FCC News and Commentary

The transition to digital television was involuntary, but continuing to watch television (or not) is a choice you can still make.  The FCC is failing to perform many of the functions it was created to do, while fixing things that aren't broken.

Subsections on this page:

The internet



The Fairness Doctrine

Related topic:

Taking control of the internet

The FCC in general

If I were the Chairman, Secretary, CEO and sole dictator of the FCC, I would outlaw broadcasting in any language other than English, with the exception of "special English" programs for English instruction), eliminate the requirement for closed captioning on television, ban all advertising for lawyers and prescription drugs, outlaw all radio and TV commercials longer than two minutes, eliminate the requirement for "station identification," at least for TV stations (since TV is now a digital stream that is identified once per second), and ban the ownership of more than two radio or TV stations in each market by the same company.  (One corporation currently owns 850 radio stations.)  I would also revoke the licenses of all the AM radio stations with a nighttime power of less than 250 watts and all FM stations (and translators) with less than 1000 watts.  I would then establish a new digital radio band where TV channels 3 through 6 used to be, with a maximum of ONE station per owner.  Then I would eliminate the weekly testing of the Emergency Alert System, because those tests are essentially equivalent to deliberate false alarms, and the required monthly test performs the same function.  It would also be helpful to change the FCC rules to allow the jamming of cell phone signals in movie theaters, restaurants, churches, funeral homes, prisons, school zones, court rooms, and other places where cell phones are not welcome.

Mandate for Leadership.  [Scroll down to page 845]  The FCC is an independent regulatory agency that has jurisdiction over interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable.  Five Commissioners are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for fixed five-year terms.  The FCC does not have any other presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed officials.  Ordinarily, the five-member FCC is divided politically three to two with a majority of Commissioners from the same political party as the President.  The Commissioners' terms are staggered so that every year at the end of June, one Commissioner's term expires.  However, a Commissioner can continue to serve until the end of the next session of Congress (or up to 1.5 years beyond the expiration of the term) if no replacement is confirmed after his or her term ends.  By law, only a bare majority of Commissioners can be from the same political party (no more than three when there are five members).  By tradition, the Chairperson resigns when a new President of a different political party is sworn into office — though this is not required by law.  By resigning, the exiting Commissioner enables the President to nominate someone from his own political party to the FCC, and this typically shifts the political balance on the FCC toward the President's political party.

Mark Levin Criticizes Automakers Dropping AM Radio.  Major automakers are removing AM radios from their new models in a move that heralds the end of an era, sparking outrage from listeners, station owners, and politicians alike who lament the potential loss of an iconic part of American culture and criticize the move as "tone deaf."  Mark Levin commented on the change, saying: "The automobile is essential to liberty.  It's freedom.  So the control of the automobile is about the control of your freedom.  They finally figured out how to attack conservative talk radio."  The Washington Post reports that in a move that marks the end of an era, major automakers are disconnecting AM radios from their new models.  The rapid pace of technological advancement and shifting consumer preferences has caused AM radio, once the soundtrack of America's road trips, and more recently the home of conservative radio giants like Rush Limbaugh, to become obsolete.

The Editor says...
Perhaps a law similar to the All-Channel Receiver Act could be passed, requiring radio manufacturers to include AM tuners.  The AM stations are licensed by the government, and the frequencies on which they operate have been set aside for broadcasting, so the extinction of AM receivers would mean that all AM radio stations would be a waste of electricity.  (More so than they are already.)  Yes, AM radio is unfashionable, and it doesn't work as well as it once did, due to overcrowded frequencies and a higher noise floor than we had 50 years ago, but if we're going to get rid of AM radio, let's vote on it first.  (Also, if we must have ethanol in gasoline, let's vote on it first.  If we must have low-flow toilets, let's vote on it first.  If we must do away with coal and natural gas, let's vote on it first.)

Ex-FCC chief, public TV advocate Newton Minow dead at 97.  Newton N. Minow, who as Federal Communications Commission chief in the early 1960s famously proclaimed that network television was a "vast wasteland," died Saturday.  He was 97.  Minow, who received a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016, died Saturday at home, surrounded by loved ones, said his daughter, Nell Minow.  "He wanted to be at home," she told The Associated Press.  "He had a good life."

Biden's FCC Nominee Gigi Sohn Goes Down in Flames.  Gigi Sohn — President Joe Biden's nominee for commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission — withdrew her name from consideration on Tuesday, the White House confirmed, after three successive unsuccessful nominating attempts by Biden.  Sohn's decision ended some 16 months of attempts to secure enough support, and came just hours after U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced that he "cannot support her nomination" and urged Biden "to put forth a nominee who can bring us together, not drive us apart."  [Tweet]  Biden first nominated Sohn in October 2021, but her initial bid to be FCC commissioner stalled after she testified before the Senate Commerce Committee in December of that year.

Biden's FCC Pick Withdraws, Says Agency Will 'Remain Sidelined'.  President Joe Biden's nominee for a key fifth seat on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Gigi Sohn, withdrew on Tuesday, dealing a setback for Democrats who have been unable to take control of the telecom regulator for more than two years.  Sohn confirmed Tuesday she was withdrawing after Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he would vote against confirming her.

Prized Biden Nominee Is So Terrible That Democrats Are Looking to Blow up Her Nomination.  The Biden administration does not exist in the same reality the rest of us exist in.  That was perfectly illustrated by the renomination of Gigi Sohn to an open spot on the FCC.  Sohn was first put up for the spot during the last Congress, but due to a variety of problems, including a scandal in which she donated to Sen. Raphael Warnock (who sits on the committee that would approve her), the contentious selection did not make it through.  In a sane world, that would have been enough to scuttle Sohn's chances, but the White House renominated her anyway in January.  According to a new report (Axios), though, the far-left radical is so terrible that Democrats may still blow up her nomination.

Biden Dips Into The Well of Extremism Once Again.  [Scroll down]  For her part, [Gigi] Sohn's past remarks show a censorious hostility toward conservative viewpoints.  "For all my concerns about#Facebook, I believe that Fox News has had the most negative impact on our democracy," she tweeted in 2020, adding, "It's state-sponsored propaganda, with few if any opposing viewpoints."  If confirmed, she could make good on her past calls to target Fox News with perpetual investigations or drag its senior leadership before a congressional Star Chamber.  Even more alarming is Sohn's demand that the FCC aggressively police broadcast companies and her backing of a petition that would allow the government to censor free speech.  She even tweeted, "I say that @FCC should look at whether Sinclair [Broadcasting] is qualified to be a broadcast licensee at all."  In her new role, Sohn would have a free hand at dismantling the First Amendment rights to which she has demonstrated such hostility.

Sullivan Confronts Biden Nominee Over Her Tweets.  Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) questions Gigi Sohn, the nominee to be Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing.  [Video clip]

Republican opposition to liberal Biden FCC nominee intensifies.  A left-wing Federal Communications Commission nominee who would be poised to implement President Joe Biden's telecommunications and technology agenda faced intense criticism from Republicans during a Senate hearing Wednesday.  Senate Republicans strongly oppose Democrat Gigi Sohn's confirmation, criticizing her as a left-wing ideologue who would favor heavy-handed regulation, as a threat to censor conservative speech, and for her alleged conflicts of interest.

Biden's FCC Commissioner Nominee Gigi Sohn Wants To Nuke Right-Leaning Broadcasters From Air.  President Joe Biden's nominee for commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission hates Fox News and wants the federal agency to regulate conservative broadcasts because she disagrees with them.  The White House first announced Gigi Sohn as Biden's FCC nominee in October.  [Biden administration statement omitted for brevity, among other things.]  Sohn's inclination towards censorship and partisan regulation, however, torpedoed her chances of confirmation.  Biden re-nominated Sohn at the beginning of the year but her chances of gaining Republican support are once again slim considering her history of criticizing and painting TV networks she disagrees with as threats to our democracy that need to be punished.  In one 2019 tweet, Sohn hinted that Fox News should be scrutinized because they "have played their own role in destroying democracy."

The Enemy Is At the Gates.  We're just barely a year into this national nightmare but it feels like ten.  Joe Biden was always going to be a terrible president, but this feels like we're spiraling through disaster after disaster.  The fight we're engaged in is the ultimate one that will determine if America survives.  Democrats are trying to enact full-blown authoritarian socialism.  You already know this — but not only is America itself facing an existential threat, so are we here at Townhall.  Enter Gigi Sohn.  She's Joe Biden's nominee for FCC commissioner and she's hellbent on destroying us forever.  She will seek to regulate conservative media completely out of existence.  The worst part is that she apparently has allies in Newsmax and One America News Network.  What these idiots are thinking, I don't know — but Sohn seeks our total erasure.  The enemy is at the gates.  Liberal state media is a few small steps away.

Biden's FCC Commissioner Nominee Gigi Sohn Wants To Nuke Right-Leaning Broadcasters From Air.  President Joe Biden's nominee for commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission hates Fox News and wants the federal agency to regulate conservative broadcasts because she disagrees with them.  The White House first announced Gigi Sohn as Biden's FCC nominee in October.  President Joe Biden's nominee for commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission hates Fox News and wants the federal agency to regulate conservative broadcasts because she disagrees with them.  The White House first announced Gigi Sohn as Biden's FCC nominee in October. [...] Sohn's inclination towards censorship and partisan regulation, however, torpedoed her chances of confirmation.  Biden re-nominated Sohn at the beginning of the year but her chances of gaining Republican support are once again slim considering her history of criticizing and painting TV networks she disagrees with as threats to our democracy that need to be punished.  In one 2019 tweet, Sohn hinted that Fox News should be scrutinized because they "have played their own role in destroying democracy."

Experts Worry Biden FCC Pick Will Use Post To Attack Conservatives.  Telecommunications experts worry that President Joe Biden's decision to put a career political activist on the Federal Communications Commission could transform the agency into a bludgeon for the administration to attack conservatives.  Gigi Sohn has called for expanding the FCC's authority to investigate and regulate conservative networks.  She has suggested that one of the leading conservative broadcasting companies should not have a broadcast license and founded a nonprofit that is actively lobbying cable providers to drop the right-wing One America News Network (OANN).  Sohn could soon have the power to act on these radical positions, which some say is cause for concern.

Biden's FCC Nominee:  Fox News Is State Media, and Must Be Regulated to Death.  We have Americans still trapped in Afghanistan, rising inflation, lackluster jobs growth, an immigration fiasco, and are still awaiting the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial — so you can see how this story fell below the radar.  If you're in conservative media, pay attention because Joe Biden's nominee for FCC commissioner has been quite vocal about regulating us to death.  The wolf is about to enter the hen house — and even some conservative outlets are supporting this effort.  Why?  Two words:  Fox News.  One America News Network has been vocal about their support for this nominee.  Hill sources told Townhall that Newsmax might be onboard, as they see this woman as one who could deliver a death blow to their number one competitor.  Allow me to introduce you to Gigi Sohn — and her left-wing bias is widely documented.

Biden moves FCC leftward with two new appointees.  President Joe Biden nominated two liberals to fill out the Federal Communications Commission Tuesday, attempting to move the agency in a significantly more liberal direction that will likely result in restoring net neutrality rules and heightened telecommunications regulations.  Biden named Jessica Rosenworcel to be chairwoman and Gigi Sohn to be a commissioner.  A White House press release described Rosenworcel as "a champion for connectivity for all."  The five-member agency, which is in charge of regulating the TV, radio, and telecommunications industries, along with ensuring broadband internet access, has been missing one commissioner and a full-time chair since Biden became president at the beginning of this year.

Soros-Funded Group FCC Letter Included Question on Whether to 'Shoot' Republicans.  The George Soros-funded Free Press is in hot water after it submitted a leftist petition to the Federal Communications Commission that included a comment that questioned if Republicans should be shot.  The Free Press petition urged the FCC to "investigate its own history of racism and examine how its policy choices and actions have harmed black people and other communities of color."  The petition included the following violent comment:  "How come we have racist horseshit like FOX and the other ultraconservative outlets and Christians owning most of our media.  What happened to separation of church and state?  Are we going to have to shoot Republican[s] to reclaim our democracy?" Soros's Foundation to Promote Open Society and Open Society Institute gave at least $4,785,000 combined to Free Press between 2004-2019 alone.  FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr reportedly told The Washington Free Beacon that "'The only action the FCC should take on a request like this — one based on a comment asking whether Republicans should be shot — is to dismiss it with prejudice.'"

FCC Commissioner:  Close 'Loophole' Allowing Chinese Telecoms to Access US Networks.  Americans have come to understand the national security threat posed by China-based telecom companies, but they might be surprised to learn that equipment from the telecom firms continues to be used in U.S. networks, according to Brendan Carr, Federal Communication Commission (FCC) commissioner.  The FCC in 2020 banned carriers in the United States from using an $8.3 billion federal fund to purchase equipment from China-based telecom companies Huawei and ZTE after deeming them to be national security threats.  However, carriers are allowed to buy and use the exact same equipment as long as they use private funds.  "To me, that is a glaring loophole that makes no sense," Carr said in a recent interview with The Epoch Times' "American Thought Leaders" program.  The commissioner highlighted the espionage risk posed by China-based technology firms.

India named origin of most robocalls, crackdown on US firms facilitating swindle.  The United States has initiated legal actions in a landmark development against domestic telecom companies that allowed hundreds of millions of robocalls from abroad, mostly from India, that targeted the elderly and vulnerable for extortion with threats of arrest or jail for trumped-up crimes and offenses.  The US department of justice filed two civil action lawsuits in a federal court in New York Tuesday seeking temporary restraining orders against five US telecom companies and three individuals who are alleged to have allowed these robocalls into the United States (with toll-free outbound call-backs) as "gateway carriers" of phone calls over the Internet (Voice Over Internet Protocol or VOIP), despite repeated warnings.  A robocall is an automated telephone call which delivers a recorded message, typically on behalf of a political party or a telemarketing company.  No Indian entity or individual was named, but authorities traced most of these calls to India.

Telemarketer fined $225 million by FCC after making 1 billion robocalls.  The Federal Communications Commission issued its largest ever fine to a pair of Texas telemarketers that made more than 1 billion robocalls falsely to sell health insurance.  The fine is the largest ever issued by the government agency.  John Spiller and Jakob Mears, who made the calls for their businesses Rising Eagle and JSquared Telecom, were fined $225 million for the calls where they claimed to sell insurance for companies like Aetna, Cigna, United HealthCare and Blue Cross Blue Shield after asking if listeners were interested in "affordable health insurance with benefits from a company you know?"

Vindicating Trump, Biden's FCC Designates Chinese Tech Firms 'National Security Threats'.  The Federal Communications Commission designated five Chinese Communist Party-linked tech firms as "national security threats."  Among the companies targeted by the ban are Huawei, ZTE, Hytera Communications Corp, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, and Dahua Technology Co.  "Such designations, which will extend to subsidiaries and affiliates of the targeted entities, are required under the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019," South China Morning Post notes.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) highlighted how telecommunications products from and services provided by the aforementioned companies posed "an unacceptable risk to US national security or the security and safety of US persons."

FCC orders US telecom companies to rip out Huawei equipment.  US carriers and telecommunications companies receiving Universal Service funding are now required to remove all Huawei technology, by order of the federal government.  The US Federal Communications Commission has ordered certain carriers to "rip and replace" all equipment produced by Huawei.  It follows continuing investigations into claims that Huawei represents a threat to national security, and Huawei's application for a review of a similar ruling by the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau in June.  "A laundry list of evidence before us compels this result," said FCC chairman Ajit Pal in a statement.  "But to summarize some of the main points, Huawei has a long and well-documented history of close ties to the Chinese military and intelligence communities, as well as the Chinese Communist Party, at every level of the company — all the way up to its founder."

Pentagon officials unload on FCC's decision to allow Ligado to use spectrum near GPS for mobile broadband network.  Top Pentagon officials — including Dana Deasy, DOD chief information officer; Michael Griffin, undersecretary of defense for research and engineering; Chief of Space Operations Gen. Jay Raymond; and retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen — all excoriated the FCC for dismissing the military's assertion the mobile broadband network will interfere with GPS signals vital to national security.  "Ligado and 5G simply do not go together.  It is clear to the DOD that the risk to GPS far outweighs the benefits of this FCC decision and the FCC needs to reverse their decision," Deasy said, testifying that "we were completely caught off guard" by the April decision.

The Editor says...
Apparently the FCC is willing to sacrifice national security to ensure that every 10-year-old girl in town can download a movie in five seconds.  The FCC was created to prevent radio interference, which is the issue here.

Does a deaf person have a right to telephone service?
Deaf Activist Opposing FCC Proposal To Remove Human Aspect Captioning Service.  Deaf activists are slamming the Federal Communication Commission's recent move to reevaluate the human involvement in translating calls into text.  The agency recently pushed a new rule for the software, which is titled the Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service or IPCTS.  The software uses both human interpreters and technology to show transcribed phone conversations on a screen for deaf individuals to see visually.  The FCC hopes to change this by only use computers to translate calls.  However, disability advocates are taking issue with this due to errors sometimes made when this service is only done with computers.

FCC bans robocalls, texts.  The Federal Communications Commission voted to approve laws that ban fraudulent text messages and international robocalls last week.  The new rules in effect neutralize loopholes in the Truth in Caller ID Act, which banned spoofing domestic calls but made it hard for the FCC to prosecute against perpetrators of scam text messages and international calls.  Now, the FCC can monitor and penalize "bad actors" behind these types of schemes.

FCC rejects Senate Democrats' plea to investigate Sinclair for 'news distortion'.  Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai has denied a request by Senate Democrats to investigate the right-leaning Sinclair Broadcasting Group for "news distortion," saying such a probe would be "chilling" to free speech.  "Thank you for your letter requesting that the Commission investigate a broadcaster based on the content of its news coverage and promotion of that coverage," said Mr. Pai in his letter.  "In light of my commitment to protecting the First Amendment and freedom of the press, I must respectfully decline."  His reply was dated April 12, the day after the request from 11 Senate Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders, Vermont Independent, who cited Sinclair's proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media Company.

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Want the FCC to Revoke Sinclair's Broadcast Licenses.  How stupid is the panic over Sinclair Broadcast Group's hamfisted, "must-run" promotional video decrying "fake news"?  This stupid:  Yesterday [4/11/2018] 12 senators, including reported presidential aspirants Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), officially requested that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) "investigate Sinclair's news activities to determine if it conforms to the public interest."  If such an inquiry were to uncover "distorted news reports," the senators reckoned, that "could disqualify Sinclair from holding its existing licenses" and put the kibosh to its proposed purchase of Tribune Co. television stations. [...] FCC chair Ajit Pai this afternoon responded with a curt thanks-but-no-thanks.

Person who sent false Hawaii missile alert not cooperating in FCC probe, official says.  The person who transmitted a false missile alarm that terrorized the state of Hawaii this month is not currently cooperating with the Federal Communications Commission investigation, an FCC official said Thursday [1/25/2018].  "We hope that person will reconsider," Lisa Fowlkes, chief of the FCC's Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau, told the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in Washington.

FCC Votes To Eliminate Main Studio Rule.  By a 3-2 vote, the Federal Communications Commission today [10/24/2017] scrapped the nearly eight-decade-old rule requiring radio and television stations to operate and staff a main studio in their community of license in order to originate live programming.  The move also does away with the requirement that the main studio have full-time management and staff present during normal business hours.

Emails Show Obama-Era FCC Gave Special Treatment To Liberal Groups.  High-ranking officials at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gave left-leaning groups a disproportionate amount of assistance compared to right-leaning groups in 2014, emails obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation show.  The preferential treatment transpired during a period when the public could post comments on the FCC's forum for the net neutrality debate.  Both major sides of the policy battle rushed to post as many remarks as possible in an attempt to show its viewpoint was more widely held.  But some employees at the FCC worked overtime to tip the scale in favor of proponents of net neutrality by constantly accommodating and communicating with groups like Fight for the Future and other members of the larger coalition known as Battle for the Net.

Obama-Era FCC Caught Red-Handed Giving Preferential Treatment To Liberal Groups.  A high-level employee at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2014 appeared to give leaders of liberal-leaning groups preferential treatment for posting and publicizing comments on the agency's public forum for the net neutrality debate.  Details of the highly friendly support were first described by then-The Washington Post's Nancy Scola, who referred to it as an "unusual collaboration" in an in-depth report on the FCC's filing system.

Trump names new FCC chairman:  Ajit Pai, who wants to take a 'weed whacker' to net neutrality.  President Trump on Monday designated Ajit Pai, a Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission and an outspoken opponent of new net neutrality rules, to be the agency's new chairman.  Pai, 44, would take over for Tom Wheeler, a Democrat who stepped down on Friday [1/20/2017].  Wheeler's term had not expired but Trump gets to designate a new chairman as Republicans gain the FCC majority.

Trump Nomination Could Spell Disaster For Government's Internet Takeover.  President Donald Trump promoted and appointed Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Ajit Pai to chairman of the government agency Monday [1/23/2017].  Pai, a lawyer, is a staunch opponent to net neutrality — a concept the Obama administration pushed throughout its tenure.  Net neutrality is the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally, which some (like former FCC chairman and Democrat Tom Wheeler) argue gives smaller Internet Service Providers (ISPs) the same chance of succeeding in the marketplace.

Report: Democratic FCC chairman to resign.  The Democratic chairman of the Federal Communications Commission will resign at the end of President Obama's time in office in January, according to a report Thursday [12/15/2016].  Tom Wheeler's departure will give Republicans a 2-1 majority on the FCC, giving Trump the chance to immediately start rolling back Obama's regulations once he takes office.  According to FCC rules, three commissioners are needed for a quorum.

The True Fate Of Net Neutrality In A Trump FCC.  In the wake of Donald Trump's unexpected victory last week, tech reporters and commentators have been spinning wildly trying to predict the new Administration's innovation agenda — especially as it relates to the FCC's 2015 "net neutrality" rules.  The truth is we know almost nothing.  Unlike Sec. Clinton, the Trump transition team never issued a specific technology plan.  What little the campaign did say doesn't suggest an overall approach, or, for that matter, much guidance on specific issues.

FCC Official Goes Totally Unpunished After Having Sex With WaPo Reporter In Office.  A highly-paid Federal Communications Commission (FCC) official's confession to having sex with a Washington Post reporter in his office as part of a 2013 lawsuit seemingly went completely unnoticed in the media.  Thomas Reed, director at the FCC's Office for Communications Business Opportunities (OCBD), has since gone on working in the same position, unpunished and drawing his lucrative six-figure salary.  In early 2013, FCC employee Sharon K. Stewart sued the FCC in federal court, claiming she was the victim of a hostile work environment at OCBD, an FCC division that advises commissioners on "issues, rulemakings, and policies affecting small, women, and minority-owned communications businesses."

The Real Story Behind The FCC Sex Scandal.  Though a lawsuit's revelation that Thomas Reed, the director of the FCC's Office for Communications Business Opportunities, had sex with a Washington Post reporter in his office is salacious, that's not what should get Congress's attention.  The far more serious revelation involves the FCC's official legal response to a female employee's allegation that she was subjected to a hostile work environment due to management inaction when a male coworker repeatedly invited other male coworkers to watch porn with him in the cubicle adjacent to hers, from which she would "hear groans — mmm, mmm, ahh — in response to the pornography viewings," while having one "stand guard looking for her."

FCC Kept 'Obamaphone' Fraud Under Wraps Until After It Expanded Program.  Federal regulators were instructed to keep a massive fraud investigation under wraps until a day after a controversial vote to expand a program that was allegedly used to bilk taxpayers of tens of millions of dollars, one those regulators claims.  The Federal Communications Commission on Friday [4/8/2016] announced that it would seek $51 million in damages from a cell phone company that allegedly defrauded the federal Lifeline program of nearly $10 million.  The commission's five members unanimously backed the Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL), but Republican commissioner Ajit Pai parted from his colleagues in a partial dissent.  According to Pai, he and other commissioners were told not to reveal the details of its investigation until April 1, a day after the FCC voted to expand the Lifeline program.

FCC proposes millions in fines, collects $0.  The FCC has announced a series of eye-popping fines against companies over the past two years:  Roughly $100 million against nearly a dozen firms for defrauding a phone subsidy program, $35 million against a Chinese company for selling illegal wireless jamming equipment, and $100 million against AT&T this June for throttling customers on unlimited data plans.  But how much of that money has the commission actually collected?  $0.

FCC Takes Step to Extend Phone Subsidy for Poor to Broadband.  Federal regulators took a step Thursday [6/18/2015] toward making Internet connections eligible for a $1.6 billion government subsidy that helps poor Americans afford telephones.  The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 along party lines to consider changes proposed by Chairman Tom Wheeler, a Democrat, to the Lifeline program that has helped pay for telephone connections since 1985.  "Today begins a proceeding to spend ratepayers' money more wisely, to deliver 21st century benefits to deserving recipients," Wheeler said.

FCC Chairman, a Longtime Clinton Family Supporter, Chooses Hillary for 2016.  Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, a known partisan who supported former President Bill Clinton in the 90s, indicated on Monday [5/4/2015] his belief that Hillary Clinton will be the next president.  Wheeler was asked whether he would serve another term as FCC chairman and answered that "she hasn't asked me," a clear reference to Clinton, the sole female Democratic presidential nominee, according to the Hill.

Reclaiming Legislative Power.  The power to make laws rests wholly in Congress — at least that is what the Constitution says.  Yet who makes the "laws" in our federal system today?  Vast amounts of legislative power have been "delegated" to independent federal regulatory agencies like the Federal Communications Commission or to the president or his cabinet secretaries.  The sheer volume of these rules is mind-numbing.  Consider that in 2014, the year that just ended, 75,000 pages of new regulations were adopted by the Executive Branch, either by the Obama administration directly or through independent regulatory agencies.  This is in addition to the myriad executive orders the president gives to his various departments regarding how to administrate federal laws.

I Want a President Who'll Dump the Stupid FCC.  It was the Progressive Era that invented independent regulatory agencies.  We needed an Interstate Commerce Commission to regulate those railroads.  The noble idea was that we needed independent experts to protect the helpless farmer from the greed of the railroad barons.  We needed a watchdog that was free of both of partisan taint and political patronage and also free from influence by corporate power. [...] Ever since, the independent regulatory agencies, the ICCs, the FTCs, the CABs, the FCCs, the FECs, the SECs, the NLRBs, have reliably churned forth conventional elite wisdom and reliably bollixed up perfectly viable industries like railroads, airlines, broadcasting, electioneering, finance, labor relations.

DISH Manipulates Federal Rules, Gets Billions in Discounts for Wireless Licenses.  DISH Network, whose co-founder is a major Democratic donor, cashed in on a $3.3 billion taxpayer-funded discount to purchase wireless licenses from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Friday [1/30/2015].  Using subsidiaries to capitalize on an FCC designation designed to help small businesses, DISH was able to purchase nearly half of the wireless licenses sold at the government auction, known as AWS-3.  The satellite cable television company currently does not offer cellular service.

Some of those CB radio nuts must be really dangerous.
FCC watchdog tells Congress to arm some of its investigators.  Federal Communications Commission watchdogs may one day carry guns thanks to a request to Congress by the agency's inspector general that his office be allowed to hire armed criminal investigators.  David Hunt, the FCC IG, argued before the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the oversight of communications programs requires his team to investigate violations in potentially dangerous settings, thereby justifying the need to arm selected investigators.  Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials aid the FCC watchdog in criminal cases at present, but Hunt pointed to difficulties in securing support from the FBI in cases worth less than $1 million.

Comcast's Army of Lobbyists Continues to Raise Ethical Concerns.  Comcast's army of revolving-door lobbyists continues to raise ethical concerns as it seeks a $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable, the Los Angeles Times reports.  The Times' Michael Hiltzik is the latest to note that Comcast has hired dozens of lobbyists who formerly worked for congressional committees and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) — the same entities that would scrutinize and approve the merger.

Report: Broadcasters fail to disclose fundraising data.  Two top campaign finance watchdogs filed complaints on Thursday with the Federal Communications Commission against 11 broadcast news stations claiming that they failed to disclose sponsor information for political advertisements. [...] After reviewing the stations' political files, the campaign transparency advocates found that the stations had not been following legally required disclosure rules and had failed to publicly list the candidate to which the ad refers, the issue, and the CEO or board of directors of the sponsor.

Proposal Would Empower Feds to Scour Internet, TV for 'Hate Speech'.  A new proposal would empower the feds to scour the Internet, TV and more for so-called hate speech.  Democratic Sen. Ed Markey is pushing a bill to have a federal agency monitor anything that it suspects may encourage hate crimes.  He wants the agency to work in connection with the Department of Justice and U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, then file a report to Congress on what's hateful and could lead to hate crimes.  So, who gets to decide what's hateful and what will they then do about it?

Hate Speech Bill Could Give Stasi-Like Power to the FCC.  Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) has introduced The Hate Crime Reporting Act of 2014 (S.2219), which is an update to a two-decade old report on the role of telecommunications — the Internet, radio and TV — "in encouraging hate crimes based on gender, race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation."  It's [sic] companion bill, HR 3878, was introduced by Rep. Hakeem Jefferies.  Under these bills, the Obama administration gets to decide the definition of hate speech in the media. [...] The fact that the bills are being pushed through both houses of Congress at the same time should raise suspicions, especially after the proposed newsroom study exposed by an FCC Commissioner in February.

Emergencia: FCC might require Spanish version of broadcast weather alerts.  The Obama administration is considering whether to require that television broadcasts of emergency announcements be provided in different languages. [...] The rule would require certain stations to air all presidential messages in both English and Spanish.  To a lesser extent, emergency broadcasts in certain areas may also be aired in other languages, such as French or Mandarin.  Spanish is the primary language for more than 38 million people living in America, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  But many Spanish speakers do not speak English, so the FCC wants to ensure that they can be reached by emergency broadcast.

The Editor says...
People whose television sets are tuned to an English-language program don't need to hear weather alerts in Spanish.  And if they do, that's what the SAP channel is for.  The only way "to ensure that they can be reached by emergency broadcast[s]" is to make it impossible to turn radio and television receivers off — like the telescreens in 1984.  Anybody with two eyes and a window can see a storm coming, and tornado sirens speak everybody's language.  If you think you might miss out on a tornado warning, learn some English.  But here's a tip:  Don't take English lessons from that synthesized voice on the NOAA weather radio.

Meet Ajit Pai.  Ajit Pai wanted to blow the whistle on his agency's plans to police the newsroom, but he was sleep deprived.  The 41-year-old Republican FCC Commissioner had a baby daughter in October, leading to many sleepless nights.  Pai had become fully aware of the "Critical Information Needs" (CIN) study last December, when the House Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter expressing their concerns.  The FCC was moving quickly with the study.  The agency had spent $500,000 planning a study that would have involved grilling editors in 280 newsrooms over how they decide which stories to run.  Increasingly alarmed, Pai decided his best option would be to write an editorial to draw attention to the study.  If word got out, the public would do the rest.

Obama's FCC wants black conservative out of the TV business.  President Obama's IRS isn't the only federal agency trying to police conservatives in American politics.  Fresh off its abandoned plan to inject progressive commissars into the nation's newsrooms, the Federal Communications Commission is turning its attention to the financing arrangements that have made it possible for Armstrong Williams, the outspoken conservative to be the only black owner of a television station in the United States, according to the Washington Times.

FCC targets black conservative in TV station fight.  For years, the Federal Communications Commission has allowed TV stations to execute joint operating agreements allowing themselves to outsource tasks such as advertising sales to group owners with more resources.  But when conservative columnist and entrepreneur Armstrong Williams recently purchased two stations, making him one of America's few black owners of local TV affiliates, the commission unexpectedly decided to use his acquisition as a test case to review the practice.

Freedom is Not Free.  The Federal Communications Commission's recent plan to have a "study" of how editorial decisions are made in the media, placing FCC bureaucrats in editorial offices across the country, was one of the boldest assaults on freedom of the press.  Fortunately, there was enough backlash to force the FCC to back off.  With all the sweeping powers available to government, displeasing FCC bureaucrats in editorial offices could have brought on armies of "safety" inspectors from OSHA, audits from the Internal Revenue Service and many other harassments from many other government agencies.  Such tactics have become especially common in this administration, which has the morals of thugs and the agenda of totalitarians.

