Where does one begin when confronted with an article like this, from The Hill? James Clyburn House Demorcatic Party Whip (D-SC), Barney Frank, House Finances Committee Chairperson (D-MA) and Charlie Rangel, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman (D-NY) argue that minority-owned broadcasters are sound businesses, but that the recession could undermine the government’s efforts to diversify the airwaves.
Does this not disturb anyone, that the Government has an official policiy of “diversifying the airways”? It obviously refers to racial or other “officially approved” minorities and not ideological or philospophical or politicial minorites. The underlying assumption is that racial minorities or other state sanctioned minorities have monolithic interests that are not addressed by “majority”-owned interests and are somehow entitled to be subsidized by tax-payers. What blatant racism is implied by this statement! It assumes that a ‘black-owned” broadcaster would air shows that would be of benefit to something called ‘The Black Community”, or “The Urban Community” or the “Minority Community”, or “The Hispanic Community”, etc. Does Charlie Rangel presume that he, Condolizza Rice, Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, Malcom X, Louis Farikan and Michelle Obama all have the same taste in music, in politics, in, well, anything? Because they are “black”?
Of course not! To subsidize “minority”-owned broadcasters accomplishes several things. The most ominous thing it does is reinforce the assumption that the Government has a legitimate interest in leading or “improving” society. It does not. We elect representitives to further our interests, not to change them! Those who presume that they know best and are “obliged” to be the “vanguard” of social change are just the latest in the never ending parade of Utopians who are eager to Love The People to death. So in the theoretical sense, even assuming the best of motives Rangel et al. are dangerously deluded.
Which is worse, doing the wrong thing for the “right reason”, or doing the wrong thing for the wrong reason? The former leads to Pol Pot, Hitler, and all the altruists willing to break the neccessary eggs for the omelet. They are the truly frightening ones. Luckily the Rangels, Clyburns and the Franks are mostly (mostly!) garden variety con men. They operate under the fig leaf of Civil Rights, but basically they want the power to “help” certain individuals of minority status get an unearned benefit. They are approached by certain potential political campaign donors perhaps CEO’s of broadcasting companies that are owned by investors, who are for the majority, members of the majority (go figure!) ie not minority. They come with a Token Minority individual and make him the “Chairman of the Board”, and now all thats needed is the campaign check and presto the “minority owned broadcaster” is ready for his financial rescue please.
But the truly alarming implication is that since Diversity of the airways is legitimized by this kind of legislation it is only just a small step from declaring certain Political Opinions, or Philosophical Opinions, or Religous Opinions to be subsidized by tax-payers as well. Since they tried with “Air America” the left has been trying to break into the Talk Radio business, but the “great unwashed masses” continued to vote with their dials and elected Rush, O’Riley, Hannity, and Savage. But Charlie, Barney, and Jimmy will very soon determine that the listening audience doesn’t know whats good for them. And they, Barney and friends, will use the rsources of the Government to diversify Talk Radio.
One fine day an Americorp “Volunteer” will march into the CEO’s office at say Clear Channel, or at WABC or FOX and make an offer that better not be refused! Just like Obama forced the banks to take money that they did not want, they will either tempt or force the Broadcasters to take the “Rescue-Package”. And then comes enforced “Fairness”. Three hours of Rush that attracts millions of listeners and therefore earns huge revenues for the broadcasters will have to be balanced by three hours of say, The Al Gore Show, which will attract somewhat fewer listeners. The broadcasters will lose money for who will buy advertising time during the Al Gore Show, or The Tom Daschle Show? So it will be economically impossible to air Rush if that forces you to air Radio Algore. And there you have it, back door government regulation of speech!