Patterico's Pontifications

9/8/2006

Democrat Threats to ABC’s Free Speech Rights Are Hardly “Unprecedented”

Filed under: Civil Liberties,General — Patterico @ 6:19 pm

Some folks are calling “unprecedented” the Democrats’ mafia-style implicit threats to yank ABC’s broadcast license.

Unprecedented? Ha! This is just what Democrats do.

Let’s take a short walk down memory lane, shall we? From a UPI story from August 3, 2004:

Several members of Congress sent a letter Tuesday to Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News, to express their opposition to what they say is the network’s “unfair and unbalanced” bias towards the Republican Party.

The group, composed of 38 Democrats and Independents from the U.S. House of Representatives, has requested that Murdoch meet with them to discuss their concerns.

“The responsibility of the media is to report the news in an unbiased, impartial and objective manner,” the letter reads.

“It seems clear that Fox News network has a deliberate bias in favor of, and often serves as an extension of, the Republican Party’s policies and ideology.”

. . . .

The letter’s co-signers include Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., a member of the House Democratic Leadership, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., ranking member on the Joint Economic Committee.

Here’s the kicker:

A spokesman for Rep. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said there were legislative avenues that the group could pursue as a secondary measure but declined to speculate on what those might be.

I highlighted this two days later in a post titled Liberals vs. The First Amendment.

The idea of Democrats as anti-free-speech thugs is hardly new.

UPDATE: And Hot Air reminds us of the anti-Kerry documentary that was pulled after “Democratic activists began making noises about challenging the stations’ broadcast licenses when they came up for renewal” — and after Kerry spokeman Chad Clanton said: “I think they’re going to regret doing this, and they better hope we don’t win.”

23 Responses to “Democrat Threats to ABC’s Free Speech Rights Are Hardly “Unprecedented””

  1. Speaking power to truth, aren’t they?

    ras (a646fc)

  2. Censorship, by using the power of the state? Isn’t that totalitarianism? Or in the case of the Clinton Adminstratuion, forcing the American public to swallow a new Cult of Personality? I challange Actus and the rest of the left side posters to tell how this is not censorship. It is. And if the Democrats are elected, they will curtail everyone’s free speech rights (see nearest University campus speech codes for example).
    http://valley-of-the-shadow.blogspot.com/2006/09/newspeak-ingsoc-modern-language.html

    JSF (71415b)

  3. Well, it’s no surprise the Dems are trying to punish people for speech which they disagree with—the Dems have been champions of Castro and Stalin for decades.

    Desert Rat (d8da01)

  4. F the Democrats and their shredding of the 1st Amendment. Run the series. Let them scream, cry and gnash their teeth. Maybe they’ll learn once and for all that they arent’ the only game in town anymore, and that they aren’t fooling anyone.

    Even-handed payback for Fahrenheit 9-11 is a biatch.

    Good Lt (b01014)

  5. The demacrat party of cencorship that deanazis their jackass should be branded with a swatika HANG THAT JACKASS HIGH BRRING MORE ROPE MORE JACKASSES TO HANG

    krazy kagu (3067be)

  6. […] UPDATE 2: Allah’s roundup at Hot Air definitely shows that the all-out push is on for cancellation. Patterico says we shouldn’t be surprised. I’m not surprised; I’m shocked at the clumsiness and the risk of a backlash the intimidators are running. I would have thought they’d have quietly been on this at least 60 days ago. […]

    Bizzyblog » “They Can Run, But They Can’t Hide” Update (”Buzz” Patterson Elaborates) (34f45e)

  7. Fabricating “history” won’t save the Busheviks from their crimes at home and around the world. Impeach Bush. Jail the lot of ’em!

    Max Gross (2f07be)

  8. you’re quoting a upi story?
    forgive me if i am wrong, but isn’t upi owned by the reverend sung myung moon? you know, the moonies? same with the washington times. i wonder what it’s like to perform 1000 arranged marriages at once in a stadium. i would claim a droit de seigneur, but i could only handle 2-3 droits that evening.

    assistant devil's advocate (781257)

  9. Wow. So they’re not only normal, theyre also completely without teeth? Ok.

    actus (6234ee)

  10. First, they came for the docudramas.

    Then they came for talk radio….

    Whether they understand it or not, the Demos are doubling down. If the licensed broadcasters can be threatened for material embarassing to one party, why can’t it work the other way too?

    I expect that they will not regain control of either house. With the next Congress under continued Republican control, perhaps we could take another look at CPR/NPR funding. Perhaps the next Congress wants to hold hearings on rethinking the grandfathered public access licenses to FM and TV.

