Sunday, June 24, 2007

Vast bi-partisan conspiracy

When Trent Lott joins forces with Hillary Clinton and Barbara Boxer, you know there's a serious problem, and it isn't deciding what to wear to Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party.

You can be pretty certain that the common motivation is to protect Senatorial hegemony, reinforced by shared impatience with Constitutional guarantees. The problem they've identified is talk radio. For heaven's sake, "Talk Shows Influence Immigration Debate," and we can't have that:

Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., told reporters last week, "Talk radio is running America. We have to deal with that problem." Some hosts, he added, do not know what is in the lengthy bill.
Neither do some Senators, so what's your point Trent? That some hosts (by your definition) DO know what's in the bill? I can see where that would be a problem. You don't think we should know about earmarks, why should we get uncontrolled information about any legislation?

Senator Clinton and Senator Boxer agree we need a "legislative fix" for talk radio. They should have an easy time drafting the legislation; they can just take a cue from Hugo Chavez. For talking points the Senate debate they can lift language from the George Soros funded far-left Center for American Progress:

Our view is that the imbalance in talk radio programming today is the result of multiple structural problems in the U.S. regulatory system, particularly the complete breakdown of the public trustee concept of broadcast regulation resulting from pro-forma licensing policies, longer license terms (to eight years from three years previously), the elimination of clear public interest requirements such as local public affairs programming, and the relaxation of ownership rules, including the requirement of local participation in management. [Footnote references deleted.]
It's a regulation problem, you see, that kept Soros funded Air America's ratings below those of Congress. What goes unacknowledged is that the market for Air America is, perhaps, overserved. Lott, Clinton and Boxer would apparently be happier if all radio were National Public Radio, all the time. Then they could threaten withdrawal of funding. On the other hand, since there's already a government radio station, it's not like you have to listen to Rush for information about the Amnesty Bill.

In keeping with the spirit of the McCain-Feingold Incumbency Protection Act, we obviously need further action to protect our elected officials from the slings and arrows of informed public opinion. How can these public servants be expected to ram secretly negotiated, thousand page bills through both Houses of Congress in 10 days, if there's market driven discussion about the content? We should be content to take them at their word: They're looking after our best interests.

However, it does occur to me that since they'd be taking just as much heat from the left (Labor Unions don't like the Amnesty Bill either), Lott, Clinton, and Boxer have picked a particularly bad example about which get their panties knotted. If there was more left-wing talk radio, they'd still be under withering fire. That wouldn't much affect their contempt for free speech. It's only if there was less talk about the Amnesty Bill - period - that they'd be happy.

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