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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Nancy Pelosi vs. the Internet (An enemy of free speech)

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who would like very much to reimpose the old, so-called, “Fairness Doctrine” that once censored conservative opinion on television and radio broadcasting, is scheming to impose rules barring any member of Congress from posting opinions on any internet site without first obtaining prior approval from the Democratic leadership of Congress. No blogs, twitter, online forums - nothing.

This was first reported to me by Congressman John Culberson (R-Tx) and I asked for approval to cite him and for any media links to this story. He provided the following link of regulations proposed by the Chair of the Congressional Commission on Mailing Standards (PDF) Congressman Michael Capuano (D-Mass) that was sent to Rep. Robert Brady, Chairman of the House Committee for Administration. The net effect of the regs would be to make it practically impossible for members of Congress to use social media tools to discuss official business or share video of the same with the public while creating a partisan disparity in what little approved messages might be permitted. It would be a very considerable error to assume that the House leadership intends to let dissenting Democratic members post any more freely than Republicans.

Set aside the nakedly partisan aspect of this plan for a moment - on the technological merits alone this may be the goddamn dumbest thing I’ve heard of regarding the Internet coming out of Congress in a long, long time. The dinosaurs who are uncomfortable with computers, the unwashed masses being aware of their actions and free political debate want to turn the clock back to the 1970s. Except during the 1970s no one would have dared to propose controlling what a democratically elected member of Congress could say to their constituents. Doesn’t it register in the Beltway that they are talking about public information that already belongs to the people of the United States? Senators and Congressmen should be interacting with citizens more freely, not less; the U.S. Congress needs radical transparency not greater opacity imposed by the Democratic House leadership to better hide shady dealings

It’s a brazenly Orwellian and most likely unconstitutional power grab by the Speaker of the House unlike anything dreamed of by any previous speaker - not Sam Rayburn, not Joseph Cannon. Nobody.

Nancy Pelosi has finally arrived at a historical pinnacle - as an enemy of free speech and the public’s right to know.

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 06:43 PM
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Censorship must be good for us aka we can't handle the truth

Cheney wanted cuts in climate testimony

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Dick Cheney's office pushed for major deletions in congressional testimony on the public health consequences of climate change, fearing the presentation by a leading health official might make it harder to avoid regulating greenhouse gases, a former EPA officials maintains.

When six pages were cut from testimony on climate change and public health by the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last October, the White House insisted the changes were made because of reservations raised by White House advisers about the accuracy of the science.

But Jason K. Burnett, until last month the senior adviser on climate change to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson, says that Cheney's office was deeply involved in getting nearly half of the CDC's original draft testimony removed.

"The Council on Environmental Quality and the office of the vice president were seeking deletions to the CDC testimony (concerning) ... any discussions of the human health consequences of climate change," Burnett has told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

The three-page letter, a response to an inquiry by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., the panel's chairwoman, was obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press. Boxer planned a news conference later in the day.

Burnett, 31, a lifelong Democrat who resigned his post last month as associate deputy EPA administrator because of disagreements over the agency's response to climate change, describes deep political concerns at the White House, including in Cheney's office, about linking climate change directly to public health or damage to the environment.

Scientists believe manmade pollution is warming the earth and if the process is not reversed it will cause significant climate changes that pose broad public health problems from increases in disease to more injuries from severe weather.

Senate and House committees have been trying for months to get e-mail exchanges and other documents to determine the extent of political influence on government scientists, but have been rebuffed.

The letter by Burnett for the first time suggests that Cheney's office was deeply involved in downplaying the impacts of climate change as related to public health and welfare, Senate investigators believe.

Cheney's office also objected last January over congressional testimony by Administrator Johnson that "greenhouse gas emissions harm the environment."

An official in Cheney's office "called to tell me that his office wanted the language changed" with references to climate change harming the environment deleted, Burnett said. Nevertheless, the phrase was left in Johnson's testimony.