    Consider the broadcast licenses of the Pacifica Foundation. These lefties have squatters’ rights on some VERY powerful transmitters in a number of principal FM markets. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, their KPFA is licensed for 59,000 watts (w), right up their with the commercial big boys like KMEL at 69,000 w and KDFC at 33,000 w. Even famous San Francisco stations like KFOG (7,100 w) and KSAN (8,900 w) are dwarfed by KPFA, sometimes locally known as K-KOMMIE.

    Pacifica owns powerful bandwidth positions in other markets too – LA’s KPFK is 110,000 w, Houston’s KPFT at 28,000 w, and Washington, DC’s WPFW at 50,000 w. NYC’s WBAI is the weakling in the bunch at 4,300 w. I’ve read industry experts assess these broadcast licenses as worth over half a billion dollars.

    The most powerful station here in the Bay Area (from my quick search) is flagship NPR station KQED at 110,000 watts. Besides just being a public spectra hog, why would I want MY tax moneys to go to support KQED and “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered?”

    Harry Reid wants to play hardball? Maybe he needs a fast pitch high and inside to show that others know how to play his game too.

    Whitehall (efb88d)

  11. Besides just being a public spectra hog, why would I want MY tax moneys to go to support KQED and “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered?”

    And car talk. Don’t forget car talk.

    But how much of your tax moneys does fund those shows?

    actus (6234ee)

  12. “But how much of your tax moneys does fund those shows?”

    Does one’s right to criticize depend on how much of one’s moneys go for it?

    sharon (dfeb10)

  13. To actus, nothing matters because he’s above it all.

    Until a conservative voices an opinion, however. Then all bets are off and censorship is fine.

    Good Lt (b01014)

  14. Well the demacraps sure did,nt raise a fuss when they tried to drag THOMAS JEFFERON NAME THROUGH THE MUD BY CLAIMING HE HAD A CHILD OF A SLAVE WOMAN and now when their great heros traiitor BILL CLINTONs name is sullied by a truthful film time for some heads to roll at the DNC

    krazy kagu (cf73c3)

  15. Does one’s right to criticize depend on how much of one’s moneys go for it?

    Sure. If its 100% taxpayer money, you can complain more than if its 1%. Complain more, because taking away that money will do more.

    How much taxpayer money does “all things considered get” ?

    Until a conservative voices an opinion, however. Then all bets are off and censorship is fine.

    Hey man, I listen to Marketplace.

    actus (6234ee)

  16. Gah!

    I mean, really. This stuff is mustache-twirling-villain evil. It’s so wrong it’s comical.

    Where is the outrage??

    TallDave (e15e0b)

  17. OK, “Car Talk” is something I’d pay for.

    The fact of direct taxpayer subsidy is not proportional. That is, ANY subsidy is a subsidy.

    I do not want to silence or eliminate “All Things Considered.” I just think it should stand on its own without government handout. It definitely has a political point of view that few would NOT characterize as liberal.

    If I am compelled to pay for liberal broadcasts, how can the liberals fairly threaten to punish other, non-subsidized points of view?

    I’m outraged at Harry Reid and the Democrats. Call me one motivated base Republican voter.

    whitehall (675220)

  18. […] UPDATE x4: In addition to falsely claiming that Justin is a “stalker” (a disgusting comment, but par for the course from this Man of Substance), Greenwald is remarkably silent about the incredible free speech abuses by Democrats that we’ve seen in recent days. Those who actually think Greenwald is serious about supporting the First Amendment are probably shocked. […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Greenwald Makes Wild and Untrue Allegations About “Path to 9/11″ (421107)

  19. i think the tax-payer-funded far-left agitprop organ people are grasping for is NOW, formerly of bill moyers fame, but continuing on with the same jaw-droppingly arrocant construction of progressive attack myths.

    jummy (cb0adc)

  20. […] ABC’s broadcast license. In 2004, a group of Democrat lawmakers wrote Rupert Murdoch and threatened Fox News’s broadcast license over what they believed was skewed reporting. And the DNC threatened Sinclair Broadcasting’s […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Obama Uses Thuggish Lawyer Tactics to Try to Squelch NRA’s Criticism (b16ea8)

  21. […] traces a pattern of similar threats of government action from Democratic senators, Democratic congressmen, and the Democratic National Committee.  Read the whole thing. Possibly related posts: […]

    State intimidation of political opponents, AGAIN « WitSnapper | The Blog (30e6a7)

  22. I don’t see it mentioned, but didn’t some theatres get intimidated into not showing the Swift Boat movie about Kerry?

    What I think was great was when Reid and company wrote a letter to some network high up about needing to censure Rush. Rush was given the letter and put it on Ebay and sold it there for about 2 million, matched it, and gave it to a charity.

    As was pointed out before, I believe, Obama does not have a history of winning elections, he has a history of forcing opponents out of the race.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)


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