FCC scraps study of newsrooms.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is scrapping a controversial study about newsroom practices.  "The FCC will not move forward with the Critical Information Needs study," an agency spokesman said Friday [2/28/2014], referring to an FCC study that would have involved going into U.S. newsrooms to examine their editorial practices.  The backlash to the study grew after a Republican on the FCC, Ajit Pai, published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal warning that the agency "plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run."

Obama's Trifecta.  The First Amendment has three parts to it: the protection of religious freedom, the protection of speech and press, and the protection of the people's right to assembly and petition.  In all three categories, the Obama administration's record is outrageous:  it has forced the religious to finance free contraceptives, treated some journalists as potential criminals, and sought to undermine political speech and action through "campaign finance reform" and IRS harassment.  Conforming to the Obama administration's pattern of disregarding the First Amendment in total is this month's news:  a Federal Communications Commission plan, now thwarted, to gather information on newsroom practices.

FCC backs off newsroom survey plan.  The Federal Communications Commission announced Friday [2/21/2014] that it was putting on hold a controversial study of American newsrooms, after complaints from Republican lawmakers and media groups that the project was too intrusive.  FCC spokeswoman Shannon Gilson said Chairman Tom Wheeler agreed with critics that some of the study's proposed questions for reporters and news directors "overstepped the bounds of what is required."

Four of five FCC study authors gave to Obama.  A significant problem with the now-suspended Federal Communications Commission plan to have government contractors question journalists about editorial decisions and practices was that it was a partisan exercise.  The plan originated among Democrats on the FCC; the commission's two Republican members didn't even learn about it until it was well under way.

Echoes of the IRS in the FCC Snooping Scandal.  The IRS targeting scandal is of course multi-faceted, but one of its key elements was the use of comprehensive IRS questionnaires to determine everything from tea-party donor and member lists to the actions and activities of family members and even identifying "persons or entities with which you maintain a close relationship."  In other words, the Obama administration IRS was abusing its regulatory authority to essentially discern the inner workings of an entire political and cultural movement.

A Chilling Proposal.  Any freedom-loving person would be outraged at the attempt by the Federal Communications Commission to inject itself into monitoring the practices of print and broadcast media organizations, but the outrage came almost exclusively from conservatives, which is highly instructive.  But liberals and conservatives are on such different planets that they don't even agree that this development — that only conservatives objected — is instructive, which is also instructive.

What was the FCC newsroom 'survey' really about?  When controversy erupted over the FCC's now-suspended plan to question journalists in newsrooms around the country, some conservative critics saw a grossly unconstitutional attempt to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.  Others saw a grossly unconstitutional attempt to press the Obama administration agenda on a broad range of issues.  But the FCC's action may have, in fact, been something different:  an attempt — still grossly unconstitutional in its method — to lay a foundation for a new government push to increase minority ownership of the nation's media outlets.

Obama's Assault on the First Amendment.  The Federal Communications Commission, which controls the licensing of much of the broadcast media, is planning to invade the minds of every reporter and editor in the country and look over their shoulders to make them think twice — to think what government penalties and charges they will face — when they choose which stories to cover and publish and how the stories are reported.  On Friday [2/21/2014], the FCC withdrew a questionnaire it was about to send to all news operations in the nation, demanding answers to intrusive questions about how they choose the stories they cover and a lot more.  And this is only a delay.  The survey will be sent, probably in a month or two.

Why do so many liberals want to suppress political speech?  The knee jerk response of many liberals to political attacks seems to be to suppress such speech.  Examples abound.  Michigan Rep. Gary Peters, running for the Senate, threatens the broadcast licenses of stations that run ads criticizing him.  Over at salon.com Fred Jerome imagines what it would be like to nationalize — have the government take over — Fox News.  And of course evidence continues to accumulate that high Internal Revenue Service officials denied approval to conservative groups in order to suppress political speech.  Then there's the Federal Communications Commission's "Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs" — put on hold Friday.  The FCC was going to query TV station and newspaper writers about their "coverage choices."

Americans rising up against government.  [Scroll down]  On Friday, after more public outrage, the Federal Communications Commission withdrew a plan to "monitor" news coverage at not only broadcast stations, but also at print publications that the FCC has no authority to regulate.  The "Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs," or CIN (pronounced "sin") involved the FCC sending people to question reporters and editors about why they chose to run particular stories.  Many folks in and out of the media found it Orwellian.  How this program appeared was, like the DHS program, a bit of a mystery:  FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said:  "This has never been put to an FCC vote; it was just announced."  But the blowback was sufficient to stop it for now.

Mark Levin: Obama Admin Using The Law Against Us Is The Definition Of Tyranny.  The FCC, call it whatever you want, Barack Obama's henchman, Barack Obama's comrades, there, that's right, all over the federal government have hijacked the institutions of government and are now turning them on the people.  Whether it's the EPA, or the Department of Justice, the Interior Department, NOAA, this, that or the other, they're using the government, they are using a law against us.  Which is the definition of tyranny.

Firm tapped for FCC media study has background in social 'welfare,' health — not media.  To conduct what critics are calling an intrusive examination of newsrooms across America, the Federal Communications Commission tapped a Beltway firm whose philosophy aligned neatly with the study's goals — which were to promote "diversity" in the newsroom, presumably in terms of who is hired and what is covered. [...] The company, however, [...] has little in its background pertaining to the media.  The Maryland-based company, Social Solutions International, founded in 2005, specializes in areas like maternal health, HIV/AIDS, immigrant health and substance abuse.

Media 'reform' schemes business as usual for some on FCC.  Angry and troubled by the continued success of Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and other conservative programs and personalities, media reformers say the press is under such tight corporate control that "independent" voices have been drowned out and many Americans receive a dangerously one-sided diet of information.  The answer, those reformers believe, is strong government action to create more "diversity" in the media.  If more women and minorities, in particular, own and control media outlets, the idea goes, the less influence Limbaugh, Fox, et al will have.

FCC Backs Off on Scheme to Regulate the Press.  For the last several days, I have been accumulating information about the extraordinary plan, launched by the Democratic majority of the Federal Communications Commission, apparently without input or even knowledge on the part of the Commission's Republicans, to survey radio and television stations, as well as newspapers (over which the FCC has no jurisdiction) with respect to their editorial news judgments.

Media Silence Explained?: Soros Fingerprints On FCC Newsroom Probe.  The real mystery behind the FCC's now abandoned "study" to police American newsrooms is why the mainstream media refused to raise [objections to] it.  While Obama's lapdogs refused to bark, it was conservative media who fought for newsroom independence and got the FCC to finally back down.  Other than the media's natural obedience to Obama, the fact that the fingerprints of left-wing billionaire George Soros have been found on the FCC study might also help to explain the media's silence.

Just Abolish The FCC.  The FCC jumped the shark with its outrageous plan to police America's newsrooms.  This grasp for a new mission signals an agency that has outlived its purpose.  We have a better idea:  Just scrap the FCC.

Universities in FCC Newsroom Probe Have Close Ties to Soros, Got $1.8M in Funding.  The FCC may have suspended its invasion into American newsrooms, but the controversial "Critical Information Needs" study also has George Soros' fingerprints all over it.  While disturbing, this should come as no surprise since Soros' gave more than $52 million to media organizations from 2000-2010.  Two schools were working with FCC on the project, according to Byron York of The Washington Examiner.  The University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Communication and Democracy, were tasked by the FCC with coming up with criteria for what information is "critical" for Americans to have.  The FCC study would have covered newspapers, websites, radio and television, according to The Washington Post.

Why Did the FCC's Plan to Invade Newsrooms Only Inspire 'Conservative Outcry'?  "Proposed FCC study of news organizations sparks conservative outcry," The Washington Post declared on Friday [2/21/2014].  The story revealed details of the backlash against a Federal Communications Commission plan to investigate the news-gathering and information dissemination practices of a variety of print and broadcast media outlets.  The Post quickly amended that headline, as someone decided the study should have sparked a general "outcry," even though it apparently did not — at least, not in The Post's newsroom.  Still, some bright fellow at The Post noted that this latest encroachment by the federal government should be met with at least a perfunctory protest from the members of the press.

Drag a Hundred Dollar Bill through a School of Journalism.  CNS reports that George Soros has seeded such schools at the University of Southern California and the University of Wisconsin to create shock troops for the now shelved FCC plan to monitor (bully) the media into acting as even bigger megaphones for the administration and Democratic Party than they already are.

Obama Crackdown on Press Freedom Escalates.  Last week, Reporters Without Borders dropped America in the World Press Freedom Index 2014 from 33rd to 46th.  James Risen of The New York Times rightly explained, "I think 2013 will go down in history as the worst year for press freedom in the United States' modern history."  And he's right.  The violation of press freedoms has been egregious under this administration, even as the press fetes President Obama as an honest and effective commander-in-chief.

Despite setback, the FCC's snout is under the tent.  After a week of mockery, derision, and disdain, the Federal Communications Commission has announced that it won't put observers in newsrooms after all.  FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai's op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Feb. 10 had alerted the public to the dangers of having government representatives querying news bosses about how they decide what stories to cover — and which ones not to cover.  The implicit threat of such heavy-handed research is that the government could be on the verge of announcing that IT will decide what stories are important to cover, just as it has decided what kind of cars you should buy (no "clunkers"!), what kind of health insurance you should have (Obamacare!) and what kind of dust is the right kind (whatever kind the EPA says!).

FCC grasps for expanded powers with net neutrality push.  A renewed push at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for net neutrality rules could solidify a major expansion of the agency's authority over the Internet.  Earlier this year, the D.C. Circuit Court of appeals overturned the FCC's "Open Internet Order," which kept Internet providers from blocking or slowing access to certain websites, on the grounds that the agency had overstepped its authority.  But in a major win for the FCC, the court said the agency could rewrite the rules under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act, which deals with broadband adoption.

Echoes of the IRS in the FCC Snooping Scandal.  Last week, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai disclosed the existence of the FCC's new "Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs," a study that would send FCC researchers (monitors?) into newsrooms across the nation to determine, among other things, whether news organizations are meeting citizens "actual" as opposed to "perceived" information needs. [...] The Obama administration FCC is abusing its regulatory authority by attempting to discern the inner workings of American newsrooms.  And what will these FCC monitors ask when they do get access?

Networks Ignore FCC Plan to Investigate Newsrooms.  Despite the disturbing news on Wednesday that the Federal Communications Commission had developed a controversial plan to investigate television and radio newsrooms across the country, the broadcast networks of NBC, ABC, and CBS completely ignored the potential threat to press freedom.  In a February 10 Op/Ed for the Wall Street Journal, current FCC commissioner Ajit Pai warned:  "Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country.  With its 'Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,' or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run."

New Obama initiative tramples First Amendment protections.  The First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press..."  But under the Obama administration, the Federal Communications Commission is planning to send government contractors into the nation's newsrooms to determine whether journalists are producing articles, television reports, Internet content, and commentary that meets the public's "critical information needs."  Those "needs" will be defined by the administration, and news outlets that do not comply with the government's standards could face an uncertain future.  It's hard to imagine a project more at odds with the First Amendment.

FCC commissioner: Agency needs to realize 'the government has no place in the newsroom'.  FCC commissioner Ajit Pai told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren Thursday night he is concerned about a study by the agency that would send researchers into America's newsrooms because he believes that "the government has no place in the newsroom."  The FCC drew the ire of free-press advocates and lawmakers after proposing a "study of critical information needs," which one dissenting commissioner said would let researchers "grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run."

FCC: No intent to muzzle press.  The Federal Communications Commission is trying to reassure House Republicans it has no plans to restrict the freedom of the press.  In a letter released Thursday [2/20/2014], FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told Republican leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee his commission "has no intention of regulating political or other speech of journalists or broadcasters."  Wheeler defended new FCC research as the first step toward pinpointing "market barriers" that might affect the "diversity of media voices."

Will journalists tell the FCC it's none of its business how they cover the news?  Why now is the FCC reinventing its discredited Fairness Doctrine wheel? [FCC Commissioner Ajit] Pai notes the official rationale is "eliminating barriers to entry for entrepreneurs and small businesses in the communications industry."  If that's so, one of the questions to be asked of newspaper reporters is whether they've ever suggested stories on "critical information" that were rejected by editors?  That question exposes what's really going on here:  The FCC bureaucrats can't bear to know that somebody, somewhere in this country can cover the news without being told how by the nannies in Washington.

White House to sniff out newsrooms: 'Troubling and dangerous development'.  The touted purpose of the plan is to "identify and understand the critical information needs of the American public, with special emphasis on vulnerable-disadvantaged populations," the FCC said, Fox News reported.  But at least one FCC commissioner, Ajit Pai, wrote an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal that suggested the notion was more aimed at giving government entities the ability to "grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run."

Proposed FCC study of news organizations sparks outcry.  A proposed government study of how media organizations gather news has incited a powerful backlash, particularly among conservatives, who said that it could be part of an official effort to intimidate or second-guess journalists.  Faced with an outcry, the Federal Communications Commission's chairman said Thursday [2/20/2014] that he would amend the effort — intended to assess whether the news media were meeting the public's "critical information needs" — by removing questions that critics had deemed invasive.

FCC study of media 'balance' excludes conservative and religious Americans.  After much criticism from conservative quarters, the Federal Communications Commission has decided, at least for now, to withdraw plans for its proposed study of how media organizations gather and report news.  The expressed goal of the survey was to determine if the "critical information needs" of the public are being met.  In making the announcement on Friday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler indicated the survey would be "revised" and that the government agency had "no intention" of regulating political speech of journalists or other broadcasters.  You couldn't prove that from reading the initial study.

Dem Congressional Candidate Tweets That Fox News Needs FCC Regulation for 'Telling Nothing But Lies'.  Via Twitchy we learn that Mike Dickinson, hoping to challenge House Majority Whip Eric Cantor in central Virginia, is running against Fox News, even asking for Federal Communications Commission regulation.  "Fox News does nothing but tell lies and mistruths.  They have unqualified political analysts.  We need FCC to monitor and regulate them," he tweeted.  "Fox News is basically a opinion channel.  It's there (sic) view of events.  It's not news.  They lie and distort everything to fit their opinion," he added.

Is Obama trying to kill a free press?  The FCC is launching a new study, taking upon itself the task of deciding what news the public "needs" to hear, versus the news the public wants to hear.  The agency will conduct a "General Population Survey" that will "measure community members' actual and perceived critical information needs."  Got that?  What you think (perceive) you need to know is different from what the government says you need to know.  Next, the FCC will send monitors to newsrooms across the country who will ask questions regarding the "philosophy" of the newsroom, inquire about possible conflicts between reporters and their bosses, and even determine how much influence each individual has in deciding what to report.

Lapdog That Didn't Bark: FCC Intrudes on Newsrooms.  The mainstream media's relentless left-wing bias is maddening.  This, however, is scary — not the idea that the Obama Administration is planning to place federal officials in newsrooms.  Government wants to control things.  That's what they do.  No, what is scary is a mainstream media that would be apoplectic if a Republican administration did the same while being content to roll over when Obama threatens their freedom.  In an effort that would make George Orwell spin a few turns, Obama's Federal Communications Commission has named the act of sending researchers to monitor newsrooms and grill editors and reporters over their editorial choices the "Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs."

FCC investigating editorial choices and bias in broadcasters — and newspapers.  People have complained about bias in news coverage for decades, but only recently have the barriers to market entry been so low as to allow critics to build their own platforms to do anything about it.  That frustration with editorial bias led in large part to the explosion of the blogosphere, which forced news outlets to deal substantively with the criticisms they created with their editorial biases.

The Editor says...
Editorial bias and one-sided opinions may be a problem for the consumers of so-called "news" outlets, but content and bias are none of the government's business.

FCC Issues Waiver on Narrowbanding Deadline.  This isn't the first time the FCC has backed off from spectrum deadlines, according to Mike Arman, an Oak Hill, Florida publisher.  "I've seen this in aviation as well," Arman said, referring to the FCC's decision to stop monitoring the 121.5 MHz bandwidth.  Arman said the move required all aviators to purchase a new emergency locator transmitter for $2,000.  However, the new transmitters weren't in stock or in production.  The FCC backed off, but new radio equipment was still needed to fly from the contiguous United States over Canadian air space to Alaska, Arman says.

The Editor says...
For those of you who are not aware, 121.5 MHz is an aircraft and maritime emergency channel.  If the FCC imposes bandwidth restictions on such a channel, it implies that there's something with equal or higher priority that needs the very little bandwith that will be opened up by the new FCC restrictions.  This, of course, is not true.  The Communications Act of 1934, Section 321, says that distress communications have top priority and can be transmitted with any amount of power, regardless of the resulting interference.  If any change is made, it should be in the opposite direction:  It would be better to create guard bands on either side of the distress channel.  In any event, this is just another ill-advised move by Big Government that will make it more expensive to do business in the United States.

FCC to police news media, question reporters in wide-ranging content survey.  The Federal Communications Commission is planning a broad probe of political speech across media platforms, an unprecedented move that raises serious First Amendment concerns.  The FCC's proposed "Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs," which is set to begin a field test in a single market with an eye toward a comprehensive study in 2014, would collect a remarkably wide range of information on demographics, point of view, news topic selection, management style and other factors in news organizations both in and out of the FCC's traditional purview.  The airwaves regulator would also subject news producers in all media to invasive questioning about their work and content.

FCC chief sets new standard for passing the buck on indecency.  Washington bureaucrats have long been known for buck passing, but [Julius] Genachowski has set a standard few D.C. paper-pushers could match.  Genachowski has been FCC chief for four years, but he has failed during that time to assess even one penalty against the broadcast industry for indecent content.

Obama to Name Wheeler to Head FCC.  President Barack Obama is expected to tap a venture capitalist and former lobbyist to be the country's next top telecom-industry regulator.  Mr. Obama's choice to run the Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler, appeared open in 2011 to letting wireless giant AT&T Inc. acquire T-Mobile USA despite a lawsuit from antitrust regulators seeking to block the deal.  But he had a price.  In exchange for a $39 billion merger, AT&T would have had to agree to a slew of new regulations, according to an idea Mr. Wheeler laid out at the time on his personal blog.

Farewell to Hollywood's Favorite Bureaucrat.  Now that it's almost departure time for Julius Genachowski, Obama's first chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, The Hill newspaper has noted one important sign of his priorities.  In his four years at the helm, the FCC hasn't issued one fine to Hollywood for indecent content on broadcast television.  Now there's a legacy.  Hollywood sends its gratitude, Mr. Chairman, for an absolutely perfect record of inaction.

FCC mulls relaxing policy for TV indecency.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering making changes to its rules that bar TV and radio stations from airing indecent material.  The commission on Monday issued a request for public comment on a proposal that would focus on penalizing only "egregious" cases.  The proposal would be a shift away from the agency's past policy, adopted during the Bush administration, of penalizing even "fleeting expletives."

At the same time ...
Gov't Spends $2.4 Million to 'Improve the TV Diet of Preschool Children'.  The federal government has spent $2.4 million to "improve the TV diet of preschool children," in grants administered through the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  Seattle Children's Hospital has received $2,415,519 since 2008 for a study, entitled, "Media Impact on Preschool Behavior," which aims to steer children away from violent programming.

The Editor says...
Violence is bad, they say, but "fleeting expletives" are okay.

Former FCC Chair to Cell Companies: No First Amendment for You.  Tech companies spend trillions of dollars to build and maintain, expand and improve their Internet networks. [...] So it is more than a mite disturbing when a democrat former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman dismisses the notion that these companies exclusively own these networks and that their First Amendment rights are flexible.

FCC Chair Defends Regulations, Calls FCC a 'Cop on the Beat'.  Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski defended his agency's role in regulating broadband Internet, saying that the FCC needed to act like a "cop on the beat."  "We need to protect and promote competition," Genachowski said at a speech to media firm Vox Communications in Washington on Tuesday [9/25/2012].

The Internet

The Editor says...
The internet is not broken and does not need fixing.  Internet access is not a universal entitlement.  The FCC is tampering with the internet for two reasons:  (1) It is thriving, and thus represents another activity to be taxed; and (2) it bypasses the broadcasters and the newspapers, allowing millions of dissatisfied citizens to make plans to "throw out the bums" in Washington.  The Tea Party would never have sprung to life without the internet.  That's why bureaucrats and career politicians want to find a way to filter, throttle or shut down the internet when the need arises.  The "internet kill switch" has already been used by dictators in other countries (Egypt, Libya, Syria), and it can happen here.

FCC ends Affordable Connectivity Program, some internet providers plan to help.  The FCC will end the Affordable Connectivity Program on June 1st due to a lack of funds but some internet providers plan to offer plans to low-income Americans.  About one out of five households received internet access through the program which provided monthly credits on internet bills.  "The Affordable Connectivity Program filled an important gap that provider low-income programs, state and local affordability programs, and the Lifeline program cannot fully address," said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in a statement.  "The Commission is available to provide any assistance Congress may need to support funding the ACP in the future and stands ready to resume the program if additional funding is provided."

The Editor says...
I can't remember the last time a federal handout was terminated due to lack of funds.

FCC Votes to Reinstate Net Neutrality.  On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), by a 3-2 vote, reinstated the Obama-era net neutrality rule. [...] This may prove futile, as an incoming Trump administration could simply repeal the rule again.  But for the time being, the policy stands, barring any future legal challenge. [...] This rule does, however, effectively regulate the prices that broadband providers charge consumers, as it disallows high-volume customers from being charged a higher periodic rate than lower-volume consumers.  If that's not regulating prices, it's not at all clear what might be.

'Suspicious Reversal:' DOJ Backs Down from Massive Fraud Case Against Dem Megadonor Dish CEO, BlackRock.  FCC insiders are raising concerns over the Justice Department's sudden push to settle a multi-billion dollar fraud lawsuit against Democratic megadonor Charlie Ergen's Dish Network and BlackRock, just before they were set to be deposed.  Last year, Elon Musk tweeted that Dish Network CEO and major political donor Charlie Ergen "is trying steal" wireless internet through his lobbying.  He previously accused Ergen of engaging in "sneaky moves" at the FCC.  Musk was criticizing Ergen's failed lobbying and lawfare efforts to have the government punish SpaceX who was competing for spectrum.

FCC Approves Plan To Give Government Control Of Internet.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Wednesday approved the Biden administration's plan to give the federal government full control of the internet under the guise of preventing "digital discrimination."  The agency issued a press release confirming it will implement the "first bipartisan broadband access anti-discrimination law."  "The Federal Communications Commission has adopted final rules to prevent digital discrimination of access to broadband services based on income level, race, ethnicity, color, religion, or national origin.  Under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the FCC is required to adopt rules to ensure that all Americans have equal access to reliable, high-speed broadband services without discrimination based on the characteristics listed in the statute," the agency stated.

Controlling the People Is What They're After.  A public policy analyst says the Biden administration is looking to pull off its most brazen power grab to date.  Under the banner of "preventing digital discrimination," the Biden administration wants the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take over the internet, or at least the American service providers that bring it to the public.  Abraham Hamilton III of the American Family Association says until now, the internet has been relatively free of government regulations, but that may soon change.  According to the text of Biden's order, this would strangle the free market.

Biden's FCC Power Grab on Internet Infrastructure Pushes Central Planning Over Free Market Capitalism.  Democrats have been in charge of the Federal Communications Commission and administrative agencies in Washington for nearly 12 of the past 16 years.  They have had the opportunity, over that time, to put in place nearly any federal telecommunications policy of their choosing.  In fact, the federal government has allocated hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars for the purpose of ending the "digital divide" while Democrats have run the administrative state.  After all of that time and after all of that spending, the Biden administration has concluded that the Democrats' policies are not working.

This headline was translated from Headline-ese to English as a public service.
[The] Federal Government [is being] Urged — by [an] FCC Commissioner — to Ban TikTok.  Federal communication officials urged the U.S. government Tuesday to ban the video-sharing app TikTok in a plea to protect the private data of American citizens.  Brendan Carr, one of five commissioners for the Federal Communications Commission, told Axios the federal agency could not regulate the social media app and that the data flow back to Beijing and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).  Chinese tech giant ByteDance owns TikTok, which currently has more than 200 million downloads in the United States — and according to Fox Business, the company must share its data with the CCP upon request, as required by law.

Defining broadband down.  Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel wants to study changing the definition of broadband from 25MB/s to 100MB/s for downloads, and from 3MB/s to 20MB/s for uploads.  Making this change would significantly impact the $42.45 billion federal Broadband Equity, Access & Deployment Program, or BEAD, grants, for broadband infrasctructure to the states passed by Congress in 2020.  But would changing the definition of broadband have any real-life impact?  Originally, broadband didn't mean a particular bandwidth (or higher) but described a particular set of communication technologies.  As is often the case with technology, however, marketing departments seized on the label broadband to denote higher bandwidth than you can get with what our competitors are offering, and bandwidth became the primary measure of an internet connection's usefulness for consumers.  From there, broadband became a sort-of shorthand for high bandwidth access.

The Editor says...
If all you need is email, occasional checks on the national news, and the use of search engines to do your homework, one megabit per second should be plenty.  If you want to spend time on social media and upload video clips, five megabits should be sufficient.  The government is trying to make ultra-high-speed internet service look like a necessity, which it is not.  Apparently this is being done as a favor to the companies that will install such services in every housing project in the U.S., at taxpayer expense.  Who benefits the most?  The internet service providers, the installation contractors, the three-letter spy agencies, and the congressmen who vote for this white elephant.  Also, the "underserved" public parasites living in the housing projects where this broadband service will go.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr Rejects Calls to Block Elon Musk's Twitter Takeover.  FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr rejected calls from a leftist think tank to intervene in Elon Musk's purchase of Twitter, calling the organization's concerns "frivolous."  Yesterday, the leftist-run Open Markets Institute released a press release calling on the FCC, FTC, and DOJ to block the Twitter purchase in the name of "neutrality," and said Musk's takeover "poses a number of immediate and direct threats to American democracy and free speech."  The Open Markets Institute did not attempt to explain its doublespeak claim that Musk, who has promised to restore free speech to Twitter after years of leftist-led censorship, represents a threat to free speech.

FCC Commissioner:  US Government Can Use High-Altitude Balloons to Provide Internet to Cubans.  The U.S. government can utilize high-altitude balloons to provide internet access to Cubans, a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner says.  "The advantage of a high-altitude balloon: a proven tech that would not require new infrastructure in Cuba," Brendan Carr wrote on Twitter on July 17.  Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, called on President Joe Biden to restore an internet connection to the island after the ruling regime moved to shut it off.  "I write to urge you to assist in providing Internet access to the people of Cuba standing up against communist oppression and demanding a voice after decades of suffering under the yoke of a cruel dictatorship," DeSantis said in a letter this week to Biden, a Democrat.

Government 'Digital Divide' Lies:  They Don't Even Count Your Smart Phone as an Internet Connection.  None of the very many Obamacare lies told very many times had anything to do with reality.  But that mattered not to the liars.  Because the only reality that mattered to the liars was expanding government's size, scope, and sphere of influence in health care.  For Leftists and bureaucrats (please pardon the redundancy), their ends justify any means necessary.  Government and its bureaucrats want to expand their bootprint on the Internet.  So we hear a whole lot about "The Digital Divide":  "Digital divide is a term that refers to the gap between demographics and regions that have access to modern information and communications technology, and those that don't or have restricted access.  This technology can include the telephone, television, personal computers and the Internet."  That is a sensible definition.  So, of course, government bureaucrats do not use it.

FCC's Emergency Connectivity Funds Ineligible for School and Library Self-Provisioned Networks.  [Scroll down]  But when the rules on how to spend the money were finalized on May 10th, the FCC's Report and Order declared that schools and libraries could not use Connectivity Funds to build self-provisioned networks, but instead could only use the funds to purchase Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and connected devices, such as laptop computers and tablets.  The one exception in which schools and libraries can use Connectivity Funds to build self-provisioned networks is in "areas where no service is available for purchase," based on data self-reported by private ISPs. [...] What's striking about that FCC interpretation is that it is completely at odds with what the Biden Administration has been espousing in the American Jobs Plan: that building publicly-owned community networks and investing in future-proof infrastructure are a crucial part of closing the digital divide.  This FCC decision is a recipe for cutting students off from broadband Internet access as soon as Congressional appropriations run out rather than using those funds for solutions that will operate sustainably into the future.

Microsoft Data Shows That The FCC's Broadband Maps Are Fantasy.  Note that even this data isn't entirely accurate because it's measuring what speeds are currently being used, not what's always available.  That means users may have access to faster speeds, but potentially didn't subscribe due to high costs.  That in turn is due to a lack of competition, something experts say also isn't accurately measured by the FCC.  But it's not just Microsoft data that showcases how the FCC's broadband availability maps aren't remotely connected to reality.  If you want to see the problem in personalized detail, just spend a little time with the FCC's $350 million broadband map, which all but hallucinates competitors, availability, and speeds — while excluding (at telecom industry behest) any meaningful measurement of a key metric:  price.

Republicans fight big-government control in broadband expansion plan.  House Democrats want to spend $100 billion to expand broadband internet to poor rural and inner-city communities and make permanent a COVID-19 program that pays $50 a month of the internet bill for low-income families while setting maximum prices that providers can charge in some cases.  The pandemic highlighted the importance of being able to afford online access for everyday activities such as going to school or seeing a doctor, President Biden and top Democrats on Capitol Hill say.  The issue fits into the Democrats' priority of reducing racial inequity in the U.S. Studies show that Black and Hispanic families are less likely than White families to have broadband service at home.

The Editor says...
[#1] Broadband internet service is not a right.  Narrow-band internet service (which is what most of us think we have) is far better than none.  [#2] If you need "broadband service" so you can watch nasty shows 24/7 on your 54-inch TV set, I have a hard time feeling sorry for you.

Broadband industry behind millions of fake net neutrality comments, NY AG says.  The US broadband industry funded millions of fake comments submitted to the Federal Communications Commission regarding the 2017 repeal of net neutrality, according to a report published Thursday by New York Attorney General Letitia James.  Of the record-breaking 22 million public comments that the FCC received, a staggering 18 million were fake, James' investigation found.  Millions of the fake comments, her office said, were funded by the broadband industry as part of a "secret campaign" to create the impression of grassroots opposition to net neutrality rules while the agency weighed repealing the policy.

FCC to provide $50 per month internet subsidies for low-income families.  The Federal Communications Commission announced Friday it has approved funds to provide internet subsidies for low-income families through the establishment of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program.  The FCC says the program will provide eligible households with discounts of up to $50 a month for broadband service, and up to $75 a month if the household is on Tribal lands.  It also will provide a one-time discount of up to $100 on a computer or tablet for eligible households, the FCC added.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Releases a Statement Following Facebook and Twitter Censorship.  Following tremendous backlash against Facebook and Twitter for blatant election interference, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai releases the following statement:  [Omitted for brevity]  Several U.S. Senators have requested that Facebook and Twitter executives appear for emergency hearings to discuss their recent decisions to block information adverse to candidate Joe Biden.  Big Tech is "all-in" to interfere in the 2020 election.  The Rubicon has been crossed, where this ends is not quite known.

AT&T backs Trump plan, demands "neutrality" on Facebook, Amazon, and Google.  AT&T is supporting President Trump's crackdown on Big Tech, arguing in a blog post yesterday [8/31/2020] that online platforms should have to uphold "neutrality" on the Internet.  The debate over websites ignited by Trump's petition is more important than the years-long debate over net neutrality rules applied to Internet service providers, AT&T claimed.  The company said it will file comments with the Federal Communications Commission this week as the FCC continues its review of the Trump administration's petition.  The phrase "net neutrality" almost always refers to Internet service providers like AT&T, not websites.  The general idea is that ISPs should have to act as neutral conduits, connecting Internet users to any (legal) website or online service they want to access and without forcing websites to pay tolls to reach users.

Let Us Finally Declare Internet Independence From Net Neutrality Overreach.  Behold the Internet.  A free speech-free market Xanadu — developed entirely by the eternal wonderment of unfettered free markets.  The Left has ignored entirely the ongoing, rolling success of the government-free Net — and instead incessantly proclaimed looming doom if we didn't immediately impose massive government upon it.  The very dumb regulations of which most of us have heard — Network Neutrality.  Which is part inherent dumbness — and part Trojan Horse dumbness to sneak in even more dumbness.  As with nigh all things Left — Net Neutrality is an assault on the free market.  Specifically some really rudimentary free market activities.

