The Hate Speech Inquisition

Lead Story

The Hate Speech Inquisition

By Michelle Malkin  •  January 19, 2011 08:36 AM


Tucson massacre + Red Queen politics = Hate Speech Inquisition.

I noticed a new game the blamestream media is playing this week. It’s the same game they played with Sarah Palin last week: Blame the victim. After a slew of Democrat leaders issued open threats against talk radio, conservative radio hosts rose up to defend themselves. And now, the BSM is deriding those who work in talk radio for inserting themselves into the Tucson massacre story and for having a “persecution complex.”  No, really.

This week’s column also spotlights the repeated attempts by Red Queen open-borders radicals to insert themselves into the Tucson shooting rampage that had no more to do with illegal immigration than it did with talk radio.

On a related note: The worst sheriff in America is still mugging for the cameras.

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The Hate Speech Inquisition
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2010

There isn’t a shred of evidence that deranged Tucson massacre suspect Jared Loughner ever listened to talk radio or cared about illegal immigration. Indeed, after 300 exhaustive interviews, the feds “remain stumped” about his motives, according to Tuesday’s Washington Post. But that hasn’t stopped a coalition of power-grabbing politicians, progressive activists and open-borders lobbyists from plying their quack cure for the American body politic: government-sponsored speech suppression.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting rampage, Democratic leaders mused openly about reintroducing the Orwellian “Fairness Doctrine” – a legislative sledgehammer targeting conservative viewpoints on public airwaves. New York Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter assailed the Federal Communications Commission for failing to police broadcast content and vowed to “look into” more aggressive language monitoring. Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Ed Markey blamed “incendiary rhetoric” for triggering “unstable individuals to take violent action.” In his own manifesto calling for resurrection of the Fairness Doctrine, Democratic Rep. James Clyburn pressed public officials to “rethink parameters on free speech.”

This week’s fashionable new media meme is to deride talk radio hosts for taking these speech-squelching threats seriously. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jay Bookman sneered at the “persecution complex” of conservative broadcasters who reacted to Slaughter and company. Politico’s Keach Hagey dismissed concerns about the Democrats’ chilling campaign against right-leaning media outlets and knocked conservative talkers’ “defensive posture.” (Sound familiar? This is the same tactic they used against Sarah Palin and all those on the right falsely accused of being accessories to the Tucson massacre: Attack ‘em. Attack ‘em for responding. Accuse the smear victims of playing the victim card. Repeat.)

Make no mistake: The Hate Speech Inquisition is real. And it’s being fought on all fronts. Last week, using the non-radio-inspired Tucson massacre as fuel, the National Hispanic Media Coalition called on the FCC to gather evidence for the left’s preconceived conclusion that conservative talk radio “hate speech” causes violence. It’s Red Queen science — sentence first, research validation later.

The head of the NHMC is Alex Nogales, who has filed more than 50 petitions to deny broadcast licenses and has led anti-corporate crusades to “force” broadcast stations across the country “to hire Latino reporters and anchors” and adopt “diversity initiatives.” Grabbing the Tucson shooting limelight, Nogales told Broadcasting and Cable magazine last week:

“We can’t stand there with our arms crossed and make like there isn’t a reason why this is happening. … We started this dialog(ue) in the last immigration debate four years ago. We could see that it was just out of control. It started with just an issue of immigration, then every pundit on radio and TV who wanted an audience started talking about it and started using the worst of language, and now it has spilled out into mainstream.”

Loughner’s wild Internet rants and creepy campus meltdowns clearly demonstrate that crazy doesn’t need a motive. But progressive censors need their bogeymen, and Nogales isn’t about to give them up for reality’s sake. The NHMC first filed a petition in October 2009 demanding that the FCC collect data, seek public comment and “explore options” for combating “hate speech” from staunch critics of illegal immigration. The petition followed on National Council of La Raza President Janet Murguia’s call for media outlets to keep immigration enforcement proponents off the airwaves “even if such censorship were a violation of First Amendment rights.”

