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Obama and the Fairness Doctrine

Will Obama flip-flop on equal time requirements in broadcasting?

by
Guy Benson

Bio

September 25, 2008 - 8:44 am
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On August 27, respected radio talker Milt Rosenberg invited National Review journalist and Ethics and Public Policy Center Senior Fellow, Stanley Kurtz, on to his nightly program in Chicago. For months, Kurtz had been conducting thorough research into Barack Obama’s extensive ties to the radical Left, including the fraudulent get-out-the-vote group, ACORN. Kurtz’s latest project involved investigating Obama’s connection with unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers; specifically, their collaboration on a left-wing education “reform” organization called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.

Hours before the show aired, Rosenberg’s producer, Zack Christenson, called Obama’s Windy City headquarters to offer airtime to challenge Kurtz’s claims. The Obama campaign declined, opting instead to fire off a hysterical Obama Action Wire email to supporters, encouraging them to inundate Rosenberg’s station with complaints and demands that the Kurtz interview be axed. The email branded the mild-mannered, Harvard-educated Kurtz a “right wing hatchet man,” and a “slimy character assassin.” Almost immediately, enraged callers began bombarding the radio station’s switchboard. Their prevailing message was summed up by one woman, who angrily stammered, “We just want this to stop!”

A few weeks later, author David Freddoso was a featured guest on the same Chicago radio show. This time, the offending guest was actually paired with a liberal sparring partner, yet the Obama campaign nonetheless saw to it that its army of cyber-goons disrupted the interview. This time, the Obama Action Wire email dug deeper into its barrel of melodramatic verbiage: Freddoso, author of the meticulously-researched book The Case Against Barack Obama, was nothing more than a “vicious” partisan hack who peddled in “baseless lies” and “hate-mongering.” Obamabots were urged to “confront” Freddoso before “this goes any further.” Yes, enough with the scrutiny and research! Once again, the phones lit up.

In both cases, Obama’s followers were instructed to report their guerrilla tactics back to the campaign through a special dedicated page on the campaign’s official website. (By all means, inform us of your thuggish behavior perpetrated on Barack’s behalf! We’ll add you to our “nice” list.)

When it’s not busy mobilizing the virtual masses to interfere with legitimate political discourse, the Obama campaign is dispatching attorneys to stifle dissent. Last month, the Obama camp asked the Justice Department to go after a political group that created an advertisement highlighting Obama’s longtime friendship and working relationship with Bill Ayers. They argued the ad — the contents of which are undeniably true — violated federal election law. The group behind the spot is fighting back, decrying Obama’s litigious reaction as “threats” and “intimidation.”

Meanwhile, a federal judge in Virginia has blocked an anti-Obama issue advertisement from airing. Although the Obama campaign isn’t directly involved with, and won’t comment on, the legal battle, the New York Times is delighted. The independent organization “trashes” the Democratic candidate, the paper editorialized, by daring to employ “an Obama-like voice pledging to make taxpayers pay for abortions, help minors conceal abortions from their parents, and legalize late-term abortions.”

Of course, this is precisely what Obama himself promised to do when he told a Planned Parenthood gathering that signing the hard-left Freedom of Choice Act, which would erase almost all restrictions on abortion, would be his very first act as president. But who cares about the facts? Just shut up! As Ramesh Ponnuru points out, “There’s a reason the Times doesn’t try to back up its claim that this organization is lying; it can’t. No wonder it would rather the group be silenced.” The pro-life organization is appealing the decision.

But rest assured, Obama “does not support reimposing the Fairness Doctrine.” Don’t trust your lying eyes. Trust The One.

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Guy Benson is a radio talk show host on Chicago's AM 560 WIND. He is a regular columnist for Townhall, and contributes to National Review Online's Media Blog.
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