One Year Later:  The Internet Thrives Without 'Net Neutrality'.  It's been a full year since the FCC repealed "net neutrality."  And how have the predictions of doom and gloom held up? [...] Well, here we are, one year later.  The internet is still functioning.  In fact, it's better than ever.  Last year, average internet download speeds shot up almost 36%, and upload speeds climbed 22%, according to internet speed-test company Ookla in its latest U.S. broadband report.  There are more users than ever.  More videos to watch.  More content to consume.  More commerce being conducted.  No sites are being blocked.  No one is complaining that their service is being throttled.  And more people are gaining access to broadband.

Political Incompetence and Questionable Science.  Do not forget the epic of "Net Neutrality," which just recently has ended, but about which everyone, as if on cue, suddenly stopped talking?  The charlatans argued that the Trump administration's abolition of "Net Neutrality" would have terrible consequences.  Where are they?  As it turns out, "Net Neutrality" does not deal with the Net nor Neutrality.  As we now understand, it was just another attempt to bring the Internet under government control.

One Year Later, 'Net Neutrality' Zealots Proved Dead Wrong.  A year ago, "net neutrality" zealots warned that its repeal would spell doom for a "free and open" internet.  They could not have been more wrong. [...] A year later, none of the horror stories came true.  In fact, average internet speeds climbed by roughly a third last year.  The number of homes with access to fiber internet jumped 23% last year, according to the Fiber Broadband Association.  Oh, and "net neutrality" was a nonissue in the Democratic midterm campaigns.  One party official said that Dems didn't campaign on it because:  "It's not something that people bring up in their top list of concerns."

One Year Later, the Internet Somehow Survived Repeal of Obama FCC Regulations.  Remember when repealing Obama-era internet regulations meant death for the internet, and many of us along with it?  One needn't travel far back in time.  It was one year ago that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under Chairman Ajit Pai oversaw that welcome repeal.  The histrionic reactions were farcical and immediate.

The Trump administration is suing California to quash its new net neutrality law.  California on Sunday [9/30/2018] became the largest state to adopt its own rules requiring Internet providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon to treat all web traffic equally.  Golden State legislators took the step of writing their law after the Federal Communications Commission scrapped nationwide protections last year, citing the regulatory burdens they had caused for the telecom industry.  Mere hours after California's proposal became law, however, senior Justice Department officials told The Washington Post they would take the state to court on grounds that the federal government, not state leaders, has the exclusive power to regulate net neutrality.

Verizon Just Destroyed The Case For 'Net Neutrality'.  On Tuesday, Verizon said that people can start signing up now for its 5G Home, with service starting on Oct. 1 in Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento, Calif.  Speeds will, the company says, be as fast as 1 Gbps, which is about as fast as Verizon's FIOS gets.  It's more than 10 times faster than what the average home gets today.  What's different about 5G Home is that it doesn't require digging trenches or laying cable to hit those blistering speeds.  Instead, it uses new wireless transmission technology.  That means Verizon can start offering fiber optic speeds anywhere in the country, simply by installing mini cell towers in a given area.  Other carriers are racing to get their own 5G networks deployed.  AT&T says it will launch its first mobile 5G network by the end of this year.  T-Mobile aims for a nationwide 5G network in less than two years, with speeds up to 4 Gbps.  All of it means more competition for high-speed internet at home.  And that's why the case for "net neutrality" just collapsed — not that there ever was a good case for it to begin with.

Google's Chickens Coming Home to Roost.  For years now, Google has selfishly perfected the crony capitalist game to leverage federal government power in favor of its particular business model.  As perhaps the most infamous example, Google led the campaign to persuade the federal government to impose so-called "Net Neutrality" Title II regulation upon U.S. internet service in 2015.  That public policy, of course, was anything but "neutral."  Rather, it upended two decades of light-touch regulatory policy of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and introduced government regulation using laws enacted in the 1930s for copper-wire telephone service.  While that benefited Google and similar content providers that owned the ear of Barack Obama and his hyper-regulatory administration, it was bad for the rest of America. [...] Fortunately, the new FCC under Chairman Ajit Pai quickly reversed the Obama Administration's destructive regulation, restoring the regulatory light-touch regime that existed from 1996 to 2015.

Suspect Arrested for Threatening to Kill FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's Children.  Federal authorities have located and arrested a California man suspected of threatening to kill FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's children.  He faces a maximum of 10 years in the federal slammer.  He "is charged with a threatening to murder a member of the immediate family of a U.S. official with the intent to intimidate or interfere with such official while engaged in the performance of official duties, or with the intent to retaliate against such official on account of the performance of official duties," says the Department of Justice.  According to a Department of Justice press release, the man was upset about the repeal of net neutrality and was trying to frighten Pai in retaliation.

The Editor says...
How many people care that much about the internet?  Maybe one in a million?

The Net Neutrality Zombie Lives!  The Senate has voted to raise net neutrality from the dead, a very bad idea.  Worse, the 52-47 margin of victory included three Republicans who should know better.  We hope it dies in the House.

Net Neutrality Zealots Are Wrong About FCC Repeal — The Market Just Proved It.  The internet has 60 days left before it is destroyed by the lack of federal "net neutrality" rules.  That's the claim, anyway.  The truth is, the internet is on the cusp of a vast improvement.

Why Does AT&T Want Net Neutrality Regulation?  Regulation is often portrayed as the use of government authority to alter market outcomes away from the interests of firms and toward those of consumers and employees.  In turn, the "story" associated with deregulation is the opposite:  Corporations and the powerful use their influence to eliminate public sector controls on their conduct at the expense of consumers and employees.  But if the usual narrative is true how do we explain a full-page ad that AT&T recently published in multiple newspapers, including the Washington Post and the New York Times, calling on Congress to pass new legislation to guarantee internet neutrality?  The short answer is that existing companies often favor regulation that reduces competition in ways not well understood by consumers or legislators.

Ajit Pai's Personal Hell, Our National Media's Failure.  Something disturbing has been taking place in recent months which, if unchecked, poses a real danger to our democracy, yet has barely been noted by the mainstream media:  The continuing, organized political harassment of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai.  Pai has been subject to a nonstop campaign of attacks, vilification and outright threats unseen in this country in decades.  And why?  Because he overturned a ruling by President Obama's FCC imposed on the nation regarding "net neutrality."

Racist goons are targeting the FCC chief — and his family.  In the minds of today's political activists, the objects of their fixations represent an existential threat.  This is how opposition to an arcane, bureaucratic decision by the Federal Communications Commission transformed from a liberal cause into an obsession.  This is also how the FCC's chairman, Ajit Pai, became the subject of almost daily persecution.  The source of great consternation on the left is the FCC's decision to scrap an Obama-era rule implemented in 2015 deemed "net neutrality."  The end of net neutrality will allow internet service providers to, if they choose, privilege the content of providers that they own or support.  Over this, Pai has been the target of a campaign of harassment that amounts to a national scandal.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Cancels CES Appearance Reportedly over Death Threats.  Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has canceled his scheduled appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show, reportedly due to death threats.  Recode reports that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has canceled an appearance set for this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) due to threats against his life.  This isn't the first time that Pai has received direct threats; past threats occurred during the FCC's vote on net neutrality in December of 2017 when a bomb threat was called in which resulted in the evacuation of the building.  Pai has also been harassed by protesters at his home, who held signs directed at his children.

Net Neutrality Is Dead — And Not a Moment Too Soon!  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 Thursday [12/21/2017] to dismantle the scheme.  And while its supporters are busily running around like Chicken Little, claiming the sky is falling, the simple truth is that the death of the Obama-era regulation of the Internet is a very good thing.  When the FCC voted on February 26, 2015 to reclassify the Internet as a public utility under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, then-Chairman Tom Wheeler promised that so-called Net Neutrality would usher in an era of a "free and open" Internet.  Never mind that the entire scheme was built on one lie after another.  For instance, the first big lie is that the Internet needed government regulations to make it free and open.  Here is a tip for those who want to know:  government regulations are the opposite of free and open.

What the 'net neutrality' rollback means to you.  In the short term, the answer is simple:  Not much.  But over time, your ability to watch what you want to watch online and to use the apps that you prefer could start to change.  Your mobile carrier, for instance, might start offering you terrific deals for signing up to its own video service, just as your YouTube app starts suffering unexpected connection errors.  Or you could wake one day to learn that your broadband provider is having a tiff with Amazon, and has slowed down its shopping site in order to extract business concessions.  All of which would be perfectly legal under the new deregulatory regime approved Thursday by the Federal Communications Commission, so long as the companies post their policies online.  Broadband providers insist they won't do anything that harms the "internet experience" for consumers.

FCC Restores Market Freedom To the Internet.  The Federal Communications Commission has jettisoned the heavy-handed regulatory burden placed on a free and open Internet during the Obama administration.  The FCC voted 3-2 on December 14th, along party lines, to repeal the so-called "net neutrality" rules adopted by the regulatory agency in 2015.  The Obama-era rules had prohibited Internet service providers, such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast as well as smaller Internet service providers, from blocking, slowing access to or charging more (priority pricing) for fast delivery of content above some specified threshold of high bandwidth usage.  High-speed delivery of Internet services will no longer be heavily regulated on par with a common carrier utility monopoly service.  However, the Internet service providers will have to disclose to the FCC changes to their access policies, which can consider any alleged abuses on a case by case basis.

Ending net neutrality will save the internet, not destroy it.  Although the internet operated effectively and efficiently without net neutrality, Obama's FCC in 2015 suddenly and inexplicably determined a radical transformation was required to "save" it.  The meaning and scope of net neutrality has been muddied over the past two years because information technology experts use the term very differently than political activists and many in the media do.  When information technology experts speak of "net neutrality," they usually mean consumers should be able to access the legal content they want using the legal applications and devices they want.  For example, Verizon's network should not block data going to and from an AT&T customer's computer.

Net Neutrality 'Hysteria' Is Misplaced.  After the repeal passed 3-2, Chairman Ajit Pai and other Republicans touted the new "light-touch regulatory approach" to the internet, saying it will preserve a "free and open" system.  But the move was strictly opposed by Democrats and consumer groups, who warn it will lead to service providers potentially picking which content to favor for faster access.  [Video clip]

The Editor says...
The reaction to this move tells you everything you need to know about the wisdom of it.  If the big-government activists and left-wing agitators are all upset, it must be good for capitalism, and/or bad for Barack H. Obama's legacy.

Will Net-Neutrality Zealots Apologize When The Internet Fails To Crash And Burn?  On Thursday, the FCC voted 3-2 to overturn the Obama administration's 2015 regulatory regime, under which the FCC had granted itself virtually unlimited authority to regulate internet service providers in the name of "net neutrality."  In a tweet after the ruling, the ACLU said the decision "represents a radical departure that risks erosion of the biggest free-speech platform the world has ever known."  Mignon Clyburn, one of the two Democratic commissioners at the FCC, claimed that overturning the Obama rules would give "the green light to our nation's largest broadband providers to engage in anti-consumer practices, including blocking, slowing down traffic, and paid prioritization of online applications and services."  Most of the other reactions aren't fit to print here.

FCC votes to repeal net neutrality rules.  The FCC voted 3-2 along party lines Thursday [12/14/2017] to scrap its 2015 Open Internet Order as Democratic lawmakers and dozens of activists protested outside.  In a dramatic moment, the meeting was abruptly evacuated in the middle of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's remarks ahead of the vote.  Reporters and attendees were forced to exit the hearing room and leave their belongings as police brought in K-9 units to sweep the room.  Attendees were allowed to re-enter the room within 15 minutes of the evacuation.  The FCC declined to comment on the reasons for the evacuation.

Don't freak out over net neutrality deregulation.  Contrary to many public commentaries — reflecting the media's not-so-subtle bias, you'd be hard pressed to find an opinion piece in favor of repeal — the Federal Communications Commission's decision to weaken net neutrality restrictions is not Armageddon.  While the removal of net neutrality restrictions on internet service providers will allow ISPs to charge more or less for user-access to individual websites, the Federal Trade Commission will monitor ISP activities to provide against monopoly formation and unfair trade practices.  More obviously, however, we need to remember that we live in a capitalist democracy!  Because that explains why ISPs will be reluctant to slow down access to popular websites, even if those websites are not profitable.

Debunking the Left's Myths on Net Neutrality.  The end of the world is nigh.  That at least is the message being spread by last-ditch defenders of the Obama-era "network neutrality" rules, which Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has scheduled for elimination later this month.  The imminent repeal of these rules has sent red tape supporters into rhetorical overdrive.  The internet as we know it is threatened, they say, as is democracy itself, with the digital world descending into a nasty, brutish, and unregulated existence.  Don't believe it.  Imposed in 2015 by the Obama-era FCC, these rules richly deserve to be tossed.

FCC Chairman Blasts Twitter for Censoring Tweets from Pro-Life Groups.  The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has excoriated the social media platform Twitter for censoring pro-life posts and other social conservative viewpoints.  FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says that Twitter is employing a "double standard" in blocking conservative content while leaving liberal messaging untouched.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Calls Out Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Silicon Valley for Censorship and Internet Content Manipulation.  The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, fired a direct shot across the bow of the technocrats who control social media platforms today [11/28/2017].  Chairman Pai righteously called out Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other platform control agents for being ideologically biased, and using their platforms to target their ideological opposition.  Defending his plan to roll back Obama's one-sided internet rules, the Chairman outlined how he intended to ensure a free, fair and open internet.

Everybody Is Wrong About Net Neutrality.  The one thing we're all told about net neutrality is that it's meant to keep internet service providers from discriminating between websites, speeding access to some and throttling it to others.  In theory, according to the ubiquitous fans of net neutrality, evil ISPs would charge content providers more to provide fast access to their sites, while also charging customers more, for reasons that are never made exactly clear.  The truth is that ISPs have been doing the exact opposite, with deals like AT&T's, or T-Mobile's Binge program, which didn't count data used to stream Netflix, Spotify, and other popular sites.  Also, ISPs already provide super-fast access to the biggest sites on the web, from Facebook to Google to Netflix, even hosting their servers in order to give customers the fastest connection possible.  This is why the debate is misnamed.  ISPs already discriminate; it's working fine.

Who's Really Censoring the Web?  As [FCC chairman Ajit] Pai suggests, the real threat to an open Internet doesn't come from your cable company but from Google/YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and others.  All these firms have aggressively censored.  For example, Google recently kicked would-be Twitter competitor Gab out of its app store, not for anything Gab did but for what it refused to do — censor content.  Twitter is famous for censoring, as Pai observes.  "I love Twitter, and I use it all the time," he said.  "But let's not kid ourselves; when it comes to an open Internet, Twitter is part of the problem.  The company has a viewpoint and uses that viewpoint to discriminate."

Repealing Obama's Net Neutrality a Blow for Freedom.  The FCC is expected to vote and approve on December 14 Chairman Ajit Pai's proposal to end the so-called "net neutrality" rules imposed by President Obama's FCC in 2015.  This has provoked howls from liberals and tech giants that this is a blow for Internet freedom and another boon for big business.  It is exactly the opposite.  It is in fact a boon for economic and political freedom as are all the other Obama-era regulations rescinded by the Trump administration that have promoted economic growth and lessened our dependency on big government.

Against Net Neutrality.  Net neutrality has a nice ring to it.  Who doesn't want an even playing field?  But the internet evolved rapidly in a deregulated environment.  And most of its trappings — a lack of censorship, equal access, tremendous diversity of viewpoint, an alternative means of accessing media, and deep stores of information — evolved before net neutrality was a legal mandate.  After numerous attempts at congressional action failed to result in new laws, the Federal Communications Commission in 2015 adopted net neutrality rules in under the leadership of Obama appointee Tom Wheeler.  Now, under chairman Ajit Pai — a Trump appointee — net neutrality is at risk, as its legal underpinnings have come under greater scrutiny.

Why Ajit Pai's decision killing Obama's net neutrality FCC regulation is good.  The latest cries of distress about anarchy and market apocalypse can be heard about an announcement by the Federal Communications Commission that it will roll back "net neutrality."  Net neutrality's dubious value is made obvious by the misleading way Democrats and many news outlets reported the decision.  "F.C.C. plans net neutrality repeal in a victory for telecoms," wrote the New York Times.  Missing from the headline or lede was that the decision was a loss for Netflix, Amazon, Google, and other corporate giants that provider content.

Net Neutrality Advocates Are Modern-Day Snake Oil Salesmen.  When FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced plans to repeal the Obama administration's heavy-handed "net neutrality" regulations, critics acted as if the world were coming to an end.  Actual consumers, however, aren't likely to notice any difference, because the "problem" those rules were supposed to solve has always been wildly exaggerated.

Removing the Heavy Hand of Obama-Era Regulation from the Internet.  In an order the FCC released on March 12, 2015, which has been upheld on appeal, the FCC treated Internet Service Providers in significant ways as if they were old-fashioned telephone monopoly utilities.  It applied what is known as the common carrier Title II provisions of the Communications Act of 1934 to broadband networks — the foundation of the Internet.  The FCC, now led by Commissioner Ajit Pai, President Donald Trump's nominee to serve as FCC chairman, is preparing to eliminate this regulatory albatross on Internet innovation and investment.

Restoring Internet Freedom is a Win for the Internet.  Today [11/21/2017] the Federal Communications Commission released its "Restoring Internet Freedom Order."  Undoing Title II restrictions is a win for all Americans.

FCC plans to vote to overturn U.S. net neutrality rules in December: sources.  The head of the Federal Communications Commission is set to unveil plans next week for a final vote to reverse a landmark 2015 net neutrality order barring the blocking or slowing of web content, two people briefed on the plans said.

FCC votes to limit program funding internet access for low-income communities.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took steps Thursday [11/16/2017] to roll back Lifeline — a program that subsidizes broadband and phone service for low-income households.  The FCC voted in a 3-2 split along party lines favoring Republicans to reform the program during the agency's monthly open meeting.  Republicans, including Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), praised the agency's decision to begin pushing the program toward jurisdiction of the states.

Obama FCC Advanced Progressive Causes, Suppressed Conservative Messages.  High-ranking officials at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gave left-leaning groups a disproportionate amount of assistance compared to right-leaning groups in 2014, emails obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation show.  The preferential treatment transpired during a period when the public could post comments on the FCC's forum for the net neutrality debate.  Both major sides of the policy battle rushed to post as many remarks as possible in an attempt to show its viewpoint was more widely held.  But some employees at the FCC worked overtime to tip the scale in favor of proponents of net neutrality by constantly accommodating and communicating with groups like Fight for the Future and other members of the larger coalition known as Battle for the Net.

FCC Chair Ajit Pai Can't Come Up With a Single Plausible Reason Not to Screw Up the Entire US Internet.  FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, ISP-endorsed frontman and villain of a theoretical future Revenge of the Nerds reboot, is trying to dupe everyone into believing abandoning open internet principles is inevitable because no opponents have any convincing arguments.  At an FCC oversight hearing with the House Commerce Committee this week, Democratic Rep. Michael Doyle challenged Pai to present any sort of willingness to consider the evidence offered by net neutrality supporters, Ars Technica reported.  "What kind of comment would cause you to change your mind?" Doyle asked.  Pai offered the mind-blowing response that he would need to see "economic analysis that shows credibly that there's infrastructure investment that has increased dramatically" since the enactment of Barack Obama-era neutrality rules, or any evidence showing a future economy or consumers' experience would be worse without the regulations.  It's an insidious response that gets more insidious the further it's probed.

Internet Got Faster Without Net Neutrality.  Net Neutrality proponents argue that internet service providers (ISPs) will slow your internet speed and charge you extra fees if the FCC abandons its Title II regulatory expansion.  Wrong.  This goes against every ounce of recorded history, which shows that speeds increase and prices decline, and have done so without Title II.  Proponents like Save the Internet ignore available data that describe the evolution of internet performance and pricing before the FCC's 2015 Open Internet Order.  As it turns out, the internet did just fine without Title II regulations.  The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) 2015 report on American broadband shows universally improving speeds between the years of 2011-2014.

Analysis: One-Fifth of Pro-Net Neutrality FCC Public Comments Are Fake.  An initial forensic analysis of the FCC's 2.5 million comments shows:
  •   More than 465,322 pro-net neutrality comment submissions (close to 20% of all pro-net neutrality comments filed) were made in which either the filers' names were being submitted with the email address of an obviously different person or in which the same email address was used to file multiple comments — in some cases thousands of times.
  •   Over 100,000 examples of identical comments used language from an Electronic Frontier Foundation letter desk campaign in which the email addresses were generated from a fake email generator program using as many as 10 different email domains.  A check of hundreds of the 100,140 comments also revealed that the submissions included fake physical addresses and possibly even fake names.
  •   Comments submitted from multiple filers using various foreign and U.S. email addresses appear to have been culled from spammer and hacker databases available on the public web.

Report: Left-Leaning Policy Group Appears To Have Flooded Net Neutrality Forum With 100,000+ Fake Comments.  More than 100,000 comments supporting government regulation of the internet appear to have been automatically submitted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a left-leaning nonprofit, according to a forensic analysis published Wednesday [5/31/2017].  The responses likely did not come organically from real people, which the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) forum for public comment on net neutrality is intended to be for, according to The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC).  Rather, the NLPC claims the comments seem to be artificially submitted by the EFF since language used is highly similar to EFF's submission platform and both the email addresses and the physical addresses of the listed people are fake, or don't exist.

The Inconvenient Truth Behind The Net Neutrality Movement.  The most immediate issue with net neutrality is the fact that many of the groups supporting it are purportedly concerned with social issues which are totally unrelated.  One such organization is the protest movement Color of Change.  Color of Change's website states that their mission is "design campaigns powerful enough to end practices that unfairly hold black people back."  However, the group has increasingly begun to focus on advocating for net neutrality, a cause which does not appear to be related to their mission statement in any obvious manner.  Color of Change claims that changes the FCC plans to make to net neutrality rules will "devastate black communities" without bothering to explain exactly how this might happen.

The Devil in One Generation.  As I write this, there is a crowd outside the house of FCC commissioner Pai.  His crime?  He is returning control of the internet to internet service providers (ISPs).  The Obama administration enacted "Net Neutrality" in defiance of a Supreme Court decision.  In essence, Barack Obama seized ISP property because the ISPs weren't serving the public interest.  This was exactly how socialist revolutionary Benito Mussolini defined Fascism:  a system where citizens own private property so long as they serve the public interest.

The FCC's 'Open Internet Rules' Make the Internet Less Open.  None of this was necessary.  There was very little evidence that ISPs were engaging in the sorts of malpractice that net neutrality was designed to prevent — and even if they had been, it would not have followed that reclassification was the proper remedy.  In fact, a more honest appraisal of the sequence of events is that the Obama administration and left-wing activists succeeded in pressuring the FCC into a maximal power-grab that is likely to do much more damage to Internet freedom than Comcast was doing.  Why is the FCC's monopoly not as concerning as that of any given ISP?

Regime Change by Any Other Name?  Net neutrality was always a solution looking for a problem.  When, in 2010, the FCC announced its first extensive regulations on ISPs (what would become the core of the 2015 rules), it could cite just four examples of anticompetitive behavior, all relatively minor.  In 2005, for example, a North Carolina telephone company blocked the Internet phone service Vonage.  In 2007, Comcast slowed down ("throttled") the operations of file-sharing service BitTorrent.  To prevent this kind of anticompetitive activity, the FCC instituted its own anticompetitive regulatory scheme, the so-called Open Internet rules.  Under Title II, the FCC can regulate the rates that ISPs charge, using its supervisory mandate to dismiss as "unreasonable" or "unjust" any business models of which it disapproves; it can partially regulate the capital investment of existing companies, and regulate which companies (if any) can enter the ISP market; and it can impose taxes on Internet use, such as those long imposed on telephone service (the "Universal Service Fee").  What's more, the nebulous "Internet Conduct" standard that the FCC applies as its metric for assessing abuse is subject to amendment at any time, for any reason; there is no certainty that today's decisions will also be tomorrow's.

The Freakout Over Net Neutrality Makes No Sense.  "Net neutrality" has become the Holy Grail of various so-called consumer organizations.  But government regulation isn't what consumers need.  Competition is.  And there would be more of that if the government would get out of the way.

FCC Votes to Begin Net Neutrality Repeal.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to start the process to repeal the controversial net neutrality regulations on Thursday [5/18/2017].  Internet freedom was once a decades-long, bipartisan consensus.  In 1996, President Bill Clinton and a Republican Congress passed the Telecommunications Act of 1996, stating that the United States would "preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet ... unfettered by Federal or State regulation."

FCC Will Stop Companies From Providing Subsidized Internet To Low-Income Users.  Nine companies participating in a program designed to provide subsidized internet access to low-income customers have been told by the Federal Communications Commission they are no longer allowed to provide their service.  The decision by the FCC's new leadership to prevent the companies from providing a more affordable internet option marks a reversal of a ruling made by former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler just weeks earlier.  Ajit Pai, the successor to Wheeler and current head of the regulatory commission in the Donald Trump administration, said the decision to give the go ahead to companies providing low-cost internet was an example of a "midnight regulation" passed in the lame duck session.

John Oliver's 'Dingo' retires from the FCC, dooming net neutrality.  An obscure American bureaucrat will retire and that's a bummer for popular British comedian John Oliver.  Anchor of HBO's "Last Week Tonight," the funnyman created a repeating schtick around the net neutrality issue.  Now it could all be for nothing.  Federal Communications Chairman Tom Wheeler announced he's stepping down in 2017, leaving Republican commissioners in control of the agency.  And even before the Senate confirms Wheeler's replacement, they can hamstring the cheeky English comedian's favorite regulation.  When he was still new at HBO in 2014, Oliver's rant about Comcast catapulted his show and net neutrality into prominence.  Comparing Internet companies like Comcast to drug cartels, he got an army of Internet trolls to care about the policy and then to lobby the FCC.  The subsequent and overwhelming number of comments ended up crashing the FCC website and getting the federal government to take notice.

Net neutrality, beloved by Netflix, looks headed for the ax under Trump.  The days could be numbered for Net neutrality under the Trump administration.  Net neutrality rules, passed in February 2015 by the Federal Communications Commission and supported by Netflix, Google and other big websites, prevent Internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking and slowing the transmission of content.  The contentious issue triggered lawsuits from the ISPs and drew an unprecedented outpouring of public comments.  Though Net neutrality wasn't a constant topic for Donald Trump as a candidate, he has been an opponent of the regulations, calling the FCC's adoption "a power grab" by President Obama in a tweet in 2014.

Net Neutrality Will Regulate Internet Rates Despite Promises.  When FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler launched the opening salvo in the battle to regulate the Internet, he said time and time again that Net Neutrality would not be used to regulate rates.  Now he is arguing that restricting the FCC from regulating Internet rates will kill Net Neutrality.  Brace yourselves:  Rate regulation is coming, and Net Neutrality and those who supported it are to blame.

American cable giants go bananas after FCC slams broadband rollout.  A big fight has broken out between ISPs and their regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in the US.  The FCC's annual Broadband Report will be published shortly, and late Thursday [1/7/2016], chairman Tom Wheeler put out a "factsheet" about its main finding:  that broadband is "not being deployed in a reasonable and timely fashion to all Americans."  The report will be discussed at the FCC's next meeting on January 28 and Wheeler noted in his summary that the regulator is required to "take immediate action" if it makes that finding.

The Editor says...
No utility service is "deployed ... to all Americans."  Only those who pay for utility services (or get the government to pay) enjoy municipal water, trash pickup, electricity, and internet service.

FCC Defends Net Neutrality In Court As ISPs Continue To Challenge Its Authority.  The Federal Communications Commission is compelled to defend its regulations on net neutrality in the court in opposition to Internet service providers questioning the new rules.  The hearing kicked off on Friday, Dec. 4, in which the FCC defended its broadband regulations meant at putting a stop to favoritism on the Internet before the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.  The agency pushed out the new policy reclassifying broadband Internet providers as being "common carriers" under the Title II of the Communications Act way back [in] February.  The new agency's regulations could permit the government to control these providers akin to telephone firms or other industries.

New twist in telco giants' fight to destroy the FCC's net neutrality.  When an entire page of a lawsuit is taken up just listing the lawyers on the case, you know you have hit some vested interests.  And so it is with the opening arguments [PDF] of the US Telecom Association et al versus the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), aka status quo versus Open Internet.  There are seven petitioners in the case, most of them telecom associations (i.e., lobbyists) representing a large number of other companies, and the brief runs to 159 pages with 95 pages of argument.

FCC Commissioner: Internet Access Is Not a 'Basic Human Right'.  Federal Communications Commission (FCC) member Michael O'Rielly says it is "ludicrous to compare Internet access to a basic human right."  "Human rights are standards of behavior that are inherent in every human being," O'Rielly said Thursday [6/25/2015] in a speech to the Internet Innovation Alliance, a coalition of business and non-profit organizations.  "They are the core principles underpinning human interaction in society.  These include liberty, due process or justice, and freedom of religious beliefs.  "I find little sympathy with efforts to try to equate Internet access with these higher, fundamental concepts," O'Rielly stated.

Net Neutrality Regulations Make Their Debut.  At precisely 12:01 am Friday [6/12/2015], the new net neutrality regulations took effect after the D.C. Appeals Court declined petitioner's request for a delay in the case.  The day prior, a three-judge panel ruled the petitioners failed to satisfy the stringent requirements for a stay pending review.  Had the stay been granted, the new rules would have been put on hold until the broader court battle is settled.  In denying the request, the new FCC regulations took effect first thing this morning.  This means the FCC has the power to regulate ISPs, which are now classified as Title II telecommunication service providers and subject to common carrier regulations.

Republicans take aim at net neutrality in spending bill.  A House appropriations bill unveiled Wednesday [6/10/2015] would prevent the Federal Communications Commission from using government funds to implement net neutrality regulations until after a series of legal disputes are settled.  That could delay the controversial policy, which allows the agency to regulate the Internet like a public utility, for an untold number of years.  For net neutrality enthusiasts, that essentially spells a death sentence.

Net neutrality rules will take effect on Friday.  The new federal rules for net neutrality were allowed to take effect on Friday after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied a motion to stay the regulation.  "Petitioners have not satisfied the stringent requirements for a stay pending court review," the three-judge panel said in its Thursday [6/11/2015] decision, which allowed the rules to kick in Friday [6/12/2015] at 12:01 a.m.

Congress must keep the Internet free.  12:01 a.m. Friday morning [6/12/2015] officially marked the end of the "permissionless" Internet.  The curtain has come down on the greatest deregulatory success story of all time as a result of the Federal Communications Commission acting to regulate the Net like an old fashioned phone monopoly with 81-year-old laws — starting on June 12, 2015.  This is nothing more than command-and-control government utility regulation packaged as something new called "net neutrality."

Net Neutrality Is Setting The Stage For Internet Taxes.  In the FCC's newly released Net Neutrality Order, it includes a supplemental document on so-called mythsfrom classifying broadband as a Title II regulated telecommunications service. [...] The FCC is being totally disingenuous on this point.  While its order does not explicitly impose new taxes, it does open to the door for others to tax the Internet for the first time under existing state and local laws, and will likely lead to further expansion of taxes in years to come.

FCC shoots down petitions to delay open internet rules.  Remember when a wolfpack of cable companies and telecoms — including AT&T, CenturyLink, the American Cable Association, USTelecom and more — filed motions to delay the FCC from enacting parts of its open internet order?  Well, the Commission was having none of that.  Late in the day this past Friday [5/8/2015], Wireless Competition Bureau chief Julie Veach and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau chief Roger Sherman handed down an order dismissing those petitions, pointing out that additional protection for the internet as we know it is crucial and that the petitioners' cases aren't as strong as they think.

The Editor says...
I can see why the FCC might have a Wireless Interference Bureau, or a Wireless Frequency Coordination Bureau, but why is there a Wireless Competition Bureau?

FCC Commissioner: Feds May Come for Drudge.  Federal Communications Commission (FCC) member Ajit Pai said over the weekend that he foresees a future in which federal regulators will seek to regulate websites based on political content, using the power of the FCC or Federal Elections Commission (FEC).  He also revealed that his opposition to "net neutrality" regulations had resulted in personal harassment and threats to his family.

