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Rush and Beck on the Fairness Doctrine threat

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By Michelle Malkin  •  August 27, 2009 11:19 AM

In case you missed it yesterday, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck spotlighted Team Obama’s direct and indirect threats to free speech — and how the Fairness Doctrine (or some stealthier form of it) might be reinstituted.

Watch the whole thing.

Rush has the full transcript. An excerpt:

BECK: Now joining me on the phone is radio talk show host Mr. Rush Limbaugh. Rush?

RUSH: Glenn Beck. How are you, sir?

BECK: Very good, sir. I want to play something for you. I don’t know if you just saw it, but I want to play it again. This is the new diversity officer for the FCC, a newly created position. This is what he said at a speech or talk he was giving about Chavez’s Venezuela and how the media work down there. Watch this.

MARK LLOYD: In Venezuela, with Chavez, you really had an incredible revolution — democratic revolution — to begin to put in place things that were going to have impact on the people of Venezuela. The property owners and the folks who were then controlling the media in Venezuela rebelled — worked, frankly, with folks here in the US government — worked to oust him. He came back and had another revolution, and Chavez then started to take the media very seriously in his country.

BECK: Rush, I find that breathtaking.

RUSH: I find the whole administration breathtaking, Glenn. You’re doing great job this whole week. I mean I saw Sarah Palin even “tweeted” about what you’re doing, urging people to watch. This whole administration is as radical and far left as any that the country has ever had, and what they’re trying to do here to communications is simply stifle dissenting voices. They’re trying to wipe out any opposition. If you look at Barack Obama and his track record as a politician, it is to clear the playing field. He doesn’t even like debating his opponents. He just wants to get rid of them. And this “diversity czar” comes from a fringe, radical, Saul Alinsky-type of background; and the things that he’s talking about doing — and I watched your show for the first half hour today — but the things he’s talking about doing to shut down radio are simply un-American. It’s not enough to say that it’s not constitutional.

It’s simply un-American, and make no bones about it, folks, Glenn is right — and I think he’s maybe underselling a little bit about as far as their intentions are concerned. The stimulus plan! Glenn, look at what they’re doing to the US economy. Anybody with a sense of economic literacy would know this is not how you create jobs. You do not rebuild the private sector. This is being done on purpose. All of these disasters are exactly what Obama wants. The more crises, the better. The more opportunity for government to say, “Let us come in and fix the problem.” His number one opposition is on radio and Fox News. His number one opposition is on radio. They can’t go Fairness Doctrine because it’s too obvious. So they’re trying to do this backdoor route with “diversity” and ownership, a 100% tax on operating in order to pay public radio because they’re supposedly fair. It’s insidious. But I don’t think it’s gonna work in the end because the American people are too informed, Glenn. They’re too aware of it. Their radio means too much to them. Their free speech — freedom in general — means way too much to them. And just as they’re fighting back on health care and a number of other things, so will they fight back on this.

***

Flashback:

Barack Obama has a stunning lack of tolerance for free speech. And one thing Americans can expect from an Obama administration, and a Democratic-controlled Congress, is a legislative attempt to bring back the so-called Fairness Doctrine, which will limit free speech and diminish the conservative influence on talk radio.

A new ATI-News/Zogby International poll released on Oct. 26 made it clear that those who intend to vote for Obama support re-establishing the Fairness Doctrine.

The poll asked likely voters, “Some members of Congress have discussed reinstating the Fairness Doctrine for broadcasting. The Fairness Doctrine requires radio stations to provide equal air time for opposing viewpoints.”

“If reinstated, regulators determine if both sides of an issue are equally presented. There is concern among some broadcasters that this equal presentation could lead to dropping some popular conservative talk shows in an effort to avoid airing less popular liberal talk shows. Knowing this, do you support or oppose reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine?”

Those likely to vote for Obama support reinstating the Fairness Doctrine by a margin of 49 percent to 36 percent, and Democrats support it 47 to 38 percent. Independents marginally support the fairness doctrine 42 percent to 40 percent, though this is within the poll’s margin of error. (The remaining respondents all replied “not sure.”)

Those polled were then asked, “Some say the Fairness Doctrine could result in popular radio shows, such as Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, to be taken off the air in some markets. Knowing this, do you support or oppose reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine?”

When informed that the Fairness Doctrine might take Limbaugh and Hannity off the air, the percentage of Democrat likely voters who support the Fairness Doctrine rose to 53 percent. The percentage of Obama supporters supporting the Doctrine rose four points to 53 percent. However, the percentage of Independents opposed to the Fairness Doctrine rose to 49 percent.

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