Cheney's office and the White House Council on Environmental Quality worried that if key health officials provided detailed testimony about global warming's consequences on public health or the environment, it could make it more difficult to avoid regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, Burnett believes.

The EPA currently is examining whether carbon dioxide, a leading greenhouse gas, poses a danger to public health and welfare. The Supreme Court has said if it does, it must be regulated under the Clean Air Act.

Nowhere were these White House concerns more apparent than when CDC Director Julie Gerberding, the head of the government's premier public health watchdog, testified about climate change and public health before Boxer's committee last October. The White House deleted six of the original 14 pages of Gerberding's testimony, including a list of likely public health impacts of global warming.

The White House, at the urging of Cheney's office, "requested that I work with CDC to remove from the testimony any discussion of the human health consequences of climate change," wrote Burnett.

"CEQ contacted me to argue that I could best keep options open for the (EPA) administrator (on regulating carbon dioxide) if I would convince CDC to delete particular sections of their testimony," Burnett said in the letter to Boxer.

But he said he refused to press CDC on the deletions because he believed the CDC's draft testimony was "fundamentally accurate."

Burnett, in a telephone interview, said he opposed making the extensive deletions because "it was the right thing to do." He declined to elaborate about White House involvement beyond his July 6 letter to Boxer.

As a Democrat, Burnett, seems to have been an odd choice as a senior policy adviser and key liaison with the White House in Bush administration's EPA.

Over the last eight years, he has contributed nearly $125,000 to various Democratic politicians, starting with Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Government. He supports Democrat Barack Obama for president.

Burnett caught the attention of Bush administration insiders as a researcher at the Center for Regulatory Study, a joint effort by the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution, where he co-authored a number of reports on regulation including one criticizing a ban on using cell phones while driving and another criticizing the EPA regulation of arsenic as too expensive with limited benefits.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 07:41 PM
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Between Pelosi & McCain, Congress will be able to control political speech on the air waves and during campaigns.

Vote Demopublican!

B

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and thats what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by 430 View Post
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who would like very much to reimpose the old, so-called, “Fairness Doctrine” that once censored conservative opinion on television and radio broadcasting,...
Good to see spin is alive and well.

Let's keep this simple. The fairness did not try and censor ANYTHING. It simply required stations to ALLOW all sides to have their chance to broadcast their point of view, not allowing biased broadcasting on the public airwaves.

Here is a quick and dirty synopsis of the history. Fairness Doctrine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Note the following:
Quote:
* A license permits broadcasting, but the licensee has no constitutional right to be the one who holds the license or to monopolize a... frequency to the exclusion of his fellow citizens. There is nothing in the First Amendment which prevents the Government from requiring a licensee to share his frequency with others.... It is the right of the viewers and listeners, not the right of the broadcasters, which is paramount."

U.S. Supreme Court, upholding the constitutionality of the Fairness Doctrine in Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC, 1969.[5]

The Court warned that if the doctrine ever restrained speech, then its constitutionality should be reconsidered. Without ruling the doctrine unconstitutional, the Court also concluded in a subsequent case (Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo, 418 U.S. 241) that the doctrine "inescapably dampens the vigor and limits the variety of public debate."
It means that if a broadcaster like Red Lion Broadcasting wants to go on a smear campaign against someone, it has to give him a chance to defend himself.

It in no way promotes or suggests censorship.

McBear,
Kentucky

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 08:15 PM
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Good to see spin is alive and well.

Let's keep this simple. The fairness did not try and censor ANYTHING. It simply required stations to ALLOW all sides to have their chance to broadcast their point of view, not allowing biased broadcasting on the public airwaves.

Here is a quick and dirty synopsis of the history. Fairness Doctrine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Note the following:


It means that if a broadcaster like Red Lion Broadcasting wants to go on a smear campaign against someone, it has to give him a chance to defend himself.

It in no way promotes or suggests censorship.
Do like everybody else does who wants time on the air or in print: Pay for it.

B

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by mcbear View Post
Good to see spin is alive and well.