Congressional Republicans Move To Override FCC Net Neutrality Rules.  Republicans in the House of Representatives this week made a legislative move to override the Federal Communications Commission's new net neutrality rules.  Fourteen Republicans, led by Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, filed a resolution disapproving of new FCC regulations banning Internet service providers (ISPs) from segregating Web traffic based on speed and price, which they argue threatens industry innovation and expansion.

This is an opposing viewpoint — I think:
ISPs have two choices:  Live with net neutrality rules or live with real competition.  This is really why net neutrality is such a big deal in the United States — our ISPs are often local monopolies, and if they wanted to discriminate against our favorite applications, we'd have nowhere else to go.  This is why net neutrality protections are important:  ISPs in the U.S., and wireline ISPs in particular, have the unique power to make or break a business through their stranglehold on last-mile connectivity.  However, I consider myself a reasonable sort of person and I'd be personally happy to dump net neutrality rules if ISPs were actually open to plans to make their industry more competitive and thus give Americans more choice for broadband access.

Get Ready for $11 Billion in 'Net Neutrality' Taxes.  Not long after FCC chairman Tom Wheeler swore that the FCC takeover of the Internet wouldn't result in new taxes or fees, it appears likely that new taxes will show up on Internet bills in the near future.

Two suits challenge FCC's net neutrality rules.  Two lawsuits were filed this week challenging the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules, under which Internet service providers will be regulated in the same manner as traditional telephone companies, which were adopted last month amid questions about the circumstances surrounding their consideration.  USTelecom, a telecom industry trade group, and Alamo Broadband, Inc., a Texas-based internet service provider, filed separate lawsuits against the agency nearly a month after it ruled that providers treat all Internet traffic equally.

Net neutrality: Obama's FCC puts Internet, American innovation at risk.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its disastrous new network neutrality rules earlier this month, officially signaling to the world that the U.S. will adopt a policy destined to stifle technological advancement and put network investment into neutral.  By heeding President Obama's call to make the Internet a government-regulated public utility, the FCC has adopted a system equipped to regulate public utilities and monopolies, not the dynamic and fast paced Internet economy.

Net Neutrality: Yes, Mark Cuban, Atlas Is Shrugging.  Billionaire investor Mark Cuban recently commented, about a push for new regulations on the Internet, that "In my adult life I have never seen a situation that paralleled what I read in Ayn Rand's books until now with Net Neutrality."  He continued, "If Ayn Rand were an up-and-coming author today, she wouldn't write about steel or railroads, it would be Net Neutrality."  She certainly would, but if he thinks this is the first time real life has imitated Ayn Rand's fiction, he needs to be paying a little more attention.  Atlas has been shrugging for a long, long time.

FCC Chairman Concedes Future Internet Tax Is Possible After All.  Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler acknowledged in congressional testimony today that an Internet tax — which he had previously said would not be imposed — could be imposed in the future.  Wheeler's remarks came during a Tuesday [3/17/2015] appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where he was asked to shed light on the process by which the FCC passed rules last month regulating the Internet.

FCC net neutrality regulations include one really scary sentence.  At long last, the FCC has released its 400-page tome of net neutrality regulations. [...] But at least one sentence of the regulation is giving many analysts pause.  "A person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block lawful content, applications, services, or non- harmful devices, subject to reasonable network management," reads page seven of the new Internet regulation adopted by the FCC.  Who then, now that these regulations are in effect, will determine which Internet content is lawful and unlawful?

FCC chief on defensive over secret White House meetings.  Top White House aides met with the head of the Federal Communications Commission at least nine times while it was working on strong Internet regulations without telling the public, House Republicans revealed on Tuesday [3/17/2015].  Agency head Tom Wheeler defended the lack of disclosure about the meetings during a hearing in the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday [3/17/2015], claiming that the tough new net neutrality rules never came up in those talks.

Will the FCC Decide How Much You Pay for Internet?  The Federal Communications Commission has a new way to oversee how much companies can charge for Internet access, but swears it won't use it.  Can it be trusted?  That's the potential billion-dollar question.  Internet providers already don't like last month's FCC net neutrality decision, saying it will lead to intrusive government meddling in their businesses.  But as they raise the alarm about the FCC's action, they are pointing to language they say could result in government price controls.

Net neutrality enables Washington to say whose speech is free.  Two weeks after the Federal Communications Commission voted to regulate the Internet as a utility, the masters of the universe at the FCC, three unelected Democrats, are finally allowing Americans to see the actual order on exactly how they intend to ruin one of the major free speech and free market successes in the world.  Boy, do they have a plan.  Their new rules for the Internet requires 313 glorious pages of vague, regulating terminology, allowing the agency to make up the rules as it goes along.  Ever since the FCC started sidling up to the Internet like a dirty old man next to a supermodel, conservatives and other free marketeers have been channeling Cassandra, warning the nation that "net neutrality" was a pretext for the FCC to issue regulations putting them in charge of the Internet as a whole.  That is just what has happened.

The FCC Has Finally Released Its Net Neutrality Internet Regulations.  After more than a month of heated debate between regulators, lawmakers, companies and interest groups, the FCC on Thursday [3/12/2015] finally released the Internet regulations the agency voted to adopt two weeks ago.  The agency's 313-page Open Internet Order is accompanied by an additional 70-plus pages of individual statements by the five commissioners, two of whom dissented in the vote to adopt the new regulations.

FCC Minority Report Warns That New Internet Tax May Be Coming Soon.  The Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) two Republican members warned Americans that a new "Internet tax" may be only months away in their dissent on the FCC's net neutrality decision, which was publicly released Thursday [3/12/2015].  "Net neutrality proponents are already bragging that it will turn the FCC into the 'Department of the Internet,' Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai wrote in an exhaustive 63-page dissent that lamented the FCC's ruling for reasons ranging from higher taxes and fees to the plan's questionable legality.

Time to hit 'delete' on net neutrality.  Think about how the Internet has changed our lives in the last few years alone.  Would have been possible with the bureaucrats in Washington empowered to oversee what service providers can and cannot do?  We'd be lucky to even have dial-up service today.  It simply makes no sense to yoke the Internet of 2015 to any portion of the Communications Act of 1934.  The good news?  This fight isn't over.  As I mentioned earlier, we've been here twice before, once in 2006 and again in 2010.  Both times, net neutrality didn't survive a court challenge, and that's where we look now.

Obama's Other Internet Power Grab Is to Expand Policy.  February 26 was a particularly terrible day — in a six-plus year history of terrible Barack Obama Administration days.  That is the day the Obama Federal Communications Commission (FCC) — without benefit of Congress — unilaterally imposed on the free Internet the uber-heinous regulatory nightmare mess that is Title-II-Reclassification-Network Neutrality.  But that's not all the FCC — without any actual authority — did to the Web.

After 'net neutrality' win, FCC's power needs to be dialed back.  In one of the most important decisions in its history, the Federal Communications Commission, a pernicious government agency set up more than 70 years ago to regulate radio interference, may undermine key aspects of the Internet.  But most media outlets provided coverage of last week's controversial decision, a 3-2 vote along party lines, for just about one 24-hour news cycle.  Many outlets described the new policies as a victory for consumers over the Internet Service Providers, such as AT&T, Comcast and Verizon.

Who wins with Obama's net neutrality?  The Barack Obama Administration's Thursday Internet uber-power grab is awful for just about every American.  It will lead to dramatically more expensive Web access — because of both raised service costs and huge new taxes.  And we will see a spiraling, regressive devolution of speed.  It will be a return to the spinning wheel of Web-waiting death.  When government regulation increases — private investment decreases.  When investment goes — forward progress goes with it.  And this Obama power grab is lots and lots and LOTS of regulation.

If the FCC's 'Net Neutrality' Plan is So Great, Why Can't Anyone See It?  If the FCC's plan to "protect" net neutrality and rein in the power of greedy corporations is so fantastic, then why haven't its 332 pages been released for public consumption? [...] Despite this mammoth change in the function of the web, no Congressional debate took place, no bills were introduced and no legislation was signed.  The vast majority of Americans are unaware that this is even taking place since the news networks are offering scant coverage.

Obama's Little Shop of Horrors.  Obama continues to feed on America's freedoms everyday, taking more and more, never satisfied.  Most recently, the FCC passed Net Neutrality Regulations.  Obama and Democrats fully supported the takeover of the Internet, demanding it become a public utility controlled by the government, regardless of opposition from the American people.  The FCC is supposed to be an independent government agency, but as we are discovering, there are no boundaries honored by this administration.

Bozell: Left Using IRS, FEC and FCC to End Free Speech.  President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell told an audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday [2/27/2015] the "radical left" is using government agencies in "a relentless campaign to destroy the last vestiges of freedom in America."

Can We Impeach Now?  First Barack Obama decided to overreach and extend amnesty by executive order.  [Scroll down]  Then the FCC decided to declare internet a public utility.  They overreached, rushed it through, and committed to as little transparency as possible to make it happen.  Congress did nothing on this front and the FCC decided to replace the Congress on the matter.

Time for Congress to Gut the FCC.  A couple of weekends ago, when my entire family was down with illness and rain was pouring outside, the Internet was our best friend.  What better to do while sick in bed than catch up on all of my Facebook friends' lives, find new ebooks to download from Amazon.com, catch up on a backlog of movies over Netflix, and tweet until my fingers were tired?  And I don't just mean myself — the whole family was doing all of that, and more.  Watching YouTube videos, posting YouTube videos.  Between coughs and sneezes.  Here's what's remarkable:  According to the FCC our Internet connection, which facilitated all of that activity flawlessly, without a glitch, no longer counts as broadband.

The Truth About "Net Neutrality".  Paul Joseph Watson of Prison Planet and InfoWars explains how the federal government is about to seize control of the Internet and most Americans don't even know about it.  [Video clip]

What are the consequences of the Net Neutrality rules?  Now that the battle over net neutrality is over — except for the inevitable legal braying and squabbling — what difference is it going to make in your life?  With everything from cars to Crock-Pots connected to the Internet, high-speed Web access has become the water that nourishes all businesses.  So it's not surprising that the Federal Communications Commission's decision this week to regulate broadband Internet service as a public utility (so-called Title II regulations) was preceded by a lot of spin and misinformation.  Here's a truth-or-consequences rundown of the popular Title II myths and what it all means to you.

Battles loom over tough new neutrality rules.  Despite the Federal Communications Commission's historic vote Thursday in favor of net neutrality, the fate of the Internet is far from settled.  The FCC's action triggered jubilation among open Internet enthusiasts, but the powerful telecom industry is poised for a legal challenge to the new rules.  And Republicans in Congress are pushing legislation that would supersede the FCC's approach.  In a 3-2 vote along party lines, the FCC acted to implement net neutrality rules designed to ensure that Internet service providers (ISPs) treat all legal content equally, eliciting howls of protest from the ISPs.

FCC Net Neutrality rules worst example of government intervention... ever.  Of all the government interventions by the Obama administration, the plan released Thursday by the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the Internet is the worst. [...] The FCC's plan to muddy the pure waters of the Internet pollutes the one free flow of information on the planet.  And what hurts as much as witnessing the pollution of the Internet with bureaucratic interference?  With the exception of the Republican FCC commissioners, most are being blasé about the whole thing.

We can't protect free, open Internet by dusting off old regulations.  The courts have already overturned two sets of FCC rules, but this so-called "independent agency" is poised to vote this week on its most aggressive rules yet.  At the urging of President Obama, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler submitted a proposal that included more drastic changes and regulations than ever before.  This government takeover of the Internet follows the President's position that reclassification of broadband services to Title II common carrier status — which were originally designed and implemented to protect against 1930s monopolies — is the only option.

Department of the Internet.  More government control, tax hikes and a stop to innovation online — that's how opponents of President Obama's call for so-called net neutrality described the FCC vote Thursday to regulate the internet under federal law.  Net neutrality is the concept that no service or website is given priority, or special pricing, over others by internet service providers.  While that idea has backers from all sides of the political spectrum, the move to classify internet service as a public utility similar to home phone service is seen by many as a death knell to the culture of fast-moving innovation online.

Net Neutrality Will Become the Internet's ObamaCare.  Almost behind the public's back and with little fanfare, the FCC acceded yesterday [2/26/2015] to an Obama administration demand and voted that the internet be regulated like a public utility. Pro "Net Neutrality" activists hadn't bothered to convince the public that the FCC needed expanded power to keep the internet "open," but Democrats have the majority on the FCC.  They claimed that more industry regulation was needed, but destroying the free market which until now has driven innovation in communication and the internet was hardly a victory for the little guy.  Unless you just happen to have a blind faith in government and government bureaucrats, it's hard to see the upside in allowing the federal government to throw its suffocating embrace over the heretofore-dynamic internet.

The FCC set to approve strong net neutrality rules.  The Federal Communications Commission for the first time classified Internet providers as public utilities Thursday [2/26/2015], a landmark vote that officials said will prevent cable and telecommunications companies from controlling what people see on the Web.  The move, approved 3 to 2 along party lines, was part of a sweeping set of new "net neutrality" rules aimed at banning providers of high-speed Internet access such as Verizon and Time Warner Cable from blocking Web sites they don't like or auctioning off faster traffic speeds to the highest bidders.

Comrades for Net Neutrality.  Today's [2/26/2015] vote by a bitterly divided Federal Communications Commission that the Internet should be regulated as a public utility is the culmination of a decade-long battle by the Left.  Using money from George Soros and liberal foundations that totaled at least $196 million, radical activists finally succeeded in ramming through "net neutrality," or the idea that all data should be transmitted equally over the Internet.  The final push involved unprecedented political pressure exerted by the Obama White House on FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, head of an ostensibly independent regulatory body.

Republicans strike back: FCC member invokes Star Wars in net neutrality fight.  [Ajit] Pai and fellow Republican FCC commissioner Mike O'Rielly, who have been consistent critics of the FCC's new rules, said once they are published people will realise that they will stifle innovation and lead to taxes and increased rates for the public.  "When you see this document, it's worse than you imagine," said O'Rielly at a conference in Washington organised by the think tank TechFreedom.

Federal Communications Commission approves 'net neutrality' Internet regulations.  The new rules say that any company providing a broadband connection to your home or phone would have to act in the public interest and conduct business in ways that are "just and reasonable."

Historic vote set for Internet rules.  The vote — which is expected to fall 3-2 along party lines — will usher in the next stage of the decadelong war over rules for people's access to the Internet.  In coming months, that new fight will play out in the court of public opinion as well as the halls of Congress and the nation's judicial system.  Congressional Republicans have already unveiled legislation to replace the rules, and that effort is likely to continue in coming weeks, when they hope the momentum will shift back in their favor.  Lawmakers have also raised concerns about improper coordination between the White House and the FCC. Major cable companies have already said they are nearly certain to sue over the rules.

FCC approves sweeping Internet regulation plan, Obama accused of meddling.  On its surface, the plan is aimed at barring service providers from creating paid "fast lanes" on the Internet, which consumer advocates and Internet companies worry would edge out cash-strapped startups and smaller Internet-based businesses.  Chairman Tom Wheeler said it would ensure an "open, unfettered network."  But the rules, more broadly, would put the Internet in the same regulatory camp as the telephone by classifying it like a public utility, meaning providers like Comcast or Verizon would have to act in the "public interest" when providing a mobile connection to your home or phone.  Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai, who delivered some of the most scathing criticism of the plan Thursday [2/26/2015], warned the policy represents a "monumental shift" to "government control of the Internet."

Soros, Ford Foundation shovel $196 million to 'net neutrality' groups, staff to White House.  Liberal philanthropist George Soros and the Ford Foundation have lavished groups supporting the administration's "net neutrality" agenda, donating $196 million and landing proponents on the White House staff, according to a new report.  And now, as the Federal Communications Commission nears approving a type of government control over the Internet, the groups are poised to declare victory in the years-long fight, according to the report from MRC Business, an arm of the conservative media watchdog, the Media Research Center.

Hollywood's creative class cheers FCC passage of net neutrality rules.  The Federal Communications Commission's landmark vote on open Internet rules is being cheered by some in Hollywood who see the Internet as the new frontier for creativity and free expression.

Sen. John Thune Will Lean on FCC Over Net-Neutrality Rule.  On the day the Federal Communications Commission is poised to take a historic vote to reclassify the Internet as a public utility, a major victory for open-Internet advocates, the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee had other ideas.  He is bringing the five FCC commissioners before the committee in two weeks to ask them, more or less, what they were thinking.

Obama's Ongoing Assault On The First Amendment.  We're talking, of course, of the looming decision by the Federal Communications Commission to declare the Internet a utility for regulatory purposes and to impose "net neutrality" — a fancy word for government control — on Internet and content providers.  Such a declaration would give the government sweeping powers to determine the content of the Internet and who will have access.  As the proposed new rule stands, all the FCC would have to do is make a finding that a certain practice may "harm" consumers or a company.  Then it could basically do whatever it wants to fix the situation.

Is the FCC lawless?.  The sad reality is that, without any convincing evidence of market failure and consumer harm, the FCC is poised, on a 3-2 party-line vote, to expand its control over Internet providers in ways that threaten the Internet's future growth and vibrancy.  Here is the nub of the matter: By choosing to regulate Internet providers as old-fashioned public utilities in order to enforce "neutrality" mandates, the commission will discourage private-sector investment and innovation for many years to come, if only as a result of the litigation that will be spawned and the uncertainty that will be created.

GOP House Chairmen Blast FCC Chairman's Refusal to Testify.  [Scroll down]  "The last time a rule of this magnitude was voted on by the FCC, then-Senator Obama was motivated to call for transparency at the commission," the congressmen said.  "We continue that call today."  The FCC is set to vote on the proposed net neutrality regulations on Thursday.  However, no one outside of the commissioners and their staff are permitted to see the regulations until they are passed.  Even members of Congress are barred from reading the 332-page draft.

'Net Neutrality' Is a Problem, Not a Solution.  The oldest trick in the collectivist playbook is to create a problem through government regulations, let it stew for a while, and then propose even bigger government as the only possible solution to the "crisis" it planted, nourished, and harvested.  We watched government tinkering in health care make it more expensive and complicated, year after year... until the time was ripe to stuff the biggest, sloppiest, most poorly-thought-out Big Government power grab of the modern era down our throats.  Are we really going to fall for that again with the FCC's new Net Neutrality regulations?

Eleventh-hour drama for net neutrality.  A Democrat on the Federal Communications Commission wants to see changes that could narrow the scope of new net neutrality rules set for a vote on Thursday [2/26/2015].  Mignon Clyburn, one of three Democrats on the FCC, has asked Chairman Tom Wheeler to roll back some of his provisions before the full commission votes on them, FCC officials said.

Obama's Move To Regulate Internet Has Activists' 'Fingerprints All Over It'.  The Obama White House has worked directly with online activists to pressure the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the internet.  The Commission is expected to vote on the president's "net neutrality" policy on Thursday [2/26/2015].  According to White House visitor logs, on September 23, 2014, Obama senior internet advisor David Edelman met with 30 netroots activists and executives from Spitfire Strategies.  Spitfire is a public relations firm that received over $2 million from the Ford Foundation since 2009 to create PR and media strategy relating to net neutrality.

House Chair Demands FCC Net Neutrality Gag Order Lifted.  Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) demanded yesterday [2/23/2015] that the Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler make public the details of the proposed net neutrality regulations that will regulate the Internet under the same rules as the old AT&T monopoly.  Chaffetz also asked the FCC Chair to appear and answer questions at the House Oversight hearing Wednesday [2/25/2015], prior to the planned Agency vote on the draft rules now scheduled for Thursday.  The 332-page final draft FCC order was only delivered to the four other FCC commissioners three weeks ago.

From Internet to Obamanet.  Critics of President Obama's "net neutrality" plan call it ObamaCare for the Internet.  That's unfair to ObamaCare.  Both ObamaCare and "Obamanet" submit huge industries to complex regulations.  Their supporters say the new rules had to be passed before anyone could read them.

Losing the Internet.  The administration's plan to create a "free and open Internet" means, as usual, the opposite of what it says.  As Gordon Crovitz explains in the Wall Street Journal, it is really a monumental, bare-faced power grab. [...] The very success of the Internet doomed its independence.  Like any rich, glittering center of wealth that springs up in the desert sands, it would inevitably be coveted by nearby chieftains.  And if there's anything this administration — and to a lesser extent any administration — hankers after it is power.  So a-raiding they will go.  So here is prince Barack, at the tech city gates, demanding the keys.

Neutralize Obama's Hijacking of the Internet.  Barack Obama is knocking all little people in civil society off the Information Highway — but leaving the coast clear for all Islamic terrorists.  Average citizens who depend on the Internet to get their message out will be 'regulated' off beginning three days from now, but ISIS which recruits new members from off the 'Net will continue to send its threats and gruesome YouTubes online.  In fact, when all regulations from Obama's 332-page book of 'Net Neutrality' are in place, only governments and terrorists will be free to blog and post.

Republican lawmakers investigate White House net neutrality push.  Congressional Republicans are demanding to know how much the White House influenced the Federal Communications Commission while the agency crafted net neutrality rules.  The FCC has until Monday afternoon [2/23/2015] to produce unredacted email messages, focused on net neutrality rules, between FCC staff and officials with the Obama administration, U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz said in a letter to the FCC Friday.

Obama's Plan to Regulate the Internet Risks Content Control.  This risk is dismissed as a myth or even a "lie" by proponents of the president's plan.  A few years ago an employee of Free Press — a group founded by a Marxist college professor who famously said "the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control" — accused me of "a crackpot conspiracy" because I was concerned that economic regulation could lead to content control.  Those who live outside Obama's cult of personality take a far more cautious view of today's federal government.  A new poll by Rasmussen Reports found that 68 percent of registered voters are concerned that "if the FCC does gain regulatory control over the Internet it will lead to government efforts to control online content or promote a political agenda."

FCC, FEC look to ruin the Internet.  We knew this was coming.  Within the last couple of weeks, both the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Election Commission declared their intention to regulate the Internet.  Fascists always explain their actions as efforts to either make something more efficient, "fair," or to supposedly "protect" their target. [...] Make no mistake:  The Internet is under assault and saving it is up to us.

'Net Neutrality' is Hijacking the Information Highway.  "Quickly and quietly", high-handed Barack Obama and the Democrats are working on hijacking the Information Highway.  Big Government takeover of the Internet will become a fait accompli by February 26, 2015, with a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) vote.  By the time the public becomes aware of it, the Internet will already belong to Obama.  Suffering in silence with no means of communication to others is exactly what Obama wants on his mission for his ever-expanding Fundamental Transformation of the Free West.

Obama's Internet Power Grab.  [FCC Chairman Tom] Wheeler, Obama and the rest of their Democratic Party allies want to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service and regulate ISPs like utility companies, or "common carriers," rather than "information services" that fall outside FCC regulatory power.  The ostensible purpose of the change is to implement "net neutrality" rules.  Net neutrality is about preventing ISPs from blocking, slowing down, or diminishing the quality of applications and websites, from charging them higher prices for providing prioritized access, aka "fast lanes," or giving preferential treatment to their affiliates.

Net Neutrality: The FCC Has Picked Our Poison.  FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's latest Net neutrality plan should be hard to stomach for anybody expecting Internet-fueled innovation to continue

FCC Keeps Its 'Open Internet' Plan Hidden From View.  How's this for irony? The Federal Communications Commission, which wants to regulate the Internet heavily to make it more "open," is refusing to let the public see its proposed rules before the commissioners vote on them in two weeks.  Perhaps it's because, while talking publicly in reassuring tones about how the FCC merely wants to secure "net neutrality," it's planning to do much, much more.  That, at least, is what Ajit Pai, one of the FCC's two Republican commissioners, is claiming.

FCC Commissioner: 'Unprecedented Involvement Of Executive Branch In Our Decision-Making'.  Republican Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Ajit Pai hosted a press conference on Tuesday to discuss with reporters about his concern about President Obama's proposal "to regulate the internet."  Pai cited concerns ranging from the proposal causing heavy-handed FCC regulations on the internet to the plan being a "gift to trial lawyers."  Under the idea of net neutrality the president, along with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, is pushing the plan forward prior to the Feb. 26 FCC vote on the matter.

FCC and Net neutrality: What you really need to know.  After a year of discussion and table-setting, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler this week submitted his proposed set of rules for ensuring an open Internet.  As is so often the case with rule-making, that Net neutrality proposal is rubbing some powerful interests the wrong way.  So it is that the future of the Internet is at stake.

Republican FCC Commissioner: Public Is Being Misled About Net-Neutrality Plan.  The Federal Communications Commission is misleading the public about its 332-page plan to regulate the Internet, a Republican member of the commission said Tuesday [2/10/2015].  The net-neutrality plan could in fact open the door to new fees and taxes, as well as government control over the prices that Internet providers charge their customers, Commissioner Ajit Pai told reporters.  The claims echo attacks from Republicans on Capitol Hill, who are also scrambling to thwart the new regulations.

Railroad Regulations For The Internet!.  The Federal Communications Commission is seriously contemplating whether to put one of the strongest sectors of the U.S. economy under laws that were originally modeled after railroad regulation from early in the last century.  On February 26, the FCC is set to vote on whether to reclassify Internet service to fall under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934.  It's true that the act was amended in 1996 — but that was still clearly prior to the emergence of the Internet you see before you.

President Obama's FCC Overreaches Yet Again.  Lacking support of the people's representatives, President Obama's administration has usurped congressional authority and has, effectively, attempted to rule by presidential decree enforced through regulatory agency mandate. [...] The FCC is trying to impose many transformative regulations without following the proper regulatory process, and often lacking the statutory authority to promulgate the proposed regulations in the first place.  Perhaps the most damaging part of the FCC's onslaught is the proposed Open Internet regulations, which would impose a 1930s style regulatory structure on the web.  These regulations are not only inappropriate, they are harmful, because they view the 21st century Internet as a 20th century public utility.

Republican FCC Member Warns Net Neutrality Is Not Neutral.  Ajit Pai, the sole Republican Commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), inferred in a Tweet that President Barack Obama's secret, 332-page "Net Neutrality" document is a scheme for federal micro-managing of the Internet to extract billions in new taxes from consumers and again enforce progressives' idea of honest, equitable, and balanced content fairness.

Congress Looking Into White House's Role in FCC's Net Neutrality Regulations.  The secrecy surrounding the Obama administration's plans for regulating the Internet has prompted a congressional inquiry into whether the independent Federal Communications Commission or the White House and its allies are calling the shots over the future of the nation's broadband networks.  A top adviser to Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), defended Wheeler's decision to hide his latest draft of Internet regulations from the public until after the agency voted on them at the end of the month during a public question and answer session on Twitter held on Friday, Feb. 6.

Congress looking into White House's role in FCC's net neutrality regulations.  The secrecy surrounding the Obama administration's plans for regulating the Internet has prompted a congressional inquiry into whether the independent Federal Communications Commission or the White House and its allies are calling the shots over the future of the nation's broadband networks.  A top adviser to Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), defended Wheeler's decision to hide his latest draft of Internet regulations from the public until after the agency voted on them at the end of the month during a public question and answer session on Twitter held on Friday, Feb. 6.

After Choking Telecom Innovation for 80 Years, FCC Plans to Take on the Internet.  On Wednesday [2/4/2015], FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced plans to regulate the Internet like a utility and impose the "strongest open Internet protections ever proposed by the FCC."  Under his plan, the commission will prevent "paid prioritization, and the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services."  "All this can be accomplished," he argues in an essay published by Wired, "while encouraging investment in broadband networks."  It's all music to the ears of the "net neutrality" crowd, who want to prevent ISPs from being able to freely manage their own network traffic by using variable rates.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler: This Is How We Will Ensure Net Neutrality.  After more than a decade of debate and a record-setting proceeding that attracted nearly 4 million public comments, the time to settle the Net Neutrality question has arrived.  This week, I will circulate to the members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed new rules to preserve the internet as an open platform for innovation and free expression.  This proposal is rooted in long-standing regulatory principles, marketplace experience, and public input received over the last several months.

In Net Neutrality Plan, F.C.C. Chief Sees Internet Service Regulated as Public Utility.  For the last year, Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has been working on new rules to ensure so-called net neutrality, or an open Internet.  Over that time, his hints and comments have shown a steady shift toward stronger regulation — and a more direct confrontation with the cable television and telecommunications companies that provide high-speed Internet service to most American homes.  But on Wednesday [2/4/2015], Mr. Wheeler went further than some industry analysts had expected and even beyond the recommendations of President Obama, who in November urged the commission to adopt the "strongest possible rules," in a surprising public admonition to an independent agency.

FCC chair proposes 'bright-line' net neutrality rules.  Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler confirmed Wednesday he's seeking strong net neutrality rules that regulate broadband service like a utility, matching a vision laid out by President Barack Obama and setting up a high-stakes standoff with the telecom industry and congressional Republicans.

Net Neutrality Compromises the Internet's Future.  Perhaps President Obama envisions that the Internet is operated by Ernestine, the condescending telephone operator played by Lily Tomlin on Laugh-In.  Otherwise, it is difficult to justify why he would want to hobble the 21st century broadband industry with regulations designed in the early 20th century.  Even FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler earlier this year wrote, the FCC is "not going to take over the Internet," or "dictate the architecture of the Internet."  And yet, the FCC is now under pressure to follow President Obama's statement on November 10 to regulate the Internet under obsolete 1930s laws.

Net neutrality takes new twist as Congress appears ready to step in.  A political battle in Washington, D.C. is heating up as the Federal Communications Commission strongly hints its new Net neutrality rules, which will be voted on next month, will include President Barack Obama's directive to reclassify broadband as a utility.  On Wednesday, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said during a discussion at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas the FCC plans to vote February 26 whether to reclassify Internet service providers as common carriers under the Title II of the Communications broadband traffic.

RLC Urges Congress to Block Obama Proposed 'Net Neutrality' Rules.  The Republican Liberty Caucus has urged Congress to intervene to prevent the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from adopting President Obama's so-called "Net Neutrality" rules, which would stifle free speech, technological innovation and competition in the marketplace.

If the Internet becomes a public utility, you'll pay more. Here's why.  The Federal Communications Commission is in the middle of a high-stakes decision that could raise taxes for close to 90 percent of Americans.  The commission is considering whether to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service and, in doing so, Washington would trigger new taxes and fees at the state and local level.  The agency would like to make Internet service a public utility, placing broadband under Title II regulation of the Communications Act of 1934.  This move would make broadband subject to New Deal-era regulation, and have significant consequences for U.S. taxpayers.

FCC to vote on net neutrality rules in February.  The U.S. Federal Communications Commission plans to vote on new net neutrality rules during its February meeting.  FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will bring a proposal to a vote during the commission's Feb. 26 meeting, FCC spokeswoman Kim Hart said Friday [1/2/2015], following a report in the Washington Post.  It's unclear, however, what form those rules will take.  Hart declined to comment further on the net neutrality order Wheeler plans to circulate in February.

FCC Ups Phone Tax To Subsidize Internet, Also Wants To Expand Obamaphone Program.  The Federal Communications Commission will spend another $1.5 billion a year on "high-speed Internet in schools and libraries," relying on a tax increase to fund it.  FCC Republicans aren't actually opposed to the measure.  Their argument is that the spending increase should come from eliminating waste and abuse elsewhere within the system.

The Editor says...
Why is the FCC involved in education spending?  Why isn't it up to the local schools to decide if they want internet connections in their schools?  Since when does the FCC have the authority to devise and implement new taxes?

FCC chair distances himself from Obama on Net Neutrality.  That would be the Democratic, Barack Obama-appointed FCC chair, who spent yesterday backpedaling from his boss on a major policy announcement.  Obama went so far as to push out a video demanding unilateral action from the FCC on Net Neutrality, the latest White House distraction from the disastrous midterm elections and an attempt to show that Obama is still relevant.

Government Sponsors Truthy Study of Twitter.  Ajit Pai, a member of the Federal Communications Commission, just wrote an eye-opening op-ed on how the government is supporting a study of your tweet content.  This time the agency of interest is not the NSA, it's the National Science Foundation (NSF) — an institution that was founded to "promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity and welfare; and to secure the national defense."  According to Pai, the NSF has already spent $1 million to fund a project to collect and analyze your Twitter data — including (and perhaps focusing on) political data.

