, hm. Maybe there's something to that after all....

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