Let's keep this simple. The fairness did not try and censor ANYTHING. It simply required stations to ALLOW all sides to have their chance to broadcast their point of view, not allowing biased broadcasting on the public airwaves.

Here is a quick and dirty synopsis of the history. Fairness Doctrine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Note the following:


It means that if a broadcaster like Red Lion Broadcasting wants to go on a smear campaign against someone, it has to give him a chance to defend himself.

It in no way promotes or suggests censorship.
Interesting wiki, and an interesting spin the SCOTUS used to justify that piece of garbage law (ie - because there are limited frequencies, then the government can make the people who use them share them with people they don't agree with, what a bunch of tripe). Despite the spin of censorship used in the article in the OP, the objective of the individuals pushing this is clearly partisan and less honorable than the examples cited in the wiki article you referenced.
As Bot said, you want air time, you have the freedom to buy it and use it, as do your political adversaries. If nobody wants to listen to you, that's not a federal issue.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 08:50 PM
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Do like everybody else does who wants time on the air or in print: Pay for it.

B
This is really, really simple, the Fairness Doctrine did not provide free time, it simply required broadcasters to ALLOW, the key word is ALLOW all sides to air their view. They have to pay for it.

And now, by the way, in most markets a single owner [Clear Channel, Cumulus, Viacom, etc] owns the entire market and, if their talk radio is say Rush, Hannity, O'really, there is no way to just "pay for it" to buy time. That time does not exist. It is now blocked, completely with one view.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 08:58 PM
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 08:58 PM
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Interesting wiki, and an interesting spin the SCOTUS used to justify that piece of garbage law (ie - because there are limited frequencies, then the government can make the people who use them share them with people they don't agree with, what a bunch of tripe). Despite the spin of censorship used in the article in the OP, the objective of the individuals pushing this is clearly partisan and less honorable than the examples cited in the wiki article you referenced.
As Bot said, you want air time, you have the freedom to buy it and use it, as do your political adversaries. If nobody wants to listen to you, that's not a federal issue.
The examples used were the SCOTUS cases that defined the limits of that law. They were not just "examples".

As posted above, you can't just go buy time to express your views in most markets. Right now it is just not possible.

As an experiment, call your local radio stations and ask them how you would go about doing a 30 minute talk show on their station on morning or afternoon drive time.

And it is fully agreed that ratings are not a federal issue. The issue has always been access to the PUBLIC airwaves.

As for your questions on regulating due to limited frequencies, THAT is a different subject. Read the Communications Act of 1934 to understand it. You would find that, if that regulation did not exist, we would not be able to hear ANY stations as transmitters are cheap and interference is a PITA.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mcbear View Post
The examples used were the SCOTUS cases that defined the limits of that law. They were not just "examples".

As posted above, you can't just go buy time to express your views in most markets. Right now it is just not possible.

As an experiment, call your local radio stations and ask them how you would go about doing a 30 minute talk show on their station on morning or afternoon drive time.

And it is fully agreed that ratings are not a federal issue. The issue has always been access to the PUBLIC airwaves.

As for your questions on regulating due to limited frequencies, THAT is a different subject. Read the Communications Act of 1934 to understand it. You would find that, if that regulation did not exist, we would not be able to hear ANY stations as transmitters are cheap and interference is a PITA.
I didn't say they were all examples. And, I would expect that a radio station wanting to make a profit would come up with some air time for the right price. If the right wingers own all the radio stations, then let the left wingers buy one or two of their own, they have the freedom to do that as well, right?
I didn't really ask a question about limited frequencies, I pointed out that the government interfering with the content the owner of the station has sold on the basis that there is only so many frequencies is quite a reach, and I stand by that. With the advance of broadcast media (how many channels on your tv and xm radio?) and the internet, the premise that SCOTUS ruling was based on is gone, a claim that those dirty, conniving radio stations won't let us play and free speech for ourselves is pure unadulterated BS, partisan spin.


Last edited by edfreeman; 07-09-2008 at 09:12 PM.
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