This is why the government should never control the internet.  Net neutrality rules have been sold for a decade as a way to keep the Internet "open and free" by keeping Internet service providers (ISPs), such as phone and cable companies, from blocking or degrading Web sites.  Its advocates have argued that ISPs have an economic incentive to act anti-competitively toward consumers and competitors.  In a common hypothetical they cite, ISPs would slow — or buffer — traffic for Netflix unless it unfairly pays for more access points, or "off ramps," and better quality of service.  In truth, however, market failures like these have never happened, and nothing is broken that needs fixing.

The FCC's Net neutrality plan is much worse than it looks.  We've spent the past few weeks with at first some knowledge of the FCC's "Slow Lane" plan (to call it "Fast Lane" is to be disingenuous), and later with the full plan.  In that time, there has been a massive outpouring of disagreement — clearly plenty of it on this side of the screen.  But with more time spent thinking about this awful plan come greater distaste and outright concern that this terrible set of guidelines may actually end up as the law of the land.  For instance, this plan turns ISP peering points and their own internal network interconnections into straight-up revenue generators in the worst possible way.

Court Approves F.C.C. Plan to Subsidize Rural Broadband Service.  The program, known as Connect America, is the largest portion of the $8 billion Universal Service Fund, which pays for a variety of efforts to provide telecommunications links to schools, low-income families and others.  In October 2011, the F.C.C. approved an overhaul of the fund.  Soon after its approval, however, the effort was challenged in court by dozens of phone companies.  Many were small carriers that provided service in rural areas and that stood to lose annual subsidies because of the changes.

FCC Tries (Again) to be Lord of the Internet.  The Federal Communications Commission this week voted 3-2 to establish new net neutrality rules that would prevent broadband networks from selectively blocking traffic, but allowing those companies to enter into deals with content providers for preferred access to their networks in "commercially reasonable" ways.  Scott Cleland, policy advisor for The Heartland Institute and chairman of NetCompetition, says this development indicates the FCC is moving ever closer to regulating broadband under "Title II" — as if it was a utility, such as telephone service.  "The primary problem of Title II regulation is it would abruptly decelerate the fast-speed of Internet business to the slow-speed of government," Cleland said. "

GOP lawmakers urge FCC to ditch effort to regulate Internet.  House Republican leaders are calling on the Federal Communications Commission to back off proposed open Internet rules, warning that allowing service providers to control content on their networks threatens to "derail" the Internet. [...] "At a time when technology businesses need certainty to innovate, this is not the time for the FCC to engage in a counterproductive effort to even further regulate the Internet," the lawmakers wrote to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

Baffled by 'Net Neutrality'? Read This, a WSJ Primer.  Net neutrality is the principle that all traffic on the Internet should be treated equally — broadband providers shouldn't be able to pick and choose which websites consumers can access.  Is that the plan?  Not really.  Mr. Wheeler's plan, which he calls "open Internet" rules, would ban broadband providers from blocking or slowing down access to websites or services.  However, his plan would allow the providers to strike deals with content companies for preferential treatment, like if Amazon paid AT&T so their streaming video service reached consumers without interruption.

Should the U.S. Regulate Broadband Internet Access as a Utility?  The days of dial-up are long gone, and thanks to faster connections, Americans have come to rely on the Internet for business, personal communication and entertainment.  But the fact that high-speed Internet service has become so vital to society has sparked a debate about how strictly the government needs to regulate it.  The Federal Communications Commission currently has some power to regulate broadband, but not to the extent it does utilities, and its attempts to enforce "net neutrality" — the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally — have been tossed out in court.

Web-hosting service gives the FCC a taste of the Internet slow lane.  Today in poetic justice, Web hosting service Neocities.org has crippled the FCC's Internet access, throttling the agency's private network to dial-up, '90s-era speeds of 28.8 kbps in a Net neutrality protest.  In a blog post on the company's website, Neocities creator Kyle Drake called the FCC's controversial proposals, which would allow ISPs to create Internet "fast lanes" for large corporations that can afford to pay, "idiotic and insane."  He also criticized FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, whom he called a "bonehead" and a "cable industry hand-picked lobbyist."

RIP, Net Neutrality.  The New York Times is reporting that the Federal Communications Commission is proposing new rules that would allow internet service providers to charge large content providers to faster access to users, effectively killing the existing system that ensured equality for all.  The move is a reversal for the FCC, which previously aimed to keep net neutrality in place even after a federal appeals court ruled in January that internet providers were allowed to make preferential service deals with large companies like Netflix and Amazon.

In Policy Shift, F.C.C. Will Allow A Web Fast Lane.  The principle that all Internet content should be treated equally as it flows through cables and pipes to consumers looks all but dead.  The Federal Communications Commission said on Wednesday [4/23/2014] that it would propose new rules that allow companies like Disney, Google or Netflix to pay Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon for special, faster lanes to send video and other content to their customers.

Dial-up Rules for the Broadband Age?  Eventually the truth comes out.  The call for net neutrality is really a call for a return to monopoly common carrier regulation for broadband networks.  At Wired, Marvin Ammori, a leading Save-The-Internet voice, has again called for the net neutrality movement to mobilize.  In his latest piece, "We're about to Lose Net Neutrality and the Internet as We Know It," Ammori warns of the end of the Internet world if the D.C. Court of Appeals finds the FCC's net neutrality order illegal.

Dear Chairman Wheeler, Please Stop the Attacks on the Internet.  As Taxpayers, we are paying for the government's lawyers to defend the defenseless.  And as Internet users, we are all paying again.  All the time, money and effort the industry has to waste attempting to undo the FCC's overreach could and would be much better spent improving for us their goods and services — and thus the Internet.

FCC commissioner delivers warning on threat to 'Internet freedom'.  The United States is unprepared for an international fight that's brewing over whether the Internet will remain free from government regulations or fall increasingly under the control of emerging global powers, Federal Communications Commissioner Robert McDowell warned Monday.  "The proponents of Internet freedom and prosperity have been asleep at the switch," Mr. McDowell, the lone Republican serving at the FCC, told editors and reporters at The Washington Times.  "Or maybe I should say asleep at the router."

The Editor says...
Aha!  There's only one Republican Commissioner at the FCC.  That's the problem!

Verizon sues to overturn 'net neutrality' rules.  Verizon Communications, the largest U.S. cell phone carrier, is suing to overturn new government regulations governing the flow of Internet traffic.

Next Up for Nationalization:  the Internet.  Following the nationalization of investment banks, Fannie and Freddie, consumer banks, and private insurance companies, taxpayers are likely asking:  What's left for the federal government to nationalize?  How about the Internet?  Network neutrality, or net neutrality, is the beneficent-sounding name for sweeping new government regulatory power that would prohibit Internet service providers from innovating in their own networks.

Hutchison slams net neutrality rules.  "I'm very disappointed that the FCC has decided to move forward with its misguided net neutrality order," [Senator Kay Bailey] Hutchison said.  "Companies and industries that use broadband communications have flourished over the last decade without government intervention, yet the FCC has chosen to 'fix' a problem that does not exist."

FCC: Your Internet belongs to us.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filed a final version of its net neutrality rules Thursday [9/22/2011], one year after they voted to pass the framework defining the principles of an 'open Internet.'  The vote on the framework was passed on partisan lines, 3-2.  The rules, published on the Federal Register's website, will go into effect November 20th.  Touted as a major victory for a free and open Internet by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Republicans have begun building a last-ditch challenge to a principle they believe will kill markets.

Congress Shouldn't Lend Legitimacy to the FCC's Illegitimate Power Grabs.  The Commission has abused its media merger approval authority — by unilaterally writing destructive "law" into merger agreements, disguised as "voluntarily" acquiesced-to merger "conditions."  The most recent example being the pages and pages of extra-legal demands forced upon the Comcast-NBC Universal deal.  "Conditions" which included, by the way, a seven-year Net Neutrality requirement.  To which Comcast has to adhere regardless of the almost inevitable overturn — either legislatively or judicially — of the FCC's Web usurpation.

House Panel Wants Details On FCC Net Neutrality Rulemaking.  Top Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee said Thursday [7/28/2011] they are investigating whether the Federal Communications Commission improperly coordinated with the White House and public interest groups in the development of the network neutrality rules adopted in December.

Net Neutrality is the Future of Censorship.  When it comes to the Barack Obama Administration and "deregulation," their words are often belied by their actions.  In January, President Obama placed quill to parchment for the Wall Street Journal and claimed his Administration had since Day One worked tirelessly "to strike the right balance" between the free market — which works — and the federal government and its pantheon of regulations — which mostly do not.

FCC commissioner blasts his agency for over-regulation.  Republican Federal Communications Commission member Robert McDowell took his agency to task for issuing too many burdensome regulations in testimony before a House subcommittee on Thursday [7/14/2011].  The commissioner called for a "thorough review of every FCC rule" and said that "all future regulatory proceedings should start with a thorough market analysis" to ensure that regulations do not hamper business growth.

Obama's assault on the rule of law.  [Scroll down]  Congress and a federal appeals court specifically rejected the Federal Communications Commission's claim to have regulatory authority over the Internet.  Yet the FCC released "net neutrality" rules in December 2010 and on July 1 issued "guidelines" for implementing them.  The FCC has no more authority over the Internet than it does over your local movie theater or coin laundry.

Court Set to Stop Net Neutrality?  There is a good chance net neutrality regulations might be stopped before they are ever allowed to take effect, according to Republican Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Robert McDowell.

FCC sends net neutrality rules to White House.  The Federal Communications Commission sent its semi-final draft of net neutrality rules to the White House for approval Thursday, bringing the controversial Internet rules one step closer to enforcement.

Obama Administration is Openly and Serially Flouting the Law.  [Scroll down]  For starters, the FCC has zero authority over the Internet — something FCC Chairman (and Obama law school basketball buddy) Julius Genachowski readily admits.  A fact reinforced by the D.C. Circuit Court which in April 2010 unanimously demolished as unauthorized the FCC's first attempt to impose Net Neutrality.  So when the FCC on December 21st voted themselves Internet Overlords in 3-2 Democrat Party-line fashion, they and everyone else knew it was illegal.  But the media for the most part said:  [Nothing.]

Virginia AG to sue FCC over 'net neutrality'.  Wading into another fierce ideological battle, Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II has announced plans to sue regarding new federal regulation of the Internet and has urged other states to jump on board his fight against "net neutrality."

FCC Commissioner: We Want to Regulate 'On/Off Ramps' of Internet.  Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, an Obama appointee, told CNSNews.com that the FCC does not want to regulate Internet content but it does want to regulate the Internet's "on/off ramps."

The Editor says...
If you control the ramps, you control the road.

Who gets nearly free internet and computers?  At the Federal Communications Commission Obama created something called the Chief Diversity Officer.  The first person to hold this position is Mark Lloyd, who has a long record of advocating that blacks replace whites as executives in the broadcasting industry and as owners of media outlets to achieve racial fairness.  Were poor rural white kids in southern towns outside of Illinois even considered for such a sweet deal?

FCC 'Process Reform' Should Be About Reducing FCC Power.  The Barack Obama Administration has at their dictatorial behest a LOT of rogue Agencies, Departments and Commissions. ... And perhaps none of the Administration's Big Government divisions has since the election been more illegally active than the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  The chads from the Less Government 2010 election had barely finished dimpling when the FCC — on December 21 — unlawfully voted themselves Internet Overlords so as to then impose the absurd Network Neutrality.  With this vote, the FCC grabbed much more power over the wired Web than they did over wireless.  So on April 7 they took their second poisonous bite at the apple — and illegally inserted themselves into the wireless Internet realm.

Fairness Doctrine for the Internet?  Given the premises of both Obama and the FCC, how much of a stretch is it to establish a Fairness Doctrine for the Internet?  Or government-mandated public service announcements on private websites?  In principle, this would be no different from what the government has already done to radio and television through the FCC.  Plus, given the arbitrary nature of the FCC's powers, government could do a lot more to control both broadcast and the Internet content. ... Political websites required to offer equal time for different points-of-view (that is to say, for Democratic liberal and socialist ones)?  In principle, there's nothing to stop it once Obama and the government take control of broadband.

Bill Clinton: Create Internet agency.  Bill Clinton doesn't like all the misinformation and rumors floating on the Internet.  And he thinks the United Nations or the U.S. government should create an agency to do something about it.

FCC Internet Regulation: Not So Fast.  In the House, HJ37, the resolution to disapprove the FCC action, has been approved on a floor vote of 238 to 174.  Last December, under cover of the holidays and the spectacle of the lame duck Congress, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defied a federal court and enacted an internet regulatory takeover.  In answer, the House began moving House Joint Resolution 37 through committee.  The resolution will cancel the FCC rulemaking and bring the policy discussion back to Congress.  Thus, the FCC and the House of Representatives have begun a classic Separation of Powers struggle.  The debate involves a simple yet critical question:  is policy established by an elected Congress or imposed by appointed agency bureaucrats?

FCC chief to Congress: Leave Net neutrality alone.  The head of the Federal Communications Commission will warn Congress not to repeal the controversial Internet regulations enacted last December, CNET has learned.  Undoing the agency's Net neutrality rules will "increase uncertainty, decrease investment, and hurt job creation," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski will say, according to a draft of his prepared remarks.

The Editor says...
The FCC reports to Congress.  Nobody at the FCC is in a position to tell the Congress what to do.

House approves legislation to repeal FCC net neutrality regulations.  The House of Representatives voted Friday afternoon [4/8/2011] to repeal the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality regulations.  The Republican-supported legislation passed by a vote of 240-179, with six Democrats and two Republicans bucking their parties.  During debate, Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton, who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee, said that "the Internet is not broken, and this bill will ensure that the FCC will not break it."

Issa: White House Helped Draw Up Net Neutrality Rules.  FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is denying a charge that White House officials improperly influenced the commission's net neutrality rules.  In a November 2009 letter to Genachowski, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said media reports suggest "that Obama administration officials had knowledge of and potentially contributed to [the] crafting of" the controversial net neutrality rules.

Obama Bytes.  Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski will announce today his intent to put in place rules that would allow the federal government to regulate the Internet. ... "We couldn't give them a Guantanamo shut down, or ending the Patriot Act, so this is the immediate payoff to MoveOn and Free Press and the those guys who worked so hard for us during the campaign," says a White House source.

Bad News for Broadband.  In his first major policy speech yesterday, the head of the Federal Communications Commission proposed new government rules for how Internet service providers handle traffic on the Web. ... The reality is that the Obama Administration wants the government to replace Internet operators as the Web's traffic cop.

The Strange Philosophy Behind the Movement for Net Neutrality.  The election of Barack Obama as president ushered in a new era of regulatory zeal in Washington, with both Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) determined to solve alleged problems with access to and management of the Internet.  Advocates of "network neutrality" have the federal government's ear and seem closer than at times past to achieving their goal of greater government control over the Internet.  Their success would change the online experience of every American.

Internet Heavyweights Push Net Neutrality.  A group of top Internet execs, including the CEOs of Google, Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, and eBay have sent a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in support of net neutrality. ... The FCC is due to release its proposed net neutrality rules on Thursday [10/22/2009].

Hurdles Remain As FCC Ponders Internet Data Rules.  With Democrats in charge in Washington, supporters of so-called "net neutrality" rules seem poised to finally push through requirements that high-speed Internet providers give equal treatment to all data flowing over their networks, CBS station KPIX-TV reported.

The Expanding Net of Online Regulations.  [Scroll down]  The FCC would essentially require ISPs to charge consumers the same for internet activity that uses a lot of bandwidth, like downloading music, as they do for activity that uses relatively little bandwidth, like reading text on a web page.

FCC votes to move net neutrality rules forward.  The Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted to open the proceeding that could lead to open-Internet regulations, although the two Republican commissioners dissented on whether rules are warranted.

FCC moves on Net neutrality rules.  While technical, the issue of network neutrality — or Net neutrality — has sparked a furious, expensive lobbying war, as well as a raging debate in cyberspace over the government's role in setting the rules of the road for the Internet, with some even arguing that the right to free speech in the Information Age is at stake.

Critics attack FCC's net neutrality proposal.  The opposition to the FCC's net neutrality proposal is wasting no time voicing their resistance and getting their proverbial ducks in a row.  Almost simultaneously with the FCC's action on net neutrality, Verizon chairman and CEO Ivan Seidenberg criticized the commission's proposal in a speech at SuperComm in Chicago.

Is Net Neutrality a FCC Trojan Horse?  On Thursday [10/22/2009], Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski is expected to unveil draft rules aimed at imposing network neutrality obligations on Internet Service Providers (ISPs).  In the excitement surrounding the announcement, however, many have overlooked the fact that the this rulemaking is built on a shoddy and dangerous foundation — the idea that the FCC has unlimited authority to regulate the Internet.

Net Neutrality enforcement may reach into your computer.  The internet legislation policy will encompass three key positions.  First the government wants to make sure everyone has access to the internet and have set aside $7.2 billion in stimulus dollars for construction. ... This will not only be tricky, but very expensive because there are not enough subscribers in rural areas to pay for the hundreds of miles of cable that must be put in place.  Providing internet access for all residents would be a first for the country.  In the past, government didn't ensure every citizen had a radio during World War II, or televisions in the 1950s or even cable in the 1980s.  Why internet?  The second platform is social justice or classic redistribution of wealth.  And finally the third is controlling internet content.

The Strange Philosophy Behind the Movement for Net Neutrality.  The election of Barack Obama as president ushered in a new era of regulatory zeal in Washington, with both Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) determined to solve alleged problems with access to and management of the Internet.  Advocates of "network neutrality" have the federal government's ear and seem closer than at times past to achieving their goal of greater government control over the Internet.  Their success would change the online experience of every American.

Is FCC Declaring 'Open Season' on Internet Freedom?  The FCC, in proposing to change the definition of an "open Internet" from competition-driven to government-driven is setting a very dangerous precedent; that it is acceptable for countries to preemptively regulate the Internet for what might happen in the future, even if they lack the legitimacy of constitutional or legal authority to do so, or even if there is thinnest of justification or evidence to support it.

FCC looks at ways to assert authority over Web access.  The FCC, which regulates public access to telephone and television services, has been working to claim the same role for the Internet.  The stakes are high, as the Obama administration pushes an agenda of open broadband access for all and big corporations work to protect their enormous investments in a new and powerful medium.

FCC Overreach.  The FCC and the rest of the federal apparatus should keep their hands off the Internet.  The Web is doing fine without the "help" of Washington.  There are no compelling reasons for the government to be involved.  It has neither the moral nor constitutional authority to interfere with peaceful, noncriminal private affairs that are voluntarily entered into.

Taking Title to the Internet.  In the fight over the Obama Administration and Federal Communications Commission's attempts to regulate the Internet via a policy known as "net neutrality," a court case involving a cable company and an online company that enables Internet content sharing is forcing the Obama Administration to look for new ways to gain control of Internet networks.

FCC Plan Calls for 'Additional Funding' for New 'Public Media'.  The Federal Communications Commission's National Broadband Plan calls for Congress to spend more tax dollars than it currently does on public broadcasting in order to push PBS-style government-funded journalism onto the Internet to compete with private-sector Internet journalism.  The plan, submitted to Congress on March 15, envisions so-called Internet-based public media as the 21st century successor to the local public broadcasting television and radio stations of today.

The Editor says...
The internet is already a public medium.  One thing this country doesn't need is "government-funded journalism", because it will inevitably become a fountain of propaganda.  Many "internet journalism" sites — like this one — are non-commercial.  Is anyone, other than government propagandists, concerned about unfair and imbalanced journalism on the internet?

FCC Adviser Backs 'Filter' and 'Megaphone' for Govt-Funded Internet Journalism.  An adviser to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants to see an increase in government-funded journalism and is an advocate for a "public media" that could serve as a "filter" and a "megaphone" for a network of government-funded journalists competing with other, non-government-backed reporters.

"Socialize" Equals Censorship:  The Government Takeover of the Media.  The Federal Communications Commissions Chief Diversity Officer, Mark Lloyd, wants government to socialize the media. ... Lloyd advocates billions in new taxes on the private media, while the Founders reviled the 1765 Stamp Act, which sparked the chain of events climaxing in the Revolution, in large measure because it taxed the press.  Lloyd calls for federal regulations over commercial broadcast and cable programs regarding political advertising and commentary, educational programs for children and even the number of commercials they can run, while the Founders solemnly declared that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.

The FCC Doesn't Need to Be.  As exercises in bureaucratic hairsplitting go, it is tough to beat the sheer audacity of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski's recent declaration, "I've been clear repeatedly that we're not going to regulate the Internet."  In reality, between its recently released National Broadband Plan and proposed Net neutrality guidelines, that's exactly what the agency is planning to do.

FCC dealt significant blow in net neutrality ruling favoring Comcast.  A federal appeals court on Tuesday [4/6/2010] dealt a significant blow to the Obama administration and net neutrality advocates, ruling that the Federal Communications Commission has no authority to regulate how Web providers manage their network traffic.

Court:  FCC has no power to regulate Net neutrality.  The Federal Communications Commission does not have the legal authority to slap Net neutrality regulations on Internet providers, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.  A three-judge panel in Washington, D.C. unanimously tossed out the FCC's August 2008 cease and desist order against Comcast, which had taken measures to slow BitTorrent transfers before voluntarily ending them earlier that year.

Court Ruling Threatens FCC's Net Neutrality Scheme.  In a unanimous ruling, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned a 2008 FCC order saying that Comcast could not block P2P applications, essentially the first step in the FCC's plan to implement the Orwellian-named scheme called Net Neutrality, based on an argument that Internet Service Providers must treat all content "equally."

Hands off the Internet.  A federal appeals court ruled this week that Congress never granted the Federal Communications Commission authority to impose "network management" regulations on Internet service providers and that the FCC's overly "expansive view" of its power did not merely strain the outer limits of its authority but "seeks to shatter them entirely."  In real terms, this rebukes the commission for its effort to order high-speed Internet service providers such as Comcast to treat equally all traffic that flows through their pipelines.

Obama's Secret Power Grabs:  The FCC was smacked down in court last week in Comcast v. FCC, which held that the Commission has no jurisdiction to regulate the Internet.  Yet FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a close friend of Obama's, is now considering Internet regulations of an even more extreme nature and by an even more dubious mechanism — reclassifying the Internet as a phone system to regulate it like an old-fashioned public utility.

Net Neutrality Further Neutralized.  News that Colin Crowell was resigning his post as a senior adviser to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski sent shock waves through Washington late yesterday.  Crowell, who prior to going over to the FCC was one of the most influential Democrat legislative and policy advisers on Capitol Hill when it came to telecommunications and Internet policy, was believed by many to be one of the most vocal advocates inside the FCC for regulating the Internet and imposing "Net Neutrality," which is to the Internet what Socialism is to private property.

FCC to make move on net neutrality.  The FCC will announce on Thursday [5/6/2010] that it still plans to pursue tough net neutrality rules, opening a new front in an ongoing legal battle that could come to define the commission under Chairman Julius Genachowski.  A senior FCC official said Wednesday that the chairman "will seek to restore the status quo as it existed" before a federal court stripped the commission of the authority to regulate broadband providers and set rules that mandate open Internet.

Shutdown.fcc.gov.  Increasingly, some groups contend there's a crisis in journalism, even to the extent of advocating government support of news organizations.  The dangers to freedom inherent in the concept of government-funded ideas and the impact on critique and dissent seem not to bother them.  Meanwhile, the Federal Communications Commission plays along.  Its Future of Media project seeks "to help ensure that all Americans have access to vibrant, diverse sources of news and information that will enable them to enrich their families, communities and democracy."

FCC now wants to reclassify the Internet as a telephone system.
The FCC Goes for the Nuclear Option.  As I have repeatedly warned and noted on www.ObamaChart.com, when Congress blocks the Obama administration, the White House always finds a way to get around the normal policy-making process and pursue its agenda by other means.  Today's reclassification assault on the Internet is the latest — and perhaps the most egregious — example.  In its effort to imposing crippling net neutrality regulations on the Internet — an idea with very little support from the American public or Congress — the Obama administration first turned to the FCC simply to pretend Congress has given it authority to regulate.

FCC to seek net neutrality using new legal framework.  Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski on Thursday [5/6/2010] announced his agency would seek to regain its lost grip on broadband by applying some of the rules that govern everything from phone companies to Internet providers.

Boehner slams FCC for 'takeover of Internet'.  House Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio) is using language from the just-completed healthcare debate to blast the FCC's attempt to rein in broadband providers.  Boehner accused the agency Thursday [5/6/2010] of pursuing a "government takeover of the Internet," just hours after FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski unveiled the plan, which would place broadband providers under some of the same rules that have long governed phone companies.

FCC Broadband Reclassification:  An Agency Out of Control.  The FCC's latest attempt to expand its powers in the name of consumer protection will undermine the future of broadband and distort the communications marketplace.  Title II reclassification of Internet providers will yet again place the FCC in dubious legal territory, especially since today's broadband market is as competitive as ever and growing more so all the time.  Competition and consumer choice come from innovation and market entry, not from regulation and reclassification.

Julius Caesar of the Internet.  A federal appeals court ruled last month that the Federal Communications Commission lacks the authority to regulate the Internet.  No worries, mate.  This week the Obama Administration chose to "reclassify" the Internet so it can regulate the Web anyway.  This crowd is nothing if not legally creative.

What you need to know about the FCC's broadband plan:  So is the Federal Communications Commission really going to place common carrier restrictions on Internet service providers?  Well, yes, but not too many of them.  FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Friday said he would move to reclassify ISPs as common carriers, while at the same time insisting that ISPs be exempt from the vast majority of regulations in the current common carrier rules.

Obama's Internet nanny.  The Obama administration refuses to take no for an answer in its desire to control the Internet.  Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals Court for the District of Columbia delivered a unanimous and unambiguous repudiation of the Federal Communications Commission's attempt to dictate how a cable company should run its business as an Internet-service provider.  FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski responded last week by proposing a "third way" around the court decision:  He will redefine the Internet as if it were a telephone.

Bill would require FCC report before reclassifying broadband.  A Florida congressman has introduced legislation to require the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to deliver a detailed cost-benefit analysis to Congress before moving forward with a plan to reclassify broadband as a regulated common-carrier service.

Congress rebukes FCC on Net neutrality rules.  The Federal Communications Commission's plan to impose Net neutrality regulations just became much more difficult to pull off.  A bipartisan group of politicians on Monday told FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, in no uncertain terms, to abandon his plans to impose controversial new rules on broadband providers until the U.S. Congress changes the law.

Top Democrats' Actions Confirm FCC Has No Authority to Regulate Broadband.  Four senior congressional Democrats inadvertently confirmed Monday that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) — which, under Chairman Julius Genachowski's leadership has been trying for months to impose contentious net neutrality rules — lacks the authority needed to regulate the Internet.

FCC could boost power over broadband firms.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moved closer to boosting its authority over broadband providers on Thursday [6/17/2010] in a controversial vote that the panel's Democrats said would protect consumers and its Republicans contended would freeze investment in broadband networks.  The commission voted 3-2 to open an inquiry into how the industry is regulated, the first step toward giving the agency the authority to police broadband service providers such as Comcast, Verizon and AT&T.

FCC Moves to Regulate Internet.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted on Thursday to begin the formal process of bringing the Internet under greater federal control — a move sought by both President Barack Obama and FCC Chairnman Julius Genachowski — even though federal law calls for an Internet "unfettered by Federal or State regulation."

FCC set to reconsider broadband regulations.  Federal regulators are reconsidering the rules that govern high-speed Internet connections — wading into a bitter policy dispute that could be tied up in court for years.

FCC Moves to Regulate the Internet.  The Federal Communications Commission is set to begin a move to regulate the Internet.  According to CNSNews.com, by a "3-2 party-line vote on Thursday at the FCC," the agency "began the formal process of reclassifying the Internet as a telecommunications service instead of an information service — it's current classification."  Currently, as an information service, the FCC can exercise only "ancillary" authority, which does not allow it to regulate the Internet directly.  If the Internet is reclassified, the agency would gain greater regulatory control.

FCC Can't Regulate the Internet.  In recent years, the question of whether and how the government should regulate the Internet has moved to the forefront of the telecommunications debate.  Before we can answer that question, we must look at existing law to determine whether Congress has even granted the government this authority.

Future of the News.  It's a frightening thought:  government takeover of the media.  But having tightened their grip on health care, financial services, and energy, it's only logical that the Democrats should turn their attention to the media.  Discussions underway at the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission point toward a dangerous new effort to regulate what Americans read and hear.  The takeover under discussion would apply across the board to print media, radio and television, and the internet.  The result of proposed regulations would be nothing less than an end to free speech in America.

ObamaCare for the Internet.  With housing, automakers, banking, student loans, and health care checked off the list, next on Team Obama's agenda is the National Broadband Plan, better known as Net Neutrality.  Quite simply, it is a plan allowing the federal government to take over the nation's telecommunication platform, giving the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) centralized control of the internet.  The fact that the FCC has no legal authority to regulate internet providers has not deterred administration efforts to regulate all electronic speech, news, and information.

Free Press under-reported amount spent lobbying Congress, FCC, and the NTIA.  Free Press, the public face of the net neutrality movement, is a moral see-saw when it comes to transparency.  The think tank and lobbying group has publicly slammed the FCC for meeting behind closed doors with net neutrality opponents like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T, and has called the FCC's transparency pledge "lip service" to the concept of open government.

FCC extends comment time on Net Neutrality.  The FCC has champed at the bit to find ways to regulate the Internet under chair Julius Genachowski, garnering rebukes from both the courts and from Congress for overstepping its authority.  So their decision to request more comment time on their latest Net Neutrality proposals may seem a bit strange, given a distinct sense of aggressive acquisition of jurisdiction from the FCC during the Obama administration.

The FCC again resumes its unauthorized internet agenda.  The estimable John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable reports:  ["]The (Federal Communications Commission-FCC) is issuing a public notice to "improve the FCC's understanding of business broadband needs," calling it the "next step" advancing the FCC's small business broadband agenda.["]  Only one problem with this FCC assertion.  They're not supposed to have a small business broadband agenda.  Or a broadband agenda.  Or any sort of Internet agenda at all.
[Emphasis in original.]

Republicans prepare to fight possible FCC net-neutrality push by year's end.  Republicans are preparing to make things very difficult for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman if he tries to push ahead on net neutrality in December.  Chatter that the agency may move to create net-neutrality rules before year's end has put the GOP on high alert, crafting plans this week how it would oppose any such effort.

FCC may regulate Internet lines days before Christmas.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has a Christmas gift in store for the phone and cable industry:  it may move ahead on its controversial net-neutrality regulations three days before Christmas.  An FCC source confirmed on Friday [11/19/2010] that the commission plans to push its December meeting back by a week, meaning it will fall on the 22nd of the month.  That's the same meeting in which analysts say the agency may move forward on its controversial net-neutrality proposal.

It's Official — The FCC Will Vote to Take Over the Internet in December.  Details have been sketchy, and successive reports often contradictory, but what follows is what seems to be looming over us in December.  FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski appears to be preparing to dramatically increase the FCC's regulatory role over the Internet.  He is doing so without the necessary Congressional authority — which he himself acknowledges he doesn't have.

Net Neutrality and Your Internet Bill.  The Wall Street Journal reports today [12/2/2010] that the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) plan to impose net neutrality will include an authorization for Internet providers to meter net usage and charge more to those who move more data around on the Web.  Today the average customer pays for a certain minimum level of bandwidth, regardless of how much data he interacts with.  Under net neutrality, he will be charged for a capped amount of data per month, beyond which he will pay extra.

New FCC plan to oversee Internet draws GOP fire.  Attracting immediate fire from congressional Republicans, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday outlined a modified "net neutrality" plan that would expand the federal government's power to regulate traffic over the Internet.

Congress Must Stop FCC's Internet Regulations.  It's an eerie echo of last year's health care debate, but without nearly as much public attention.  Another Christmas Eve, another sixth of the economy taken over by Washington.

Wave goodbye to Internet freedom.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is poised to add the Internet to its portfolio of regulated industries.  The agency's chairman, Julius Genachowski, announced Wednesday [12/1/2010] that he circulated draft rules he says will "preserve the freedom and openness of the Internet."  No statement could better reflect the gulf between the rhetoric and the reality of Obama administration policies.

Franken: FCC should bury net-neutrality proposal unless it is strengthened.  Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) is urging the Federal Communications Commission to abandon its latest net-neutrality plan unless it is significantly strengthened.  In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Friday [12/10/2010], Franken became the first Democrat to argue that having no rules would be preferable to the ones the agency proposed last week.