Nogales’ group is part of a larger “media justice” coalition dedicated to curtailing and redistributing conservatives’ political speech under the guise of diversity and decency. As left-wing philanthropists at the Media Justice Fund put it: The movement “is grounded in the belief that social and economic justice will not be realized without the equitable redistribution and control of media and communication technologies.” But, hey, we better just ignore these communications control freaks lest we be accused of suffering a “persecution complex.”

The Praetorian Guards of civility keep telling us that “words matter.” Threats should be taken seriously, they insist. Except, of course, when those words and threats are uttered by those hell-bent on regulating their opponents’ discourse out of existence.

The FCC’s Covert Mission to ‘Balance’ Broadcast Media Ownership

The FCC’s Covert Mission to ‘Balance’ Broadcast Media Ownership

By Chuck Rogér

Should Americans be concerned about a Federal Communications Commission official having once suggested that if government doesn’t help minorities reduce white ownership of broadcast media, then only violence would assure the protection of minorities’ civil rights [1]? In the little-noticed 2007 publication “The Erosion of Civil Rights,” Mark Lloyd attempted to make a case for Washington controlling media ownership. At the time, Lloyd — now FCC Chief Diversity Officer — was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. Lloyd’s contribution, “Civil Rights and Communications Policy-2006,” is saturated with straw man arguments.

