Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Left's Effort To Silence the New Media

Were it not for the rise of the New Media, including talk radio and the blogosphere, John Kerry would be president and a small group of leftwing media elites would still have the unchallenged ability to sway U.S. public opinion on every single issue.

The New Media's rise broke the Left's media monopoly. Ideas and political positions once mocked or ignored by the The New York Times and the "alphabet" networks that have historically danced to its leftwing tune, are now broadly disseminated by talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh and routinely discussed by the thousands of political websites that dot the internet's landscape.

Though the New Media provides people of all political persuasions the opportunity to air their views and promote their ideas, it is the political Right that has most benefited from its use.

Today 1400 talk radio stations dot the U.S., the majority of them right-leaning and patronized by those hungry to hear Conservative ideas. In comparison, leftwing talk radio has been, so far, a dismal failure.

A less lopsided but similar situation exists in the blogosphere, where the popularity and effectiveness of rightwing blogs outstrips that of their leftwing counterparts. This strongly implies that the ideas and agendas of the Right appear more palatable than those of the Left when presented in the unfettered free-wheeling format of the New Media.

The New Media has broken the Left's choke-hold on what Americans see, hear, think and believe.

Now, the Left is fighting back in the only way it effectively can; trying to change the rules of the game by pushing laws designed to tightly regulate and ultimately neuter the New Media.

In a recent City Journal article, Brian C. Anderson writes about the Soros-funded campaign that led to Congress being hoodwinked into passing the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform laws. He also exposes the growing effort by the Left to turn the current regulatory nature of the Fairness Doctrine into a set of laws tightly governing political blogs and talk radio:

"Small wonder, then, that House Democrats proposed two bills in 2005 to bring the Fairness Doctrine back - and as a law, rather than a mere agency regulation. New York Democratic representative Louise Slaughter, who introduced the first of the two bills, says that Right-ruled radio is a grave threat to American freedoms, 'a waste of good broadcast time, and a waste of our airwaves.' People 'may hear whatever they please and whatever they choose,' she tells PBS's Bill Moyers, in a statement as incoherent as it is illiberal. 'And of course they have the right to turn it off. But that's not good enough either. The fact is that they need the responsibility of the people who are licensed to use our airwaves judiciously and responsibly to call them to account if they don't.' In other words, people can't be trusted with freedom but need the supervision of a paternalist government."

Read all of Brian C. Anderson's important piece by clicking here.