Net Neutrality: Treating the Internet Like a Utility.  The FCC's proposed power grab could end up sticking you with a usage-based internet bill, costing many of us high-volume users our employment. ... The problem commences with who gets to regulate the Internet.  The usual suspects in Washington, from Henry Waxman (D-CA) to Federal Communications Commission Chair Julius Genachowski, are pushing for rules which would take things in a radically different direction.  Recall the "Fairness Doctrine" in radio was an FCC regulation — not a law.  What's currently being pushed as "net neutrality" is in many ways simply a fairness doctrine for the Internet.

Key net-neutrality advocates oppose Genachowski's plan.  A who's-who of the most influential net-neutrality advocates has decided to oppose Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski's plan for regulating Internet lines, which he announced earlier this month.

Silencing voices of Internet dissent.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) apparently is headed for a 3-2 party-line vote to regulate the Internet on Dec. 21, which Commissioner Robert M. McDowell (a stalwart free-market champion who opposes the regulations) points out is the darkest day of the year.  In doing so, the FCC is putting the new Congress to a key first test of whether it can muster the will to overturn the Obama administration's backdoor efforts to push a far-left agenda through regulation.

In this case, the only possible reason for secrecy is deception.
House leaders blast FCC for secrecy.  The trio of House Republicans who will hold top tech leadership positions next year excoriated the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday [12/16/2010] for failing to make the text of its Net neutrality order public.

The FCC's Threat to Internet Freedom.  'Net neutrality' sounds nice, but the Web is working fine now.  The new rules will inhibit investment, deter innovation and create a billable-hours bonanza for lawyers.

Al Sharpton Helping FCC Design Rush Limbaugh 'Free Speech' Show Trials.  FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has in fact conducted the entire process leading up to this unelected bureaucrat Web power grab shrouded in shadow.  One of the many authoritarian facets of this authoritarian procedure has been the lack of any public hearings on the new Internet order on which the FCC is about to vote.  This is a move to commandeer control of one-sixth of the nation's economy — we should at least be given an opportunity to weigh in prior, right?  Apparently not — because apparently the FCC is looking into warping beyond all recognition its definition of "public hearing" — with the Reverend Al Sharpton lending a hand.

FCC poised to approve net neutrality rules.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will pass Internet line regulations for the first time ever on Tuesday [12/21/2010], shoring them up with a shaky legal argument that could get shot down in court.  But the agency will not close the door on using a stricter legal framework that might be more likely to survive a court challenge — even though the tougher regime is seen as anathema to broadband investment.

FCC's Michael Copps Demands His Critics Be Silenced.  Most of the insidious bureauweenies eating away America from within remain as faceless as they are unaccountable.  But a few distinguish themselves for their open belligerence toward our fundamental liberties.

FCC Net Neutrality Rules Slammed From All Sides.  The federal government's new internet fairness policy — designed to prevent the nation's cable and DSL internet service providers from meddling with the open, free-wheeling nature of the internet — was met with boisterous criticism Monday night [12/20/2010] from all sides of the political spectrum.

FCC Gives Government Power to Regulate Web Traffic.  The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday [12/21/2010] voted 3-2 to back Chairman Julius Genachowski's plan for what is commonly known as "net neutrality," or rules prohibiting Internet providers from interfering with legal web traffic.  President Barack Obama said the FCC's action will "help preserve the free and open nature of the Internet."

FCC Ruling is Irrelevant.  Despite a court ruling earlier this year which limited the FCC's jurisdiction over the Internet, and Congressional pressure to leave well enough alone, [Robert] McDowell warned that the FCC's decision yesterday is "likely to have the perverse effect of inhibiting capital investment, deterring innovation, raising operating costs, and ultimately increasing consumer prices."  He concluded that this decision "may end up marking the beginning of a long winter's night for Internet freedom."

F.C.C. Is Set to Regulate Net Traffic.  The Federal Communications Commission appears poised to pass a controversial set of rules that broadly create two classes of Internet access, one for fixed-line providers and the other for the wireless Net.

DeMint vows to reverse FCC's 'Internet takeover'.  Sen. Jim DeMint, R-SC, says Federal Communications Commission should be renamed the "Fabricating a Crisis Commission," following a vote by the panel's three Democrats to approve proposed rules that amount to a hostile takeover of the Internet by a government agency acting illegally.

Worse for Internet Freedom: Hugo Chavez or the FCC?  The administration brings the Obamacare touch to the Internet.

The First Amendment Blues.  What part of the First Amendment does the Federal Communication Commission, led by Chairman Julius Genachowski, and three of its five appointed commissioners, not understand?  If the Internet is not about free speech, then nothing is.

Net Neutrality:  For some, 'Big Brother' regulation is OK.  It's been interesting watching the spin on net neutrality.  PC Magazine online offers one of those little-of-this, little-of-that "journalistic" pieces that put me to sleep.  Heck, I was even beginning to think, "Neutrality" has a nice ring, reminds of Switzerland during the war, studiously impartial to all and sundry — well, except for safeguarding hoards of Nazi gold and other loot.  Not content with that, PC Magazine also offers an opinion piece, though it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish news from opinion.  The title was provocative:  "Do We Need FCC's Net Neutrality Order?"

Save the 'Net; abolish the FCC.  Congressional Democrats could not find the votes to pass "net neutrality."  No problem.  Three un-elected officials will impose rules on hundreds of millions of satisfied online consumers.  A federal appeals court stops the FCC from employing authority over the Internet.  Again, not a problem.  Three out of five FCC commissioners can carve out some temporary wiggle room, because as any crusading technocrat knows, the most important thing is getting in the door.  It's not that we don't need the FCC's meddling, it's that we don't need the FCC at all.

FCC set to OK rules on Internet.  With the Obama administration on the verge of embracing new "network neutrality" rules increasing government oversight of the Internet, it's difficult to tell who objects more:  Republicans who denounce the move as a federal power grab or Democrats who dismiss the reforms as too weak to do the job.

Kill Off The FCC.  Two days after the FCC voted to take over the Internet, it stands in the way of an agreement between private companies.  This is an agency that should be targeted for elimination.

2010 Was the Year of Government Without Bounds.  [Scroll down]  The year closed with a new dose of government over-reach.  Days before Christmas, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) claimed authority over the Internet and moved to impose "net neutrality."  Net neutrality is the term used for the FCC's move to determine the rules for "reasonable" network management, and limit Internet providers from charging content providers to deliver their services.  The "net neutrality" concept has been voted down in Congress, and a federal court has already ruled the FCC lacks authority to regulate the Internet.  Yet in spite of this, the FCC felt free to simply expand its authority and change the rules of our information superhighway.

Hands off the Internet!  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants to get its grasping hands around the throat of the Internet, the international town hall where Americans have been free to express their opinions without Big Brother's permission or interference.  That makes the FCC unhappy.  It seems that this taxpayer-supported, intrusive federal agency simply can't bring itself to allow anything having to do with Americans communicating with each other in public without their lordly oversight or permission.

Net Neutrality: Obamacare for the Internet.  Obama's FCC has passed new rules requiring private companies who provide Internet services to submit to control under the government.  What will government's rules be?  Those are yet to be determined.  But the government alone will decide what those rules are, how they are to be implemented, and to whom they will apply, and to whom they will not.  They call this:  "Net Neutrality."

Finding Reverse Gear in the New Year.  Slipped into the chaos of the holiday season by three FCC commissioners, this appalling power grab will interfere with free expression, gum up the works of the Internet, and stifle vitally needed capital investment.  It's deeply unpopular with voters, with 54% opposed in a recent Rasmussen poll, while only 21% approve.  Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) has already declared his intention to slip a choke chain on the FCC, by promoting legislation to "ensure that the FCC can only use its rulemaking powers where there is clear evidence of a harmful market failure," combined with "the accountability of a Congressional vote before any government agency's proposed major regulations may be finalized."

A nation choking on endless laws.  [Scroll down]  A second example is the Federal Communications Commission's December party-line vote to enforce "net neutrality."  It's a complex, debatable subject, but it's not the wisdom of the decision that's at issue here.  Rather it's the fact that the FCC under Julius Genachowski, a classmate of President Obama's at Harvard, went ahead despite a) the clear wishes of Congress, which expressly declined to give the commission authority over the Internet and b) a ruling by a DC federal court pointing out precisely that.

Who created the phony mass movement for net neutrality?.  Last month, when Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski won approval of his "net neutrality" rules on a party-line 3-2 vote — supposedly to protect the freewheeling Internet from corporate predators intent on running it their way — they got slammed from all sides.  Republicans, including FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, blasted the rules as Democrat over-reach.

FCC Commissioners: FCC Lacks Authority to Regulate the Internet.  Two of the five commissioners on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said that the Commission lacks the legal authority to regulate the Internet, predicting that the recent regulations issued by the commission in December will be struck down in federal court.

Internet Cop.  From his first major speech to a hurried and secretive rulemaking procedure in the final weeks of 2010, [Julius] Genachowski has made it his mission to plant the seeds of government control within the core of the Internet — all under the guise of "preserving Internet freedom."

Somewhat related:
Obama Launches Total Takeover of Media System.  Even the Washington Post describes it like something out of Orwell's 1984.  The FCC has approved a presidential alert system.  Obama may soon appear on your television or call your cell phone to warn you about the next specious al-Qaeda underwear bombing event.  Commissioners voted last week to require television and radio stations, cable systems and satellite TV providers to participate in a test that would have them receive and transmit a live code that includes an alert message issued by the president.  No date has been set for the test, according to the Post.

The Powers of This President.  Not all the powers President Obama has wielded or claimed seem clearly identifiable in the U.S. Constitution. ... [For example, the] Federal Communications Commission (FCC) assumed regulatory authority over the internet and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assumed regulatory authority over greenhouse gases though Congress had not empowered either to do so.

Hooray for the U.S. House For Standing Up to Regulatory Tyranny.  [Scroll down]  On the FCC side, President Obama's close friend Julius Genachowski has been running the supposedly independent agency as an extension of the White House, pursuing so-called "net neutrality" regulations to give the FCC a toehold over regulating broadband Internet access despite the fact those regulations were rejected by Congress (where they had almost no support), the American people, and the courts.

Navigating a rocky media landscape.  [Scroll down]  Overall, there is a lot to like in this FCC report, even if it describes the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) as "currently the most trusted and neutral source for news, according to polls."  The bad news is that the report calls for the government to use race and sex to assign favorable tax certificates, and to collect data on "racial, ethnic and gender employment at broadcast stations and cable systems," which was discontinued in 1996.  The report notes that courts have forbidden race-based policies, but it skips over that speed bump to call for exactly that.  Also, the report implies that the Internet is under the FCC.  This reflects the power grab by FCC commissioners when they issued their "net neutrality" rules in December in defiance of a federal court ruling and Congress' unwillingness to extend that power to FCC bureaucrats.

FCC quacks duck court showdown.  June 21 marks the six-month anniversary of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) illegally imposing itself on the World Wide Web in order to assert patently absurd "net neutrality" rules.  A half-year later, the FCC still has not filed the order with the Federal Register, which is where all new rules and regulations must go to begin their imposition.  What's the holdup?


FCC to Publish Race and Gender Scorecard of Broadcasters' Workforce.  The Federal Communications Commission has reinstated a policy that mandates broadcasters file a document that lists the race and gender of its employees.  Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, a Democrat from New York, said the policy was not followed while Donald Trump was president of the United States.  "I look forward to restarting the collection of data from broadcasters and cable companies about the race and gender composition of their workforce," Clarke said in a statement posted on her website. "This is not a new idea, nor is it a revolutionary one.  In fact, we had already begun it some decades ago but as most things causing good trouble go, we precluded from its usage thanks to a U.S. Court of Appeals decision."  "For many years, despite a collective effort to amass this information, we failed to truly utilize it in a way to ensure that the broadcast and cable industries become more equitable," Clarke said.

The Editor says...
When you listen to the radio, do you care if the radio station employs plenty of women and minorities?

FCC announces $40K fine for pirate radio station in Pennsylvania.  The Federal Communications Commission Wednesday said it is fining a man $40,000 for pirate radio broadcasting on 90.1 Mhz in Hazelton, Penn.  Brigido Danerys Gonzalez was fined under the 2020 PIRATE Act for broadcasting without an FCC license. [...] The $40,000 fine imposed is for two days of allegedly illegal broadcasting.

Thieves somehow stole a 200-foot radio tower in Alabama.  No one's sure how the ambitious bandits made off with the heavy steel structure, WJLX station general manager Brett Elmore told WBRC.  "I have tried all weekend to figure it out, and I just can't," Elmore told the TV station.  "I have been in the radio business, around it all my life and then in it professionally for 26 years, and I can say I have never heard of anything like this," he added.  "I can say I've seen it all now."  Elmore learned of the theft on Friday when a landscaping crew went to the rural tower site to maintain the property, but there wasn't much left to maintain.

The Editor says...
[#1] There's something very suspicious about that story, aside from the fact that the little bit of copper on the tower isn't worth the effort of hauling away all the steel, too.  If your 200-foot tower disappears, and you first learn about it from the lawn mowing crew, you're not keeping an eye on your property, and you're not listening to your own signal.  Wouldn't the overnight announcer have noticed that all the transmitter telemetry was at zero?  Oh, you don't operate all night?  Your station doesn't have announcers?  Nobody monitors your transmitter?  If that's the case, maybe you shouldn't rebuild the tower, because nobody will miss it — not even you.  [#2] I blame the FCC, which has created a condition in which there are so many radio stations on the air (without any popular demand) that there are some stations with literally zero listeners.  (In some markets, two or more stations broadcast the same programming at the same time.  That's a waste of bandwidth.)  Right now about half of the radio stations in the U.S. could go off the air, and 90 percent of the population wouldn't notice, and the other 9.99 percent wouldn't be greatly concerned.  Minority ownership matters more to the FCC than whether the station's existence benefits anyone but the owners. 

Hispanic Democrats Cleverly Think Recapturing Voters Means Channeling Fidel Castro Media Takeover Methods.  In a supreme example of lacking awareness, a group of House Democrats are looking to have the federal government step in and block the sale of a radio station in Miami.  The only reason they give to justify this is that they may not like the programming content offered by the new owners.  The 38 member Congressional Hispanic Caucus wants to reach out to the FCC and have that agency question and stop the sale because they fear the new ownership group will shift to a conservative talk format.

This is one of the things the FCC is supposed to prevent:
How could we tell? China secretly buying U.S. radio stations.  Whether it be Rush Limbaugh or NPR, liberals and conservatives both like to complain about various elements of American radio.  But there's a new player in town that has no relationship with any domestic partisan tradition:  according to a series of exposés in Reuters, the Chinese government has covertly (and likely illegally) been buying large interests in radio stations across the U.S. and around the world.

US radio company under scrutiny, investigation over China gov't ties.  At first blush, it's like any other radio station. [... But] This is not just any station.  The company behind the broadcast, and others like it across the country, is now under federal investigation over its reported ties to the Chinese government.

Congress Urged to "Clean House" at FCC Over Profanity Ruling.  (Editor's Note:  The following contains references to language the reader may find offensive.)  A pro-family group is calling on Congress to "clean house" at the FCC.  The demand follows the FCC's ruling in October that the "f-word" does not violate the commission's obscenity standards.

FCC Chair Cites 'Spectrum Crisis'.  Addressing "America's Mobile Broadband Future" Wednesday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said there is a "looming spectrum crisis' and he then went on to offer some solutions to the crisis.  Speaking at a telecommunications industry meeting in San Diego, Genachowski underscored the growing spectrum crunch by noting that in recent years the FCC has authorized a three-fold increase in commercial spectrum while many observers have anticipated a thirty-fold jump in wireless traffic.

The Editor says...
There is no "Spectrum Crisis."  In February 2009, hundreds of analog TV stations (occupying six megahertz of bandwidth each) went off the air.  If that didn't open up a bunch of VHF and UHF spectrum space, what purpose did it serve?

Leftist Church Leaders vs. Free Speech.  The war on conservative speech has moved from the White House to your neighborhood pews.  Left-wing church leaders want the Federal Communications Commission to crack down on "hate speech" over cable TV and right-leaning talk-radio airwaves.  President Obama's speech-stifling bureaucrats seem all too happy to oblige.

FCC's Warrantless Household Searches Alarm Experts.  You may not know it, but if you have a wireless router, a cordless phone, remote car-door opener, baby monitor or cellphone in your house, the FCC claims the right to enter your home without a warrant at any time of the day or night in order to inspect it.  That's the upshot of the rules the agency has followed for years to monitor licensed television and radio stations, and to crack down on pirate radio broadcasters.  And the commission maintains the same policy applies to any licensed or unlicensed radio-frequency device.


ABC Fined $395K by FCC for 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' Emergency Alert Misuse.  A Jimmy Kimmel Live! bit making fun of President Donald Trump is going to cost ABC $395,000, as the FCC is cracking down on use of the emergency alert tone in entertainment.  The network agreed to pay a fine to the agency after late-night host Jimmy Kimmel in October used a simulated tone during a monologue about the nationwide presidential wireless emergency alert test.  According to the FCC filing, ABC says it was a "misunderstanding that the use of the tone was permissible."

The Editor says...
I worked in broadcasting for 48 years.  There are only a few low-level newcomers in broadcasting who don't know that emergency alert tones are not to be used as sound effects.  The FCC has made this abundantly clear on several occasions.  Somebody in the production control room of the Kimmel show should have know better.  I'm surprised that the fine was not much higher.  A mere $400,000 just blends into the background cost of doing business.

Now that Trump is hosting SNL, the FCC is interested in Equal Time laws.  As you will recall, Saturday Night Live tossed Hillary Clinton a huge favor a few weeks ago when they had her appear on the show as a friendly bartender talking to her SNL doppelganger.  Shortly after that we learned that Donald Trump had been invited to host the show, no doubt including multiple skits for him to star in. [...] But with Trump taking the stage, the FCC has been roused from their long slumber and will now enforce equal time rules for the campaigns.  Or so they think.

Fairness Doctrine for the Internet?  Over the years of its existence, the FCC has not made the field of broadcasting better for consumers and broadcasters.  It has simply gotten in the way, establishing things such as the "Fairness Doctrine," and "public service announcements," mandating that broadcasters provide information and viewpoints that people will not otherwise voluntarily purchase.

Traffic Pumping.  Amongst the FCC's worst oversights has been the rise of shell phone companies setting up shop across the country that take advantage of the Commission's intercarrier compensation regime.  Under this system, companies compensate each other for phone calls that start on one network and are completed on another, so consumers aren't billed by both companies.  Yet, the rules open the door for abuse from companies like Native American Telecom (NAT).

Julius Genachowski draws ire from all sides.  Julius Genachowski is nobody's angel.  To conservatives, the chairman of the FCC is a regulatory zealot, bent on making the free market conform to a government-mandated vision.  To liberals, he's a would-be champion who sold them out when the going got tough, watering down his landmark net neutrality proposal to appease the other side.

Boehner rips bid to regulate Internet.  In a speech to religious broadcasters that received a sustained ovation at his conclusion, he said free expression is under attack by a power structure in Washington populated with regulators who have never set foot inside a radio station or a television studio.

Wireless Spectrum: Washington Is Clueless.  In February President Barack Obama trekked to northern Michigan to unveil his plan to make next-generation wireless high-speed Internet access available to 98% of Americans.  He wants to spend more than $18 billion to achieve this and put toward other wireless schemes.  The access part would cost $5 billion up front.  Beyond "helping" rural areas, the President's goal to double the spectrum available for mobile broadband is part of a plan to develop a national wireless network for public safety ($10.7 billion).  An additional $3 billion would go toward research and development to create wireless technology for use in education, health care and energy.  And how is all of this to be financed?

FCC 'cop on the beat' more like a bully.  Julius Genachowski is the self-proclaimed "cop on the beat" at President Obama's Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  That's great if the cop is as principled and honorable as Serpico.  It's not so great if he's more like Mayberry's bossy, meddling, interfering Barney Fife.  Unfortunately, Mr. Genachowski resembles the latter, not the former.  His handling of the joint venture between NBC Universal and Comcast went so far beyond the FCC's purview over such matters that one would think the commission were a legislative body, not a regulatory agency.

FCC Orders NBC Newsrooms To Partner With Soros-Funded Non-Profits.  So much for objectivity.  One of the FCC stipulations of the Comcast-NBCU merger was the incorporation of non-profit journalism centers into NBC newsrooms.  They are charged with maintaining and increasing local news coverage, the regulation based on the relationship between KNSD-TV and VoiceofSanDiego.org.

Remembering the Nixon official who gave us cable television.  When [Clay T.] Whitehead arrived at the White House in 1970, nobody — not him, and certainly not the Nixon administration he was joining — could have foreseen the giant deregulatory snowball he was about to set rolling downhill.

FCC Auction Rules Offer Easy Escape.  Although the rules call for the winner of a 22 MHz block of the coveted spectrum to allow any phone, device, or application to work within that group of frequencies, they also hedge, stating this network neutrality requirement is "subject to certain reasonable network management conditions that allow the licensee to protect the network from harm."  "Reasonable" is delightfully elastic.

Bad Data & Broken Databases at the FCC.  How does one determine the sex or ethnicity of a corporation?  Clear Channel Communications — one of the nation's largest owners of radio stations — has issued nearly 500 million shares of stock.  Has Clear Channel polled every share holder about their race or gender?  It's doubtful.  It's also doubtful that any method of determining the race and gender of the owners of corporate stations could ever be done in a way that's meaningful or anything close to a basis for sound public policy.

Indecent Proposal:  End, don't mend, TV content regulation.  Broadcast spectrum is a "national resource" only because the government insisted on nationalizing it.  There's no reason in principle why the right to transmit at a certain frequency in a certain area could not be treated the same way as the right to graze cattle or build a skyscraper on a particular piece of land.  Broadcast licenses already are de facto property, bought and sold along with stations, except that the Federal Communications Commission occasionally clobbers broadcasters with fines if it does not like what they air.

FCC's Emergency Alert System Coming to Your Cell Phone Soon.  The Emergency Alert System (EAS) has "fallen into disarray and needs major reform," concluded FCC Chairman Michael Powell recently as he announced agency plans to revamp the system, according to a report in Broadcasting and Cable.

The Editor says...
It was the FCC that cooked up the current EAS system, and now, after they have added more and more uses for it, now it has "fallen into disarray".  The new modernized version will be able to turn your TV or radio on, if it isn't already.  Why not just make it illegal to turn the TV off?  If these people have their way, we'll all have Orwellian Telescreens in our homes.

Mullis proposes "blue alert" for attacks on Georgia police.  Republican state Sen. Jeff Mullis of Chickamauga is proposing legislation to create a state-wide alert system to speed the apprehension of criminals who kill or seriously injure local, state, or federal law enforcement officers.

The Editor says...
First of all, isn't that what police radios are for?  Secondly, aren't there already enough interruptions on radio and TV for announcements of this sort?  Tornado warnings are one thing, but do we really need to drop everything to announce an abduction by a non-custodial parent who's probably already halfway to Mexico?

Why cable 'a la carte' won't roll.  Americans love channel surfing, and many spend their evenings flipping through the vast ocean of inexpensive programming available through cable television packages.  But if the Federal Communications Commission has its way, that value-priced ocean could be reduced to an expensive puddle.

NBC's on-air war on the FCC.  Calling this "news" opens a big profanity loophole.  Even worse is the commission's creation of a provision for the networks themselves to determine what fits this "news" definition.  What's next?

Fox Refuses To Pay FCC Indecency Fine.  In an unusually aggressive step, Fox Broadcasting yesterday refused to pay a $91,000 indecency fine levied by the Federal Communications Commission for an episode of a long-canceled reality television show, even as the network fights two other indecency fines in the Supreme Court.  The FCC proposed fining all 169 Fox-owned and affiliate stations a total of $1.2 million in 2004 for airing a 2003 episode of "Married by America," which featured digitally obscured nudity and whipped-cream-covered strippers.

The FCC's not our mommy and daddy.  Why the federal agency is wrong to recommend regulating violence on TV.

Judges vs. the FCC:  The federal judges who ruled against the FCC suggested the agency's rulings were "arbitrary and capricious."  But is there anything more arbitrary and capricious than an egotistical celebrity dropping the F-bomb on national TV?  Or the network refusing to administer a tiny delay?  Pardon me if I can't imagine Thomas Jefferson and Co. pledging their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor for the valiant cause of transmitting the potty mouths of washed-up pop singers and spoiled-rotten mall princesses into millions of American households.

Czar wants parallel government broadcasting system.  President Obama's diversity Czar at the Federal Communications Commission proposes adding a vast public broadcasting system to the growing list of Obama's parallel institutions.  Mark Lloyd ... proposes what would become a huge federal broadcasting system and yet another Obama parallel institution.  It would join the "civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded" as the U.S. military that candidate Obama proposed, and the cadre of Czar advisors that parallels the Cabinet Secretaries.

Comcast-NBC:  Why is the FCC Involved?  Bidding has begun on Comcast's acquisition of a majority stake in NBC Universal.  No, not the bidding between GE and Comcast over the terms of the sale.  That was the comparatively easy part.  The real bidding is over at the FCC, as various interests work to get concessions and pledges from Comcast as a condition of FCC approval of the deal.

FCC Overreach.  The FCC and the rest of the federal apparatus should keep their hands off the Internet.  The Web is doing fine without the "help" of Washington.  There are no compelling reasons for the government to be involved.  It has neither the moral nor constitutional authority to interfere with peaceful, noncriminal private affairs that are voluntarily entered into.

FCC Broadband Reclassification:  An Agency Out of Control.  The FCC's latest attempt to expand its powers in the name of consumer protection will undermine the future of broadband and distort the communications marketplace.  Title II reclassification of Internet providers will yet again place the FCC in dubious legal territory, especially since today's broadband market is as competitive as ever and growing more so all the time.  Competition and consumer choice come from innovation and market entry, not from regulation and reclassification.

Hmmm... Do you suppose President Obama is about to take control of the internet?

The FCC's War on Broadcasting:  Since its founding, the U.S. has gone on the offensive to defend the nation, liberate allies, or to defeat a domestic scourge.  Domestically, it launched wars on poverty, drugs, and illiteracy, just to name a few.  Yet for the first time, the federal government has launched a war against an entire — and completely legal — industry:  broadcast television.

Chavez Arrests Last Opposition TV Station Owner.  Is this what Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chief Diversity Officer Mark Lloyd meant when he said (on camera) Venezuelan thug dictator Hugo Chavez (take that, Sean Penn) had begun "to take very seriously the media in his country" — while praising Chavez's "incredible...democratic revolution?"

FCC Plan Calls for 'Additional Funding' for New 'Public Media'.  The Federal Communications Commission's National Broadband Plan calls for Congress to spend more tax dollars than it currently does on public broadcasting in order to push PBS-style government-funded journalism onto the Internet to compete with private-sector Internet journalism.  The plan, submitted to Congress on March 15, envisions so-called Internet-based public media as the 21st century successor to the local public broadcasting television and radio stations of today.

The Editor says...
The internet is already a public medium.  One thing this country doesn't need is "government-funded journalism", because it will inevitably become a fountain of propaganda.  Many "internet journalism" sites — like this one — are non-commercial.  Is anyone, other than government propagandists, concerned about unfair and imbalanced journalism on the internet?

"Socialize" Equals Censorship:  The Government Takeover of the Media.  The Federal Communications Commissions Chief Diversity Officer, Mark Lloyd, wants government to socialize the media. ... Lloyd advocates billions in new taxes on the private media, while the Founders reviled the 1765 Stamp Act, which sparked the chain of events climaxing in the Revolution, in large measure because it taxed the press.  Lloyd calls for federal regulations over commercial broadcast and cable programs regarding political advertising and commentary, educational programs for children and even the number of commercials they can run, while the Founders solemnly declared that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.

Police, fire chiefs say plan will not improve communications.  The biggest point of contention is over the FCC's recommendation to auction off a chunk of spectrum previously set aside for public safety.  During emergencies, public safety officials would have priority access on commercial networks.  But top police commissioners and fire chiefs say that system will not be reliable enough.  Instead, they want the FCC to give a larger piece of spectrum to the first responders, who would then lease excess capacity to commercial providers when it is not needed.

The Editor says...
This has nothing to do with public safety.  It is all about raising money, by "leas[ing] excess capacity to commercial providers when it is not needed."  Which would be 999 days out of 1000, hopefully.  And even if the "first responders" need to be on the radio every day, there is already plenty of spectrum space allocated to allow them to communicate with one another.  If the spectrum space is inadequate, it's only because the "first responders" want to be able to exchange text messages and snapshots instead of just saying "10-4" to each other on ordinary walkie-talkies.

Court Stops FCC Power Grab.  The internet is safe for the moment from the clutches of federal regulators thanks to a court decision that may be a harbinger for legal challenges to ObamaCare.  The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit struck down on April 6 an effort by the FCC to regulate internet policies of a private company.

Is Government-Subsidized News on the Way?  Is the Federal Communications Commission building a case for government-subsidized news?  It's not hard to imagine that will be the outcome of the Commission's "Future of Media" inquiry.  The digital age has produced a "democratic shortfall," according to one source cited in the inquiry's public notice.  Another scholar working on the project for the FCC has said that today's media abundance calls for "public media entities" that will serve "as both a filter to reduce information overload and a megaphone to give voice to the unheard."

Doubling the Spectrum... for High Speed Rail and the Smart Grid?  The Wall Street Journal reports that President Obama ordered the near doubling of the communications spectrum today, "to free up 500 megahertz of airwaves as part of a broader strategy for improving the U.S.'s broadband infrastructure".  Ultimately, segments of these freed-up "airwaves" (not unlike over-the-air radio station channels) will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Not neutrality, courtesy of the FCC.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has just finished collecting yet another round of comments in the "net neutrality" debate over proposed regulation of Internet traffic management.  It is important to appreciate the profound significance of the fact that the FCC is unwilling to even affirm that it will leave future managed, specialized Internet services alone.  And wireless services?  The FCC is chomping at the bit to regulate those.

Save the 'Net; abolish the FCC.  Congressional Democrats could not find the votes to pass "net neutrality."  No problem.  Three un-elected officials will impose rules on hundreds of millions of satisfied online consumers.  A federal appeals court stops the FCC from employing authority over the Internet.  Again, not a problem.  Three out of five FCC commissioners can carve out some temporary wiggle room, because as any crusading technocrat knows, the most important thing is getting in the door.  It's not that we don't need the FCC's meddling, it's that we don't need the FCC at all.

FCC Commissioner Calls For Greater Regulation of News Media.  In a Wednesday [12/1/2010] interview on BBC World News America, liberal FCC Commissioner Michael Copps told correspondent Katty Kay:  "I think American media has a bad case of substance abuse right now.... we are going to be pretty close to denying our citizens the essential news and information that they need to have in order to make intelligent decisions about the future direction of their country."

FCC Commissioner Wants to Control the Content of Broadcast Media.  The First Amendment forbids Congress from infringing on Americans' right to free speech.  But the Federal Communications Commission is not Congress.  And Michael Copps, one of four FCC commissioners reporting to Chairman Julius Genachowski, seems intent on ignoring that pesky part of the First Amendment about "abridging the freedom of speech" when that speech is sent out over the airwaves.

A Tyrant's Thinking.  A member of the Federal Communications Commission appears to want Washington in control of broadcast news.  What a shame that people with such ideas are placed in positions of power.

Hands off the First Amendment!  "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...," but the progressives on the Federal Communications Commission think their job is to do just that — regulate the speech of individuals, and of the press.  Speaking to the Columbia School of Journalism, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, spelled out his idea for a "community values test" to be applied to media outlets with every license-renewal application.

FCC's "Public Value Test": An Essential Step To Dictatorship.  And so it begins.  Michael Copps, of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has suggested a "public value test" to determine who should, and should not, hold licenses for television and radio. ... Which segment of the "public" is to decide the nature of the "value" being tested?  It doesn't matter.  A few officials at the FCC will take care of that for you.  If this doesn't sound like Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany or any other totalitarian state, I don't know what does.