Ideologues use two predominant straw man templates. Type I declares the existence of nonexistent problems in order to draw implications that bolster ideological talking points. Type II offers imagined evidence against imagined problems to strengthen talking points.
Mark Lloyd depended on Type I straw men in “Civil Rights and Communications Policy-2006.” He wrote, “Communications policy determines who gets to speak to whom, how soon and at what cost.” Bad policy “enhances one group’s ability to communicate and limits another group,” violates the limited group’s civil rights, and “perpetuates the stereotypes one group holds about the other.” There is no proof of a “communications policy” that either benefits or hurts certain “groups,” and yet Lloyd stated the contention as fact. Indeed, there’s no proof that Americans communicate according to any “policy” at all. The very idea of government-controlled communications violates the First Amendment. Lloyd’s follow-on points depend on the reader not noticing the hocus-pocus.
But all the magic in the world cannot assign value to specifics based on worthless generalities. Lloyd offered three gems.
If a white teacher believes it will be difficult to teach a brown child, her expectations for that child will be limited. If a white police officer believes black men to be threatening, he will tend to shoot first. If a white citizen believes women of color are lazy, he will be less inclined to support laws that aid the poor.
Essentially admitting the flimsiness of the claims, Lloyd then fell back on an old, reliable “The evidence to support these assertions is compelling.” But no relevant evidence was revealed. Instead, revealed was an obsession with white-bashing. Lloyd’s racial divisiveness presaged the dramatic rise in liberals’ use of the practice since Barack Obama became president.
Insistent on viewing the world through a divisive lens, Lloyd complained that because of an “important and unique role in community discourse,” broadcasters must “act as a public trustee, providing free over the air service for the public good of all segments of their community of license.” Operative phrase: “all segments.” Never has American government forced an industry to donate a product “for the public good.” Yet Lloyd wants to force broadcasters to forgo profits in order to serve the needs of racially and ethnically segregated markets.
Lloyd pushed the same kind of anti-free market, First Amendment-ignoring heavy-handedness in a more well-known 2007 Center for American Progress report, “The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio.” In the report, Lloyd called for legalizing racial discrimination by placing “caps” on white ownership of radio stations.
But in Lloyd’s mind, serving segregated markets is only half the battle. To make life truly fair, government must force affirmative action in broadcast industry employment and ownership. Returning to Lloyd’s “Civil Rights and Communications Policy-2006,” we find the czar-to-be using yet another straw man to demand the reenergizing of a 1970s “battle for rules to promote minority ownership.” The justification is that white ownership hurts minorities. Lack of proof for the claim exposes Lloyd’s prescription as ideologically motivated hysterics.
Hysterics inspire various degrees of action. In the case of the communications industry, Lloyd wanted the FCC to investigate using “race-based measures to advance equal employment opportunity regulations and efforts to increase minority ownership[.]” Lloyd now works for a government agency that could force a fix for the “diversity problem.”
To be sure, the FCC is in the process of acting on Mark Lloyd’s recommendations from both 2007 Center for American Progress documents discussed here. A new FCC program will “assess whether all Americans have access to vibrant, diverse sources of news and information[.]” Look for “diverse sources” to translate into “diverse” industry ownership.
Obama’s FCC, intent on diversifying talk radio, could be aiming to marginalize administration opponents. For camouflage, the FCC bent the truth in a reply to a CNS News FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request for records of communications “to and from” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski that contained references to conservative media personalities. The FCC denied the existence of communications fitting the specified parameters, but CNSNews.com reports that in the fall of 2009, the left-wing So We Might See Coalition sent a letter to FCC Chairman Genachowski concerning “hate speech in the media” by personalities like Rush Limbaugh. And the withholding of evidence of media tampering doesn’t end with the CNS episode.
FCC Administrative Law Chief Joel Kaufman, the official whose letter didn’t report the existence of the CNS-requested document, also responded to a Judicial Watch FOIA request for information on Lloyd’s staffing and budget. Kaufman claimed that the FCC “could locate no records” showing anyone hired “specifically to support [Lloyd] in his work” and that Lloyd “has no separate budget for operation and administration.”
The mushiness surrounding Lloyd’s mission makes another portion of the FCC response to the Judicial Watch FOIA request more curious still. Kaufman’s letter containing the “no records” claim states that the FCC
… did locate internal briefing materials for the Chairman concerning “media ownership” that we are withholding in their entirety pursuant to FOIA Exemption 5,5 U.S.C. 552(b)(5). FOIA Exemption 5 permits the withholding of materials in order to encourage open, frank discussions on matters of policy between subordinates and superiors.
The FCC has basically admitted to a plan to conceal from Americans the content of “media ownership” discussions that are occurring. Mark Lloyd may fulfill a dream expressed in 2007. The Diversity Czar can now work to correct “the structural imbalance of political talk radio” without worrying about bothersome interference from the American people.
A writer, physicist, and former high tech executive, Chuck Rogér invites you to visit his website, chuckroger.com. E-mail Chuck at swampcactus@chuckroger.com.

[1] Mark Lloyd’s exact words: “Absent a repeat of the dramatic injustices that reached Americans on their television screens in the 60s it will be difficult, if not impossible, to advance a civil rights agenda on any front in the current communications environment.” From chapter titled, “Civil Rights and Communications Policy-2006” in “The Erosion of Civil Rights,” Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights and Center for American Progress, 2007, p.87.

Phoenix mayor blames new immigration law on talk radio, lack of Fairness Doctrine

Phoenix mayor blames new immigration law on talk radio, lack of Fairness Doctrine

2010 May 22

And not, like, the crime wave that’s earned his state the dubious designation of “kidnapping capital of America.

Despite the fact that most of his fellow citizens apparently support that new immigration enforcement law, Mayor Phil Gordon not only condemned it, but blamed its passage on … talk radio, and the absence of the “Fairness Doctrine.”

“Instead of requiring both sides of a debate to be aired, only one side was given the chance,” Gordon told one audience. “Language that was never acceptable became mainstream, and those deemed to be in disagreement with those on radio or TV were demonized as traitors and extremists.”

Brian Jennings, author of Censorship: The Threat to Silence Talk Radio, shot back, “Phil Gordon is nothing more than a liberal whiner who doesn’t get how free speech must work in order to be truly free. … I hope the good citizens of Phoenix bounce Gordon from office the next time he’s up for election.”