FCC commissioner supports troubling new regulations on the airwaves.  'What we have had in recent years is an aberration in which we've had no oversight of media."  So says FCC commissioner Michael Copps, who is now advocating the institution of a quadrennial "public-value test" for broadcasters. ... This has raised speculation on the right that Copps hopes to effect that perennial leftist dream — the revivification of the Fairness Doctrine, which from 1928 until 1987 allowed government regulators to carefully police radio stations to ensure equal allocation of time to opposing political viewpoints, and whose destruction during the Reagan years permitted the emergence of talk radio as we now know it.

Did someone mention The Fairness Doctrine?

Net Neutrality and the TV Wars.  Forget the lofty rhetoric that accompanied last week's roll-out of a new "network neutrality" policy from the Federal Communications Commission.  The net neut battle today really is about how much cable operators will be allowed to charge for the bandwidth that enables upstarts like Neflix, Apple and Amazon to steal their core TV customers.

FCC Commissioner Wants to Test the 'Public Value' of Every Broadcast Station.  American journalism is in "grave peril," FCC Commissioner Michael Copps says, and to bolster "traditional media," he said the Federal Communications Commission should conduct a "public value test" of every commercial broadcast station at relicensing time.  In a speech at the Columbia University School of Journalism in New York on Thursday [12/2/2010], Copps also said station relicensing should happen every four years instead of the current eight.

Bad news for WFAA:
Senate nullifies FCC rule on media ownership.  The Senate voted Thursday night to nullify a Federal Communications Commission rule that allows media firms to own a newspaper and a television station in the same market.  The unusual "resolution of disapproval," sponsored by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and 24 other senators, was approved by a voice vote.

FTC to Examine Possible Support of News Organizations.  [FTC Chairman Jon] Leibowitz said his agency will examine whether government should change the way the industry is regulated, from making news-gathering companies exempt from antitrust laws to granting them special tax treatment to making changes to copyright laws.  The Federal Communications Commission is already reconsidering rules that prevent a company from owning newspapers and TV stations in a single market.

The FCC's Good Deed.  Well, knock us over with a feather, the Federal Communications Commission wants the government to keep its distance from the media business.  In a report published Thursday [6/9/2011], the FCC sketched gloomy prospects for local media outlets but stopped short of pitching the federal bailout many had expected.

The New Journalism.  The president of Columbia University, home of the nation's most prestigious journalism school, has an idea to counter the decline of the mainstream press:  more state-controlled media.

The Fairness Doctrine

FCC Laying Grounds for New Fairness Doctrine?  In 2012, the FCC contracted with the left-leaning Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism to study "entry barriers" to the media and see whether or not minority groups had enough access to the media.  This year the FCC is launching a wide-ranging study that will require news agencies to inform the government on what stories they cover.  What may follow that is a push for a new "fairness doctrine" as the FCC makes recommendations intended to force the media to air stories which the government wants reported.

The Editor says...
After decades of affirmative action, the Left is still whining about "access."  The black population is about one seventh of the U.S. population, but look on your favorite television station's "news" coverage and see how many black reporters they have.  Substantially more than one seventh of the on-air staff.  By and large, they're as good as the rest of the "happy team," but stop whining about lack of "access."  Nobody is turned away because of ethnicity.  The second subject in the excerpt above is about government selection of program content, which is obviously unconstitutional.  Unfortunately that is a problem that isn't taken seriously any more.

Obama should end FCC threat to restrict TV news.  A week ago, President Obama spent much of his address to the United Nations General Assembly discussing free speech in an era of global instant communication.  "I know that not all countries in this body share this particular understanding of the protection of free speech," he said.  Meanwhile, under his administration, the Federal Communications Commission is holding a plan for a new balance, diversity and localism rule that would enable the U.S. government to suppress television news and restrict speech.  The new rule is similar to the old Fairness Doctrine, which the FCC and courts revoked in 1987 when they found it was against the public interest.

Conservatives Raise Alarm About Fairness Doctrine in 'Different Garb'.  The Federal Communications Commission may have killed off the controversial Fairness Doctrine this week, but conservatives — offering faint praise for the move — are sounding the alarm over what they see as backdoor attempts by the Obama administration to regulate political speech on the airwaves.  They point to ownership diversity and "localism" as other ways Democrats can try to keep the spirit of the Fairness Doctrine alive and silence conservatives and Christian broadcasters.

FCC officially kills Fairness Doctrine, wiping it from rules.  Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced the elimination of 83 outdated and obsolete agency rules on Monday [8/22/2011], including the controversial Fairness Doctrine. ... The FCC also said it will delete the obsolete "broadcast flag" rules along with 50 other regulations that have already been removed.

FCC Agrees to Take 'Fairness Doctrine' Off the Books.  Under GOP pressure, the Federal Communications Commission has agreed to strike from its books an outdated yet still controversial regulation of political speech on the airwaves known as the Fairness Doctrine.

The "Fairness Doctrine" Is Unconstitutional.  Giving equal sides to opposing views would make talk radio hosts submit half of their programs to those who do not pay for them, and whose views they oppose.  And it is not in the nature of a church sermon, to give equal sides to evil or the devil.  The left has the same opportunity to get its own programs on the airways as others.  They simply want to eliminate views that oppose them.

Al Sharpton Continues Politically Motivated Campaign to Censor Rush Limbaugh.  Al Sharpton appeared on MSNBC's "The Ed Show" Monday night [1/31/2011] to once again demand that the federal government censor Rush Limbaugh.  As he always does, Sharpton couched his clear political agenda in the language of racial righteousness.  He cited Rush Limbaugh's satirical mocking of Chinese president Hu Jintao as evidence of "why we must have standards" for radio and television broadcasters.

Rep. Clyburn:  Bring back Fairness Doctrine.  Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C), one of the most outspoken voices in the wake of the Tucson shooting, tells the Charleston Post and Courier that he wants to bring back the controversial Fairness Doctrine.

Incitement to Tyranny.  The left-wing radicals are at it again, folks.  They're revving up their engines on the revolutionary wings of national mourning — and sparking the now very familiar incitement-to-tyranny fires among an anxiety-ridden populace. ... Another religious zealot of the "government can heal all wounds" cult, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) has used the Arizona tragedy to declare that "the FCC isn't working anymore" and demand a return to the "Fairness Doctrine."

Fairness Down Your Throat.  Those old enough will remember how afternoon sitcom reruns were regularly interrupted by some little old lady or wild-eyed activist being given several minutes of "equal time."  The mind-numbing interludes were how TV and radio complied with that erstwhile Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulation requiring "balance" on the airwaves.

Fairness Doctrine hammered 309-115.  The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday [6/28/2007] to prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from using taxpayer dollars to impose the Fairness Doctrine on broadcasters who feature conservative radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.  By a vote of 309-115, lawmakers amended the Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill to bar the FCC from requiring broadcasters to balance conservative content with liberal programming such as Air America.

Lawmakers Reject Fairness Doctrine.  Abandoned some 20 years ago, the "Fairness Doctrine" — requiring public and privately owned broadcasters to provide airtime to opposing political and social viewpoints — briefly reared its head again on Capitol Hill in May and June.  The flap erupted when leading congressional Democrats suggested the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could bring back the disputed policy.  Republicans, with substantial bipartisan backing, trounced the idea in a relatively easy legislative maneuver.

Radio Free America:  By just about any measure, the Fairness Doctrine was an unfair impediment to free speech, and a public disservice in an open democracy.  But it was something else as well: It was a federal regulation that had kept Rush Limbaugh — and Laura Ingraham and William Bennett and Sean Hannity and others — off the air.  That is why Democrats have been seeking (in Dick Durbin's word) to "reinstitute" the Fairness Doctrine:  It would require any station that carries Limbaugh to offer equal time to his critics.

Let the Fairness Doctrine rest in peace.  The FCC reasoned in 1987, when it closed the book on this doctrine, that with the emergence of cable to compete with broadcast, media markets had become sufficiently competitive to preclude government policing.  If true 20 years ago, how much more so now.

Get your hands off our talk radio.  Why do liberals like Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., keep trying to tell the rest of us what political opinions we must listen to in the media?  Feinstein says she is "looking at" reviving the Fairness Doctrine to counteract the decidedly conservative bent of talk radio.  Former President Reagan and a Democratic Congress repealed the Fairness Doctrine in 1987.

Too Little Too Late On Fairness Doctrine?  FCC chairman Kevin Martin, a Bush appointee, doesn't seem too concerned.  In a recent interview with John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable magazine, Martin was asked about "talk of trying to re-institute the FCC's Fairness Doctrine" and whether he would support that.  His reply was, "No.  The commission eliminated the doctrine in 1987.  Doing so has made for a lot of opportunities in things like talk radio."  That was it.  Martin decided not to challenge any of the Democratic proposals to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine or to make a strong statement in favor of the First Amendment.

What's Fair About the Fairness Doctrine?  Lately, I've been hearing rumors that prominent liberal politicians, the very same people who are always proclaiming themselves passionate advocates for free speech, are looking into ways to muzzle conservative radio talk show hosts.

The (Un)Fairness Doctrine:  Who should decide what you hear over the radio and on TV?  You?  Or policymakers in Washington?  If freedom of speech appeals to you — if you think we need robust debate to keep democracy alive and well — the answer should be clear.  Unfortunately, it's not so clear to certain liberal lawmakers.

The "No Fairness Left" Doctrine:  Could the Left be any clearer about its intensions? … Since the Left can't compete in the marketplace of ideas, it wants to shut it down.  The aborted push to revive the misnamed Fairness Doctrine, and apply it to talk radio, is but the latest example of liberalism's drive to gag the opposition.

Turning The Dial:  Ever since the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987, liberals have been trying to figure out a way to eliminate conservative talk radio.  It appears that in Boston, Mass., they've actually managed to do it.

Dems Exploit Coulter in Fairness Doctrine Push.  The disarray in the Republican Party can be seen in the belated response to Democratic proposals to reinstate the federal Fairness Doctrine.

Unfairness Doctrine:  Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Ca) said on Sunday that she thought it would be a good idea if the Congress would pass a law bringing back what used to be known as "The Fairness Doctrine."  It is a perfectly horrid idea.

The Effort to Reimpose the So-Called Fairness Doctrine Grows.  As those of us who grew up in the days of transistor radio and black and white television might recall, the FCC required all radio and television stations to devote a certain percentage of airtime to public information and political issues.  In 1949, this in turn led the FCC to institute the so-called "Fairness Doctrine," an uncodified regulation based on the principle that the American people were entitled to all sides of controversial political issues on publicly owned airwaves.

Fairness' Doctrine — Round Two.  Netroots activists intend to engage in a campaign of harassment aimed at crippling the business end of any media outlet they view as the enemy.  Fox News may be first, but talk radio, the Wall Street Journal editorial pages and the Internet will be next.  The liberal netroots are not interested in contributing to public discourse.  They want to wipe out the competition and silence those voices that do not support their agenda.

Democrats' New 'Fairness' Push May Silence Conservative Radio Hosts, Critics Say.  Democrats in Congress are pushing for legislation that they say would bring more balance to the media, but critics say would muzzle conservative voices.  The Fairness Doctrine, a federal regulation requiring broadcasters to present both sides of a controversial issue, was enforced by the Federal Communications Commission from 1949 to 1987, when it was dropped during the Reagan administration.

The Liberal Attack on Freedom of Speech:  Did you know that the same liberal group that helped to get Don Imus fired for his offensive "ho" remark tried to get Rush Limbaugh censored from the Armed Forces Network?  Or that this group, Media Matters, which reportedly is backed by anti-American financier George Soros, has declared war on conservative talk radio?  Imus, who is not a conservative, was merely the test case.

Hillary's Lap Dogs:  When Don Imus was fired … a great deal of attention was focused, appropriately, on the influence of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, each of whom expressed outrage over the broadcaster's racial insensitivity and demanded that he be fired.  The real guiding hand over Imus' downfall, however, belonged neither to Sharpton nor Jackson, but to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The Un-Fairness Doctrine:  Unevening the Playing Field, by Law.  Beware of liberals using such words as "fairness."  In resurrecting the "Fairness Doctrine," liberals are trying to kill conservative talk radio and restore their media monopoly.  Period.  The doctrine would selectively stifle free political discourse, which is essential for our representative government.  The Fairness Doctrine, an FCC regulation in force from 1949 to 1987, required broadcasters to present "both sides" of controversial issues.  During that time, liberals had a virtual monopoly on the media.

All's Fair in Love and Talk Radio.  Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., caused a stir recently when she criticized talk radio for its role in stopping the recent immigration bill.  Talk radio, she lectured, "pushes people to … extreme views without a lot of information."  Feinstein then went on to suggest that it might be time to bring back the "Fairness Doctrine, repealed in 1987, that mandated private radio stations devote time to all points of view during discussion of controversial topics.

How the Left Intimidates the Media.  Environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was recently paid $20,000 by Virginia Tech to tell the students that there aren't two sides to the global warming debate and that the problem with the media today is that we don't have a fairness doctrine.  Those positions, which sound contradictory, betray the modern liberal agenda.  They want to bring back the fairness doctrine not to ensure true fairness and balance in journalism but to intimidate and censor those expressing a view contrary to their own.

Old media unrepentant on damaging disclosures.  Every time the Old Media are criticized, they trot out the First Amendment, as if they are its exclusive guardians.  Heaven help us if that's the case.  For it's not the First Amendment they worship, but their self-anointed stewardship of it.  Why else would they so adamantly favor suppression of political speech for all but themselves during the 60 days preceding elections?  Why else would many of them favor the "Fairness Doctrine" to squelch their successful conservative competitors on radio?  Why else would they defend draconian campus speech codes?

The Next Conservatism:  The other side has no compunction about using state power in all its hideous fullness to ram its ideology down our throats.  For example, leftists now want to restore the so-called "fairness doctrine," which if implemented would destroy talk radio.

The Plan to Silence Conservatives:  Media reform sounds like a good cause.  But the gathering here of more than 2,000 activists turned out to be an effort to push the Democratic Party further to the left and get more "progressive" voices in the media, while proposing to use the power of the federal government to silence conservatives.  In short, triumphant liberals now want to consolidate and expand their power.  Several speakers, including Senator Bernie Sanders and Rep. Maurice Hinchey, declared that they think Congress should use a new federal "fairness doctrine" to target conservative speech on television and radio.

Government regulation syndrome:  Liberals want to resurrect the Federal Communications Commission's Fairness Doctrine, a tenet created to ensure fair and balanced coverage of controversial issues, so that they can regulate talk radio and require "equal time" be given to opposing political views.  Liberals don't like talk radio's mostly conservative content.

Talk radio 'dominated' by right.  A report from a liberal think tank yesterday criticized the "right-wing domination of talk radio," saying the current landscape does not serve all Americans.

Liberals hate it when their propaganda supply exceeds demand.
Right's Reign on Talk Radio Called 'Structural Imbalance'.  Charging that "right-wing talk reigns supreme on America's airwaves," two liberal groups on Thursday called for increased government regulation and greater diversity of commercial radio station owners to "close the gap" between the amount of conservative and "progressive" talk.

The Editor says...
If the proverbial shoe were on the other foot, such a move would be called government censorship.

Are Politicians Targeting The Correct Medium?  The Democrats now seem to control and have access to all TV networks except one, and to liberal blogs and internet sites like www.MoveOn.org.  They also seem to have the complete editorial support of almost all newspapers in the nation, especially large metropolitan ones, such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The San Francisco Chronicle and The Los Angeles Times.  We must also remember the fact that the Fairness Doctrine originally was added by the FCC when cities were limited to only one TV station owner per locale.

The "Fairness Doctrine" Power Grab.  Empires of oppression and intimidation, built upon real threats and empty promises, simply cannot endure the scrutiny of an informed public.  Thus, the only means by which they can hope to preserve their hold on power is to maintain a monopoly of information.

The Fairness Doctrine Is Not Dead.  A blogger called the 309-115 vote against federal funding of the Fairness Doctrine a "historic vote for freedom of speech."  A columnist called it "A big victory for radio broadcast freedom."  But it was nothing of the sort.  Even if the amendment from Rep. Mike Pence were to pass the Senate, it would do absolutely nothing to stop a Democratic president and Congress from reinstating the Fairness Doctrine.  It was a political maneuver that has confused many people.

Liberals try to get a mouthhold on Rush.  Imagine Rush Limbaugh ordered to give Michael Moore a say on his radio show.  Or Air America required to broadcast Ann Coulter's take on the news.  Broadcasters were forced to offer opposing views on political issues until 1987, when federal regulators dropped a rule called the Fairness Doctrine.

Beyond the Fairness Doctrine:  Talk of re-imposing the requirement by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that broadcasters air opposing views on controversial topics sparked an intense and highly publicized debate this summer.  Almost lost in the "fairness" furor, however, has been a second, but no less intense, radio industry battle over the merger of satellite radio providers XM and Sirius.

They can't be Sirius!
Three months after merger, Sirius XM struggles.  Barely three months after the long-delayed merger of satellite radio companies Sirius and XM, the newly combined Sirius XM Radio is struggling to stay afloat.  The company has just another three months to start paying down more than $1 billion in debt that's maturing in 2009 at a time when credit markets are freezing up.

Sirius XM at 17 cents — look out below.  "Brother, can you spare a dime?"  During the Great Depression, ten cents could buy a little something for those really hard up.  During this financial crisis, ask for two dimes, and you can get a share of Sirius XM.  That's right, the stock of the much-ballyhooed satellite-radio merger has plunged more than 90% this year and was trading recently at just 17 cents.

Sirius XM sticks it to subscribers.  How's the Sirius XM satellite radio monopoly working out for subscribers?  Not so well.  Now that Sirius XM is the only game in town, it's nudging up fees for subscribers.

The MoveOn-dot-Democrats:  [Senator Jeff] Sessions said, "There's no doubt that the Democrats have liked the favored position they've had for decades with the mainstream media.  It's very painful for them to have alternative voices out there like talk radio.  These attacks on Rush [Limbaugh] could be part of a long-term plan the Dems have to revive the Fairness Doctrine."  Republicans such as DeMint, Cornyn and Sessions stand in their way.

Attacking Talk Radio:  Over the span of some 20 years, Rush [Limbaugh] has been attacked from just about every leftist corner, as would anyone who tirelessly espoused the founding principles of our nation — private property, rule of law and limited government.  What has made Rush so effective with this message has been his ability to put things, and ask questions, in a manner that the average citizen can understand and relate to, and do so with a bit of humor.  Humor creates madness among leftists who want their interventionist agenda taken seriously.

The Left's Gag Rule:  A Democratic Congress voted to turn [the Fairness Doctrine] into law in 1987, but Ronald Reagan vetoed the bill and the rule was scrapped.  In the bloom of freedom, conservative talk radio has dominated.  Which is why Democrats want to revive the Fairness Doctrine.

The Plan To Rein In Free Speech:  A manufactured flap over Rush Limbaugh has stirred talk of new "fairness doctrine" hearings in Congress.  That's just what Media Matters, the flacks behind it, were after.  Their agenda is worse than it looks.

'Fairness' Is Foul.  It wasn't that hard for Indiana's Rep. Mike Pence to build media and congressional support for his Free Flow of Information Act, which would protect the confidentiality of contacts between reporters and sources.  It passed the House this month by an overwhelming vote of 398-21.  His next battle will be a lot harder — to permanently ban the Fairness Doctrine, the regulation many liberals are now actively trying to revive in an effort to silence their critics.

Hillary's Campaign To Turn Off Talk Radio:  The Fairness Doctrine is that outmoded, likely unconstitutional regulation requiring balance on the air.  But since newscasts are excluded, the Doctrine made it possible for ABC, CBS and NBC — and especially the left-leaning Public Broadcasting System — to be as liberal as they wanted.  But talk radio was stifled.  During the Reagan era, the country had about 125 talk stations.  Since the demise of the Doctrine we have more than 2,000 of them with hosts espousing every conceivable opinion that free speech can muster.  It's just that most of those opinions are from the Right, and that drives Mrs. Clinton and the Democrats nuts.

Bush:  'Fairness Doctrine' unfair.  In Nashville today [3/11/2008], during a speech to the National Religious Broadcasters Convention, President Bush said there's nothing fair about the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" that once required broadcasters to offer air time for competing ideologies.  The FCC got rid of it about 20 years ago.  Now, some Democrats in Congress — long the target of popular conservative radio talk-show hosts — think it's time to bring it back.

Conservatives Rally to Defeat the Fairness Doctrine.  Several high-profile conservatives gathered on Capitol Hill to rally support for the Broadcaster Freedom Act, a measure to block the government from any future attempts to chill political speech on the airwaves.  Specifically, the legislation would kill the Fairness Doctrine, an old Federal Communications Commission policy to require broadcasters must provide equal time to both sides of a debate.  Although abolished in 1987, several congressional Democrats have recently expressed interest in renewing the Fairness Doctrine.

The tyranny of "cultural diversity":  Thanks to a little-noticed item in the Federal Register, the Federal Communications Commission may soon be handed the power to drive Rush Limbaugh off the air.  There are liberals obsessed with "balancing" Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Hugh Hewitt, Mark Levin, and the rest of conservative talk radio, even though plenty of other outlets — the Washington Post, the New York Times, USA Today, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio — constantly flog the liberal agenda.

Unfairness Doctrine.  Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously wrote that the best test of truth "is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market..." But today many are turning away from this theory, calling for greater government intervention in media ownership over the perceived lack of fairness in the press.

The Fairness Doctrine at Work:  The Fairness Doctrine was originally intended to encourage a public dialogue on controversial issues by ensuring that both sides of a topic were aired.  As a former radio and TV journalist, I can assure you that the opposite was true.  Station owners were afraid that their licenses would be yanked if there was the slightest possibility that they could be accused of violating the doctrine; it was far safer to simply avoid controversial matters.  That, and its questionable constitutionality, caused the Reagan-era F.C.C. to repeal the Fairness Doctrine.

Affirmative action gone mad:  Here in the land of the free and the brave, some liberals are looking more like cowards not much interested in real freedom.  They have basically conceded that their ideas are on the losing side in the free market of ideas.  Why else would some Democrats — and their think tank boosters — be calling, once again, for laws that mandate equal time on the airwaves for left-wing voices and right wing voices?  That sounds like manipulating the free market of ideas, using laws to make sure people hear progressive views even if people don't want to hear them.

Fairness Despotism:  Forty years ago, Walter Cronkite could declare on the evening news that the Vietnam War was lost, and that's the way it was.  Do Americans want to return to those days by reviving the so-called Fairness Doctrine?  Think of it in terms of consumer choice.  You're on vacation, and you take your family into the $10.95 all-you-can-eat buffet.  How would you like it if, when you walk up to fill your plate with lobster and ribs, you find the government has made the restaurant replace those with liver and brussels sprouts?

Time to Bury the Fairness Doctrine Once and For All.  Now that the Democrats have control of Congress, their leaders are openly championing the return of the Fairness Doctrine.  If they can't beat conservative ideas in the radio marketplace, they might as well stifle them through government fiat.  Make no mistake:  a return of the Fairness Doctrine would end talk radio as we know it, for religious broadcasters, the right, the left, and everywhere in between.  And that's just what the left wants.  Democratic leaders have not been shy about their desire to stifle free speech on the airwaves.

Stealing Freedom:  Democrat 'Media Reform'.  The usual suspects will be doing the dirty work.  Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) or Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) will likely resurrect the failed Media Act (Meaningful Expression of Democracy in America Act) intended to make political commentary unflattering to Democrats more difficult to deliver and easier to suppress through congressional oversight and, of course, litigation.  They have been trying for years.

The 'Fairness Doctrine' and Multiculturalism's Monoculture:  Liberals are chafing at the bit, waiting for regime change in Washington to give them the ability to reinstate the "fairness doctrine;" a regulation which requires talk radio stations to devote equal programming hours to both liberal and conservative formats.  All it would take is a Democrat president and a couple of appointments to the Federal Communications Commission to accomplish it.  Of course the use of the word "fairness" in relation to this "doctrine" is an awful abuse of our language.

There Should Be No Fairness-Doctrine Secret Agenda.  Off the record the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that it has no plans to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.  Nevertheless, earlier this month in a public letter to FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) charged that the doctrine was going to be re-imposed secretly upon broadcast media.

Opposing the Fairness Doctrine with a Real Fairness Doctrine:  When outlets like talk radio are successfully attacked, the tools to end the encroaching tyranny upon free dialogue, independent thought and the right to be contrarian will be distracted and weakened.  That is the goal. … When the scattered voices of dissent are cowed or crushed, then minds which do not know they live in prisons will find escape and freedom harder and harder, until it is impossible.  That is the grim lesson of George Orwell, whose dystopian fantasy, 1984, seems less fanciful each year.

Pelosi Supports Return of Fairness Doctrine.  Talk radio's suspicions of a movement to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine were confirmed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Tuesday June 24 during her comments at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast.  When John Gizzi, an editor for Human Events asked Speaker Pelosi whether she favored a return of the Fairness Doctrine, she told him an unhesitating "yes," reports Gizzi.

The Democrats' Fairness Doctrine Dilemma:  Congressional Democrats remain silent, acquiescing in Speaker Nancy Pelosi's determination to prevent legislation to block the reimposition of the so-called Fairness Doctrine.  For all their prattling about protecting civil liberties, none of them — not a single one — has so far signed the discharge petition to allow the Broadcasters' Freedom Act to be wrested from Pelosi's grip to protect our freedom of speech.

Will Democrats hush Rush?  The doctrine was withdrawn in 1987 under President Reagan's sweeping deregulation program, and the FCC has not sought to enforce it since then.  With the 2008 election fast approaching, however, conservative pundits and politicians worry a Democratic victory could mean the demise of talk radio's conservative stars like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.  "All it takes is one appointment to the FCC of someone who would want to bring this back and there you go," said Matt Lloyd, spokesman for Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., a former talk radio host who is leading the legislative crusade against the return of the doctrine.

The Fairness Doctrine:  An Archaic Policy That Violates the First Amendment.  It is abundantly clear that, if the Fairness Doctrine were reimposed today, it would have the same chilling effect on broadcast television and radio programming that it previously had.  The Fairness Doctrine is disturbingly reminiscent of George Orwell's classic 1984 in which "Big Brother" was always watching and listening to ensure that no one dared to question the government.  The Fairness Doctrine is nothing more than a thinly-veiled attempt by some members of Congress to silence those who disagree with them, particularly conservative talk radio show hosts.  As one Congressman recently observed, "attempts to restore the Fairness Doctrine are based in attempts to reduce public speech, not enhance it."

The Never-Ending Quest to "Hush Rush".  It takes some big numbers to measure Rush Limbaugh's success — 20 million listeners, a $400 million contract.  But the best index of Limbaugh's effectiveness can be found in a much smaller figure, somewhere between a few dozen and a few hundred, which is the number of Democratic-party officials and liberal advocates who want to use the law to shut him up.

FCC Commissioner:  Return of Fairness Doctrine Could Control Web Content.  There's a huge concern among conservative talk radio hosts that reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine would all-but destroy the industry due to equal time constraints.  But speech limits might not stop at radio.  They could even be extended to include the Internet and "government dictating content policy."

The Real Threat of Censorship:  Since losing power in 1994, the Left has been making ugly noises about what would happen when it regained power.  The "fairness doctrine" has been bandied about, but that is not what should alarm us most.  The rise of this Frankenstein is specifically directed at conservative talk radio.  In other words, the Left does not believe or does not care about the Leftist unfairness of every other medium in our nation:  NPR, PBS, television news, television entertainment, public schools, academia, and library systems.

If you are a fan of talk radio, electing Democrats is a bad idea this November.  There is a real possibility that if Democrats obtain firm control of all three branches of government after this November's election, the 'fairness doctrine' will be enacted, and talk radio will be inexorably altered.  Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, US Senate majority leader and Harry Reid (D) Nevada have strongly indicated that they would support legislation to bring back the 'fairness doctrine'.

Obama's Publicists:  Should Obama be elected and the Democrats gain large majorities in both congressional chambers, we expect the Fairness Doctrine, scrapped in 1987, to be resurrected.  To paraphrase a note from one of our contributors:  Who knew the Democrats were closet totalitarians?  We'll all know, however, when constitutionally guaranteed free speech is snuffed out.

Beyond the Fairness Doctrine.  First the good news:  The fairness doctrine is still dead, and it probably will stay dead even if Barack Obama becomes president. ... Now the bad news.  There's a host of other broadcast regulations that Obama has not foresworn.  In the worst-case scenario, they suggest a world where the FCC creates intrusive new rules by fiat, meddles more with the content of stations' programs, and uses the pending extensions of broadband access as an opportunity to put its paws on the Internet.

Censoring Conservative Radio.  It seems plausible, even fair, that people should be afforded an opportunity to receive communication about both (or several) sides of controversial issues.  No one contends with the right of people to propound any side of any issue.  That's the First Amendment.  The rub comes when government, in the name of fairness, tries to force some providers of information to present "balanced" views.

Who Defines 'Fair and Balanced,' Sen. Schumer?  Question for Chuck Schumer: Who appointed you — or anybody else in government for that matter to decide what qualifies as "fair and balanced" political news and commentary on radio and television? ... Democrats like Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, have been talking up bringing back the Fairness Doctrine because they hope to use it to stifle conservative dissent, particularly that which is heard daily from the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Examiner columnist Michael Reagan on Talk Radio.

Liberal Censorship and Its Roots:  Democrats fully intend to reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine, a euphemistically named regulation aimed at shutting down conservative talk radio, which Sen. Chuck Schumer has compared to pornography.  Remember that conservatives have never advocated government action to suppress or censor the liberal media monopoly, which has existed for decades and still dominates mainstream media today.  Their answer was the alternative media.

The Porno-fication of Rush Limbaugh.  Limbaugh's very existence is an insult to the Left.  They'll never admit that.  Instead, they'll take the low road, comparing him to pornography or pointing out how unpatriotic he is.  I vaguely remember Democrat complaints against President Bush, wherein they accused him of falsely accusing them of being unpatriotic.  They cried foul over the fact that anyone would dare question someone else's patriotism and hurled words like "fascism" and "dictator" at Bush and the Republican Party for doing it.

Broadcast Blackout of Left's 'Fairness' Doctrine Push.  Barack Obama's transition team has tapped former FCC Commissioner Henry Rivera, a longtime proponent of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine," to head the team looking for the man or woman who will soon give Democrats a 3-to-2 advantage on the Federal Communications Commission.  It's another troubling sign that Democrats are serious about trying to reinstate the long-defunct FCC regulation, which can more aptly be described as the "Censorship Doctrine" because of its chilling effect on free speech.

The Unfairness Doctrine.  Broadcasters should act before they're forced to react if Congress brings the so-called Fairness Doctrine back from the dead.  The Fairness Doctrine, which should be called The Gag Rule, will effectively silence talk shows on broadcast stations and the millions of Americans who tune in and talk about what was talked about.

Another Assault on Freedom of the Airwaves.  As free speech advocates gear up to oppose revival of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine," another Orwellian-named government effort to dictate the content of radio and TV news and opinion has been hatched by the Bush administration's Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  So far, there's been much less focus on the "localism rule" — even though it would have a similar chilling effect on First Amendment rights.

Talk jocks cry foul over Fairness.  An FCC commissioner visiting the Hub this week didn't rule out the possibility of a return of the Fairness Doctrine — a scourge on conservative talk jocks — under the Obama administration.  "There has been a lot of talk on Capitol Hill about bringing it back, maybe with a different name, but bringing the idea back," Robert McDowell of the Federal Communications Commision told the Herald.  "I would say stay tuned and see how the next year or two pan out."

The Emerging Threat to Conservative Talk Radio.  Despite President-elect Obama's claim that he will not seek a new "Fairness Doctrine" to silence conservative voices in the media, commentators are bracing for a battle over their free speech rights under the First Amendment.  Indeed, the battle is already underway and the enemies of free speech have made it clear that their censorship campaign will initially be based on claims that conservatives do not reflect "local" and "diverse" viewpoints.  The so-called Fairness Doctrine may come later.

The Obama Fairness Doctrine:  Just three days after the election, a Brookings Institution leader issued a memo to President-elect Barack Obama asking him to restore the Fairness Doctrine.  The Vice-president of Governance Studies at Brookings, Darrell West argues that the Fairness Doctrine would help restore journalistic ethics and fulfill the media's mission to educate the populace.

Obama Declares War on Conservative Talk Radio.  The late community organizer Saul Alinsky taught his followers to strike hard from an unexpected direction, an approach known as Alinsky jujitsu.  Obama himself not only worked as an organizer for an Alinsky offshoot organization, Chicago's Developing Communities Project, but would go on to teach classes in Alinsky's beliefs and methods.  "Alinsky jujitsu" as applied to conservative talk radio means using vague rules already on the books to threaten any station which dares to air conservative programs with the loss of its valuable broadcast license.

When 'fairness' means 'censorship':  George Orwell prophetically warned of a time when, due to the need of government for total control of the lives of citizens, the very meaning of words would change.  "Peace" might mean "war."  "Freedom" might mean "slavery."  The supreme dictator was known as "Big Brother."  That was Newspeak in the classic novel "1984."  But, in 2009, Americans will witness firsthand a nonfiction form of Newspeak.  That's when, for the first time, Congress will approve and the president will sign a piece of legislation called "the Fairness Doctrine."  In a right-thinking free society, this law would more accurately be called "the Censorship Doctrine."

Beware of the 'Fairness Doctrine'.  Incredible as it may sound in retrospect, there actually was a so-called "Fairness Doctrine" in force in the United States from 1949 to 1987.  Its ostensible purpose was to compel radio and TV stations to broadcast statements of opinion that "balanced" those being expressed voluntarily.  Since a substantial majority of the statements being broadcast voluntarily were more or less conservative, the effect was to force broadcasters to air comparable programs expressing liberal sentiments.  If that strikes you as a violation of the First Amendment, go to the head of the class.

Liberals, too, should reject the Fairness Doctrine.  Liberals aren't clamoring for a voice on radio — they're staking out territory on the Internet, which they've effectively used not only to air grievances and ideas but to organize political action.  More important, though, the Fairness Doctrine did more to help develop conservative talk radio while in effect than it has in the 20 years since its revocation.

Free Speech Alliance Fights Return of the Censorship Doctrine.  Liberals — now controlling both the White House and Congress — are ready to revive the so-called "Fairness" Doctrine to destroy conservative talk radio.  The Media Research Center has formed a new "Free Speech Alliance" to defend conservatives' most effective political weapon against the return of what should be called the "Censorship Doctrine."  The GOP is nearly leaderless, self-shredded by its steady diet of "Me Too" bipartisan liberalism.

Will Talk Radio Get Wake-Up Call?  The multibillion-dollar talk radio industry faces existential challenges and dramatic opportunities in the upcoming Age of Obama.  Depending on responses from leading conservative talkers, this rude, raucous indispensable medium will either rise to new heights of mainstream influence, profit and credibility, or else collapse as a declining vehicle for an increasingly angry and alienated fringe.

That's Not A Bug...  Well, it's now out in the open:  Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA — is that any surprise?) is officially calling for a return of the "fairness doctrine."  And not just the old one, that covered radio and television:  she wants it to apply to cable and satellite programming, as well.  This could be a bit problematic.  According to the original Fairness Doctrine, radio and TV broadcasters' use of public airwaves made them guardians of a public trust.  As such, they were obligated to the government to promote what was deemed the common good.  Cable and satellite companies are, by definition, not broadcasters, and therefore don't fall under the same presumed obligations.

Incoming Attorney General Hostile to Civil Liberties.  Eric Holder, Obama's nominee for attorney general, is hostile to civil liberties.  He has previously expressed veiled support for using the misnamed "Fairness Doctrine" to squelch "conservative critiques" and "conservative media," such as Fox News (which Holder believes is anything but "Fair and Balanced," contrary to its slogan).  The "Fairness Doctrine" is designed to shut down conservative Talk Radio.

Targeting Rush:  Saul Alinsky Would Be Proud.  Obama is trying to parlay his extraordinarily high approval rating to lay a foundation for his shock troops in the press and the party apparatus to discredit and eventually compromise or silence Rush [Limbaugh].  As if in conspiratorial lockstep, the media are dutifully responding with round-the-clock distortions and deceitful context manipulation of Rush's clearly articulated statement that he hopes Obama's socialist blueprint for America fails, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is circulating a petition denouncing him.  These are part of their larger goal to emasculate Rush and other conservative radio hosts through the Unfairness Doctrine.

Sen. Stabenow wants hearings on radio 'accountability'; talks fairness doctrine.  "I think it's absolutely time to pass a standard.  Now, whether it's called the Fairness Standard, whether it's called something else — I absolutely think it's time to be bringing accountability to the airwaves. I mean, our new president has talked rightly about accountability and transparency. You know, that we all have to step up and be responsible. And, I think in this case, there needs to be some accountability and standards put in place."

The Editor says...
The First Amendment exists to make the government accountable to the press — not the other way around.  Senator Stabenow is apparently hoping you don't know that.  The radio business is very competitive and every radio station depends on advertising, unless the station is owned by some entity with very deep pockets.  The advertisers won't waste their money if nobody is listening.  It has been shown repeatedly that liberal viewpoints on the radio are wildly unpopular, and can't be supported by advertising.  As a result, they are generally broadcast only on "listener supported" stations.

Obama Executive Order:  Destroy Rush Limbaugh.  The first move of President Barrack Obama was to order the White House website to be turned into a Gay Hotline (see previous post).  The 2nd major move was to order the complete destruction of his major opposition in the form of Rush Limbaugh the radio personality.  Earlier during his campaign President Obama had singled out Sean Hannity.  Limbaugh represents the one single largest economic conservative opposition to socialist control or new socialist programs.

Alinsky-ites at the Gates of Talk Radio.  Fellow citizens, if you like what ACORN did to the home mortgage industry, then you're going to just plum love what the Democrats have in mind for talk radio.  For the past few years, hardly a week goes without some Democratic Party Senator or Representative throwing out the term, "Fairness Doctrine."  Hardly a month passes without a Democrat spurning the so-called "dangers" of conservative talk radio, often invoking Rush Limbaugh by name.

Rush 1, Obama 0.  The numbers are in  — Rush Limbaugh has won a dramatic victory over the Democrats.  The White House's unprecedented assault on the talk-radio host has driven his ratings to number one in many of America's biggest, most liberal radio markets.  The anti-Limbaugh offensive was a calculated move promoted by Democratic strategists Stanley Greenberg and James Carville to make Rush a new conservative bogeyman, in the same way they stigmatized Newt Gingrich in the 1990s.

The 'Shut Up' Doctrine.  With the mega-pork, er, stimulus bill done, Democrats will now turn to regulating political speech they don't like.  That is, they're revving up to resurrect the so-called Fairness Doctrine.  Created in 1949, the doctrine required broadcast radio and TV outlets (then relatively few in number) to present balanced viewpoints on issues.  The FCC repealed it in 1987, noting the dramatically expanded media landscape of the intervening four decades allowed sufficient competition of ideas.

Acting FCC Chair Sees Government Role in Pushing 'Media Diversity'.  Acting Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Copps says he doesn't support bringing back the controversial Fairness Doctrine, but he does think government has a role in enforcing media "diversity."  That role includes re-examining licensing and other regulations for radio stations — including AM stations dominated by talk radio — to make them "more reflective" of public interests.

47% Oppose Fairness Doctrine, But 51% Think Congress Likely To Bring It Back.  Just 38% of U.S. voters think that the government should require all radio stations to offer equal amounts of conservative and liberal political commentary.  Forty-seven percent (47%) oppose government-imposed political balance on radio stations, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.  Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure which course is better.

Rep. Waxman Wants to Apply Censorship Doctrine to Internet.  If Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) is not trying to investigate conservatives, he is trying to squelch their voices.  Waxman has jumped into the so-called Fairness Doctrine discussion as of late.  Waxman, however, has added another dimension to the issue... the internet.

Obama's Enemies List.  On Election Day, Senator Chuck Schumer likened conservative talk radio to pornography and argued it should be regulated.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorsed speech restrictions more than once during the election season.  Senators Harry Reid, Dick Durbin and John Kerry have also advocated various limits to political speech.  Senator Debbie Stabenow assured a liberal radio talk show host that regulating conservative speech is imminent.  House Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman is reportedly working on speech restrictions with acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps. ... The public may be very surprised at the lengths the Obama Administration may pursue to silence critics.

ACORN Pushes Return of Fairness Doctrine.  ACORN — a favorite of our Community Organizer in Chief — has a new agenda.  Which is really part of the old agenda:  getting Democrats elected.  What Democrats fear most, and what many conservatives value most highly, is talk radio.  Its political punch is conservatives' biggest weapon in the war of ideas.  And, naturally, ACORN wants to kill it by restoring the old "fairness doctrine."

Clinton joins government censors on pitching the Fairness Doctrine.  Bill Clinton, easily among the most immature, do-nothing presidents the United States has ever had, really ought to quit buzzing around the nation on behalf of speech-suppression and self-aggrandizement.  He's against the First Amendment, you know.  Wants to bag the thing.  Toss it overboard.  Sure, he and other Democrats who speak glibly of restoring the Fairness Doctrine say it's balance they want on radio programs, and no doubt it's the kind of balance that would put Rush Limbaugh out of business.

Senate bars FCC from revisiting Fairness Doctrine.  The Senate has barred federal regulators from reviving a policy, abandoned two decades ago, that required balanced coverage of issues on public airwaves.

Senate tunes out Fairness Doctrine, 87-11.  The Senate voted Thursday in favor of an amendment to the District of Columbia voting-rights bill that would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from reinstating the so-called Fairness Doctrine, which critics say would decimate conservative talk radio.  The Senate passed the measure 87-11.

This Is Way Bigger Than Rush.  The Democrats, along with those on the right who seem more worried about incurring the disdain of the wrongheaded left than of their fellow patriots, are feverishly promoting their Saul Alinsky-inspired scheme to demonize and divide their most effective political opponents.  What would be amusing, were matters not so gravely serious today, is the utter juvenile transparency in the liberals' efforts to vilify Rush Limbaugh.

Rush to judgment:  A media hopelessly divided.  It was a rare and much-anticipated public appearance of the man so powerful that President Obama singled him out for destruction in his administration's first days. ... It was an address that could have altered the election had it been delivered early last fall by any Republican presidential candidate.

The unfairness of a Fairness Doctrine.  [Scroll down]  A new Fairness Doctrine, which could be imposed either by legislation or through FCC rule changes, wouldn't achieve more balance.  Rather, it would obliterate political talk radio.  If a station ran a popular conservative show — say, Hugh Hewitt's — it would face pressure to run a liberal alternative, even though almost all left-leaning efforts to date have failed to capture either listeners or advertising revenue.

Is This the New 'Fairness' Man?  Obama administration strategy for diluting the power of conservative talk radio is becoming clearer:  talk down the "fairness doctrine," a lightning-rod term sure to mobilize the Right, and talk up the prospect of more minority ownership of radio stations.  The latter will achieve the Left's ultimate goal of shifting licenses away from networks who air conservative talk and toward minority owners who will broadcast liberal programing.

Citing 'Diversity,' Obama Admin Sides with Leftist Grievance Group.  Arbitron came up with a pager-esque device called the Portable People Meter (PPM).  This gadget automatically tracks to where the radio dial is tuned, thereby virtually eliminating human error and the ability to cheat.  Obviously, this is far more accurate way to establish who is listening to whom, right?  If you do find this to be a self-evident truth, you are not a master of the obvious, you are — according to the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) — a racist bigot.

Obama's War on Talk Radio.  What is really at work here is an effort by the FCC to stack the deck to help left-wing and minority stations earn higher advertising revenues than those to which their real market share would entitle them.  Solicitous of the financial viability of its liberal allies on radio and anxious to undermine the balance sheets of conservative stations, the FCC is lending itself to the president's political agenda.

Democrats seek financial rescue of minority-owned broadcasters.  High-ranking House Democrats are urging the Treasury Department to prop up minority-owned broadcasters suffering from a lack of capital and lost advertising revenue amid the economic slump.  House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) is leading an effort to convince Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to take "decisive action" by extending credit to this sector of the broadcasting industry.

The FCC's Covert Mission to 'Balance' Broadcast Media Ownership.  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?  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.

The Unfairness of Reviving the Fairness Doctrine.  At issue is not simply the imposition of "equal time" for diverse viewpoints, but the more fundamental question of state control of "so-called local content, diversity-of-ownership, and public-interest rules" churned out by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandarins.

Megaphone Envy and the Fairness Doctrine.  The way the leftists and liberals go on about conservative talk radio, what they call our "megaphones," one would suspect that they had a bad case of megaphone envy.  They make it sound that somehow conservatives and their capitalist lackeys have created a monopoly over the radio spectrum, cutting off and drowning out the left's political points of view that otherwise would surely prevail in the court of public opinion, if only the "People" had the chance to hear them.  However, the facts presented [in this article] suggest otherwise.  There is an active progressive radio network broadcasting today, even if a commercial version, Air America, failed to survive financially.  The premier owner of progressive radio stations in the US is the Pacifica Foundation.  Founded in 1949 in Berkeley, California with the explicit intent of spreading a pacifist message through radio broadcasting...

Silencing the Opposition.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, at a June breakfast for reporters sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, took a bold position on whether government should resume regulating political speech on the radio.  "Do you personally support revival of the Fairness Doctrine," asked John Gizzi, political editor for Human Events.  "Yes," said Pelosi.  While this declaration was little noted in the mainstream media, it sent shock waves through the conservative blogosphere.

Free Speech Fades in America.  There is growing alarm among talk radio personalities and executives nationwide as the Obama administration embeds socialistic values into the American mainstream.  Thanks to President Reagan, broadcasters have been free from the Orwellian Fairness Doctrine for over twenty years.  The number of talk stations has grown from 125 to now over 2000 thanks to his great wisdom of repealing this doctrine which muzzled free speech.

'Fairness' at NPR:  There's a huge hole in all of the public discussion about the reimposition of a "Fairness Doctrine" or a return to "localism" on the talk-radio format:  What about National Public Radio (NPR)? ... Why no Fairness Doctrine attention to NPR?  It is because those preaching "fairness" on the radio are hypocrites.

Speaker Pelosi's Latest Move to Regulate the News.  While clearly there are serious issues engulfing the newspaper industry, in San Francisco and elsewhere, the problem isn't one of anti-trust violations.  Pelosi has made her feelings known.  She would like a return to the Fairness Doctrine.  This is a nose under the tent.  Yes, the industry is changing.  It has been for years.  But other than perhaps some limits on one company owning too many TV, radio and newspapers in a single market, the government really should have no role in the business of news.

Behold a New 'Fairness' Doctrine.  President Barack Obama's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released the names of the thirty-one members of their Advisory Committee On Diversity For Communications In The Digital Age.  This May 7 gathering is made up of a laundry list of left-wing grievance groups, with a smattering of radio and television companies included to break up the monotony.

Fearing Our Government.  Of the dozens of reasons to be concerned about the ever-growing and unchecked power of the federal government under President Barack Obama, the upcoming assault against conservative talk radio may surpass them all.  It's not enough that liberals dominate the executive and legislative branches, liberals are poised to control the judiciary, and, at liberals' direction, government is absorbing ownership and control of large chunks of the private sector.  They must also shut up the opposition.

Rethinking the Fairness Doctrine:  A real Fairness Doctrine could actually help if it included all television and radio broadcasts, print media, Hollywood films, and Internet sites, and further provided that:
 •  Mainstream media were required to employ the same number of conservative and liberal reporters, editors, and production staff;
 •  To counter films like W., Hollywood should produce films that highlight the frailties of a Democrat president, such as the sexual perversion that drove President Clinton to commit perjury;
 •  For every skit in which Tina Fey ridicules Governor Sarah Palin, SNL should run a skit exposing the hypocrisy, lying and muddled thinking of Nancy Pelosi.

'Hush Rush' Fairness Doctrine Being Repackaged as 'Localism'.  No need to worry about the Fairness Doctrine coming back.  It will merely be repackaged in the much worse form of "localism" or "programming diversity" whose ultimate goal is to destroy diversity of opinion.

Incoming FCC Chairman: No Censorship.  There was good news coming out of the Senate Commerce Committee Tuesday [6/16/2009].  Julius Genachowski, President Obama's choice to head the Federal Communications Committee [sic] made a strong statement that he does not favor censorship of the broadcast airwaves.

Fairness Doctrine, Latin American Style.  Hugo Chavez, darling of American leftists, is moving to silence all opposition to his socialist regime.  His government has revoked the licenses of 34 radio stations that didn't toe the socialist line.  [Pictured in this article], a handful of brave demonstrators protest the closure outside one of the stations that lost its broadcast license.

New FCC 'Chief Diversity Officer' Co-Wrote Liberal Group's Report on Talk Radio.  Doctor of Jurisprudence [Mark] Lloyd is far more than merely a communications attorney.  He was at one time a Senior Fellow at the uber-liberal Center for American Progress (CAP), for whom he co-wrote a June 2007 report entitled "The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio."  Which rails against the fact that the American people overwhelmingly prefer to listen to conservative (and Christian) talk radio rather than the liberal alternative, and suggests ways the federal government can remedy this free-market created "problem."

The Left's New Threats to Silence the Right:  The Left still wants to reimpose the Censorship Doctrine — also mis-known as the "Fairness" Doctrine.  But they now have even more weapons with which they can silence the Right.  And now they are seeking to expand their censorship to the internet, and beyond!  Obama's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can use different regulations — like "localism" and "media diversity" — to achieve the exact same "Fairness" Doctrine-esque results — silencing the conservative and Christian talk radio hosts we love and count on every day.

FCC's Chief Diversity Officer Wants Private Broadcasters to Fund Public Broadcasting.  Mark Lloyd, newly appointed Chief Diversity Officer of the Federal Communications Commission, has called for making private broadcasting companies pay licensing fees equal to their total operating costs to allow public broadcasting outlets to spend the same on their operations as the private companies do.

The Fairness Doctrine is Dead, But Here Comes the Chief Diversity Officer.  Mark Lloyd has recently been appointed "Chief Diversity Officer" at the Federal Communications Commission. Conservative groups believe his installation is merely another way to impose the dangerous principles contained in the Fairness Doctrine.  Lloyd is a longtime Democrat activist who has strategized about ways to censor conservative media under the guise of "local accountability."

FCC's Diversity Czar.  Mark Lloyd is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s Chief Diversity Officer, a.k.a. the Diversity Czar.  And he has in a recently discovered bit of archive audio goodness detailed his rather disturbing perspective on race, power and the American system. ... We have said repeatedly that Lloyd is a man myopically focused on race.  What is revealed here is more than just that.

Sen Grassley's Letter to FCC Chair:  Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley has publicly released a letter he penned to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski regarding the July 29th announced appointment of new FCC Associate General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer Mark Lloyd.  In the press release accompanying the missive, the Senator said he was "concerned with the appointment due to Lloyd's writings on political talk radio and the Fairness Doctrine."

FCC's 'Diversity' Chief May Use 'Back Door' to Regulate Talk Radio.  In a letter sent last week to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Sen. Charles Grassley (R.-Iowa) said he is concerned that the FCC's new "diversity" director, Mark Lloyd, may seek to regulate talk radio through the "back door."

If ObamaCare Flops, Will Calls for the Fairness Doctrine Return?  As each day passes and President Barack Obama's health care proposal faces more and more opposition, some of the talking heads that appear on the cable news networks are looking for a "boogeyman" to blame for allegedly ginning up backlash.  And that "boogeyman" has been conservative talk radio.

Inspired by Saul Alinsky...
FCC 'Diversity' Chief Calls for 'Confrontational Movement'.  Mark Lloyd, chief diversity officer of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), called for a "confrontational movement" to combat what he claimed was control of the media by international corporations and to re-establish the regulatory power of government through robust public broadcasting and a more powerful FCC.

Bozell to FTC:  Keep Your Paws Out of the News Media.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced plans for a two-day workshop in December to examine the state of the news industry — which could lead to recommendations for legislation to regulate print, television, and even online media on everything from changes in anti-trust land copyright law to media tax breaks.  Some of the proposals being pushed by opinion leaders include direct government funding of media outlets...

FTC Plans to Study Journalism's Woes — and That's a Problem.  The Federal Trade Commission is scheduling public workshops on the media — two full days to examine the problems of journalism.  Please permit me to be subtle:  What a DUMB idea!!!  This is the Federal Trade Commission we're talking about.

FCC Diversity Chief Says Republican Communications Policies Hurt Civil Rights.  Mark Lloyd, chief diversity officer at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), claimed that communications policies enacted by Republicans negatively impacted the civil rights of minorities.  Lloyd made the claim in a 1998 essay he wrote while working for the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.

Obama's Diversity Czar:  Obama's new Federal Communications Commission Diversity Czar Mark Lloyd is a big fan of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez and his Soviet-style control over the media. ... Lloyd has his own Soviet-style plan to shut down talk radio.  This new FCC plan would foster "competition" by implementing a tax equal to 100 percent of a talk radio station's operating budget to fund its left-wing competition.  Yet another far-left radical appointed to a place of power by the President — this time targeting your freedom of speech.

Chavez comes to the FCC.  If for a moment you thought the Obama administration was going to sit there placidly while some on talk radio were so bold as to criticize its actions, think again, because here comes Mark Lloyd, the new diversity officer of the Federal Communications Commission and a man with a mission.  It's not a pretty mission, not if you value free speech, but it is a mission made clear by Mr. Lloyd's own words.  There he was in 2008, participating in a conference on "media reform," telling us what a wonderful leader Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was...

Obama picks a fight with talk radio — and loses.  The strategy early on in the administration was to mock talkers like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.  Remember the weeks of discussion over whether Limbaugh was the head of the GOP?  That was back in the days when the White House was feeling invincible and thought it was a grand idea to make the idea of making Republicans affirm or reject every statement Limbaugh made in 15 hours of weekly pontification.

New Media, Same Fake 'Fairness' Tactics from Left.  Having failed to achieve its ends with the Fairness Doctrine, the left is now moving into alternative means through so-called 'localism' in broadcast media and 'net neutrality' on the web.  Both in traditional and new media, the left is attempting to tight its grip on the news, possibly asphyxiating the few bastions of center-right news and information that exist.

Czar wants parallel government broadcasting system.  President Obama's diversity Czar at the Federal Communications Commission proposes adding a vast public broadcasting system to the growing list of Obama's parallel institutions.  Mark Lloyd ... proposes what would become a huge federal broadcasting system and yet another Obama parallel institution.  It would join the "civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded" as the U.S. military that candidate Obama proposed, and the cadre of Czar advisors that parallels the Cabinet Secretaries.

'Diversity czar' takes heat over remarks.  President Obama's diversity czar at the Federal Communications Commission has spoken publicly of getting white media executives to "step down" in favor of minorities, prescribed policies to make liberal talk radio more successful, and described Hugo Chavez's rise to power in Venezuela "an incredible revolution."  Mark Lloyd's provocative comments — most made during a tenure at the liberal Center for American Progress think tank — are giving fodder to critics who say Mr. Obama has appointed too many "czars" to government positions that don't require congressional approval.

When will Diversity Czar Lloyd Appear Before Congress?   [Mark] Lloyd has a long and troubling track record of virulent opposition to the First Amendment, particularly as it pertains to the rights of conservative and Christian talk radio hosts and stations.  It is time he discuss his views with someone besides fellow Leftist Fellows at liberal think tanks and on Socialist media "reform" panels.

FCC Won't Allow 'Diversity' Chief Mark Lloyd to be Interviewed about Public Policy Views.  The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) won't allow its Chief Diversity Officer Mark Lloyd to be interviewed by the news media about his views and past statements on federal communications policy.  Lloyd, who cites the radical author Saul Alinsky as an inspiration, has argued that public broadcasting outlets in the United States should be funded on a level equal to the funding of private broadcasting companies — with the money coming from licensing fees levied on private broadcasters by the government.

FCC 'Diversity' Chief Calls for 'Confrontational Movement'.  Mark Lloyd, chief diversity officer of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), called for a "confrontational movement" to combat what he claimed was control of the media by international corporations and to re-establish the regulatory power of government through robust public broadcasting and a more powerful FCC.

If You Like FCC Diversity Czar Mark Lloyd and Van Jones, You'll Love Robert McChesney.  With current FCC Chief Diversity Officer ("Diversity Czar") Mark Lloyd and the Leftist, George Soros-funded Center for American Progress, Free Press co-authored the 2007 report The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio.  Which calls for the FCC to enforce exceedingly broad (we would say warped) new definitions of the media diversity and localism FCC broadcast license requirements.  These new definitions and their enactment are intended to force conservative and Christian talk show hosts off the air, to be replaced by those of a Leftist bent.

Diversity Czar Lloyd and Marxist McChesney's Censorship Dream.  With all that we have thus far seen, things look quite grim from a free speech, free market perspective.  The groundwork for government information totalitarianism — favored by people like Hugo Chavez-loving FCC "Diversity Czar" Mark Lloyd and Marxist "media reform"-outfit Free Press founder Robert McChesney — is being laid in the Plan being crafted by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

Obama's Doubletalk on Political Dissent.  In China, O proclaimed himself "a big supporter of non-censorship."  But his FCC "diversity" czar, Mark Lloyd, is bent on re-engineering public airwaves by redistributing free speech rights from conservative haves who earned their success to minority have-nots who demand talk radio entitlements in the name of "media justice."

Democrats trying to criminalize citizen journalism.  An amendment to a bill currently being considered by the Senate would deny ordinary citizens doing vital investigations in the public interest the same legal protections as professional journalists.  If it were to become law, the change could significantly stifle important citizen journalism efforts similar to the recent ACORN exposé.

Kucinich's 'Fairness Doctrine' Threat To O'Reilly.  During George W.'s administration, liberals loved to wail over the supposed — but never demonstrated — suppression of free speech.  But now we have the spectacle of a member of the Dem majority warning a leading representative of Fox News to stop celebrating his network's success — under threat of reinstitution of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine."

Heads Up Talk Radio:  The President's Foot Soldiers Have Your Number.  Newsmax first reported that Organizing for America, the community organizing outfit under the auspices of the Democratic National Committee, has launched a plan to inundate talk radio shows with callers.  The action will occur when a particular radio show is discussing ObamaCare.  This is an extension of OFA's and Health Care for America Now's campaign to flood last summer's town hall meetings with union members and left-wing activists supporting Obama's government takeover of health care.

Ed Schultz Calls for 'Socialism' of Airwaves With Return of Censorship Doctrine  ... aka, the "Fairness Doctrine."  And since the sole purpose of reviving this deservedly moribund government policy would be to silence conservative voices on radio, I avoid its Orwellian title.  On the same day President Obama signed his budget-busting health bill into law, Ed Schultz seized on the next opportunity for government control, one without a remote connection to reforming health care.

Forbes:  Is a Chavez-Style Media Crackdown Coming to America?  "Many of [Hugo] Chavez's most ardent supporters here in the U.S. come out of the 'media reform' movement, which believes that our corporate media has been thoroughly co-opted by capitalists bent on destroying the benevolent leadership of the likes of Chavez.  They think that our capitalist-plagued media world is in dire need of reform."  So ominously wrote Steve Forbes Wednesday [3/24/2010] in an article guaranteed to make right-thinking Americans from coast to coast wonder what's next in the Left's plans to control the press.

Sick Thinking From 'Mainstream' Leftists.  The Obama left, realizing it has really stepped in it with the American people by cramming Obamacare down our throats, has decided to blunt the backlash against it by tarring, yet again, mainstream conservatives as racists, bigots, homophobes and violent.  Its tactics are objectively despicable. ... With the groundwork rationale established — that conservative "hate speech" incites violence — liberals will be a step closer to using laws and regulations to emasculate or silence conservative talk radio.

"Socialize" Equals Censorship:  The Government Takeover of the Media.  The Federal Communications Commissions Chief Diversity Officer, Mark Lloyd, wants government to socialize the media. ... Lloyd advocates billions in new taxes on the private media, while the Founders reviled the 1765 Stamp Act, which sparked the chain of events climaxing in the Revolution, in large measure because it taxed the press.  Lloyd calls for federal regulations over commercial broadcast and cable programs regarding political advertising and commentary, educational programs for children and even the number of commercials they can run, while the Founders solemnly declared that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech.

Love, Fear, and Tyranny.  We the people must remove the tyrants and preserve the Constitution.  But we must take care.  We find ourselves taunted by holier-than-thou Democrats and soulless media puppets.  "Violent right-wing extremism" would be the perfect excuse for banning the voice of liberty from the airwaves with an emergency "fairness doctrine."  So what can freedom-loving, traditional Americans do?

The Left's War on Free Speech.  The left displays a very curious attitude toward the rights of different sorts of speakers.  "Hate speech" is almost always directed against the lonely individual conservative, who has no wealth or power to protect him.  Conservatives have been noting for forty-one years that government licensed television network channels lie about conservatives, defame conservative leaders, and construct crude caricatures of conservatives as a group.  Worse, for most of those forty-one years, the networks scrupulously avoided criticizing each other for ideological bigotry, acting like a true monopoly.

Barack Obama's FCC Information Police.  [Scroll down]  Witness the creation of yet another contrived "right" — the right of all members of all communities to equal access to all communications media.  Also, it's impossible to ignore Obama's and the FCC's misleading use of the term "democracy" to depict America's representative democratic republic.  Exactly what does the "communications renaissance... serving democracy fully" mean?  The FCC may have in mind the public's participation in station licensing as proposed by [Mark] Lloyd in 2007.  America could be headed into a state of affairs in which popular vote determines who can operate private sector radio stations.  Voters could be "nudged" in specific directions using specific government freebies funneled into specific communities.

FCC Says It Has 'No Record' of Any Communication to or from its Chairman Mentioning Limbaugh.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says it has "no records" of any communication either "to or from" its chairman that mentions Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, Laura Ingraham or Michael Savage.  The FCC made the declaration in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by CNSNews.com that sought all its records reflecting communications from FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski mentioning the popular radio hosts.

Groups want FCC to police hate speech on talk radio, cable news networks.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is being urged to monitor "hate speech" on talk radio and cable broadcast networks.  A coalition of more than 30 organizations argue in a letter to the FCC that the Internet has made it harder for the public to separate the facts from bigotry masquerading as news.

The relentless effort to control the news.  The Obama administration, and some in Congress, are looking for ways that government might exert more control over free speech, and particularly, over the press.  Since 1987, when the Fairness Doctrine was abandoned by the Federal Communications Commission, every Democratic majority in Congress has tried to restore it.  Through its power to license broadcast stations, the Fairness Doctrine gave the federal government the power to force radio and television stations to also air content that countered opinions and points of view the government didn't like.  The sad result of the Fairness Doctrine was a chilling effect on all controversial opinions.

The Real Radio Hatemongers.  The so-called "news" media have spent much of the past two decades demonizing the rhetoric of conservative radio talk show hosts as mean-spirited, divisive or a menace to civil discourse.  But these same journalists — who gleefully castigate Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and other conservatives — are silent about the vile and vicious rhetoric that spews from the Left's leading radio talk show hosts. ... If the establishment media were really interested in cleansing the airwaves of hateful rhetoric, they would not confine their criticism to conservative hosts.  Instead, they would — and they must — make an equal effort to expose the nastiness that runs rampant on left-wing talk radio.  Unless and until they do, they are participating in an act of journalistic hypocrisy.

FCC commissioner supports troubling new regulations on the airwaves.  'What we have had in recent years is an aberration in which we've had no oversight of media."  So says FCC commissioner Michael Copps, who is now advocating the institution of a quadrennial "public-value test" for broadcasters. ... This has raised speculation on the right that Copps hopes to effect that perennial leftist dream — the revivification of the Fairness Doctrine, which from 1928 until 1987 allowed government regulators to carefully police radio stations to ensure equal allocation of time to opposing political viewpoints, and whose destruction during the Reagan years permitted the emergence of talk radio as we now know it.

The Ultimate Troll: Democrats Plan For Media Management.  The federal government must never be given control of the internet and the airwaves.

The "Fairness Doctrine" is Unconstitutional.  The Democrats ... are now planning to try to re-enact the old "Fairness Doctrine" that previously proved not only unworkable, but unconstitutional.  Their purpose is to try to eliminate the freedom to speak of those who oppose them.  Specifically they want to eliminate talk radio programs, such as those of Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, and Michael Medved.  They have also previously been trying to get a limit on the troops overseas listening to one of their favorite programs, the Rush Limbaugh talk show.  Another pain in their side they hope to kill is Christian broadcasting, which this would accomplish.

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Updated June 3, 2024.

©2024 by Andrew K. Dart