Hey FTC, FCC: As Long As We're On the Subject of 'Hate Speech…'

Various lefty organizations have petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to start monitoring “hate speech” on radio and on the internet. According to this story, the groups include:

Free Press, the Media Access Project, Common Cause, the Prometheus Radio Project, and the League of United Latin American Citizens. Their statement, filed in the Commission’s Future of Media proceeding, comes in support of a petition to the agency submitted over a year ago by the National Hispanic Media Coalition.

“Hate speech against vulnerable groups is pervasive in our media–it is not limited to a few isolated instances or any one media platform,” NHMC warned the FCC in 2009. “Indeed, many large mainstream media corporations regularly air hate speech, and it is prolific on the Internet. Hate speech takes various forms, from words advocating violence to those creating a climate of hate towards vulnerable groups. Cumulatively, hate speech creates an environment of hate and prejudice that legitimizes violence against its targets.”


Such anti-First Amendment nonsense — one could argue that “hate speech” is precisely what’s protected by the First Amendment; the difference between freedom of expression and incitement to violence seems to elude these people — is just part of a larger front war against free speech that the left seems determined to open up, and which the right must oppose vigorously. To give even an inch on the bedrock principle of the First Amendment is to admit defeat, since there can be no compromise on “no law.”

hate speech

At the same the Federal Trade Commission has released a “staff discussion” on reinventing journalism that, as Mark Tapscott notes in the Washington Examiner:

Everybody who wants independent journalism had better wake up to these three facts about what is going on:

* Journalists must understand that there is no way the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of the press will survive if the federal government regulates the news industry as envisioned by the FTC. Those who accept at face value protests to the contrary or the professions of pure intentions by advocates of government takeover of the news business are, at best, incredibly naive.

* Journalists who remain silent or apathetic about what is being prepared by the FTC for their profession become unintentional accessories in the strangulation of independent journalism.

* Journalists who support or assist, for any reason, the FTC process are accomplices in the strangulation of independent journalism.

My old friend and colleague Jeff Jarvis, one of the earliest and most astute MSM journalists who adopted the Internet as the way forward, also sounds the alarm:

The Federal Trade Commission has been nosing around how to save journalism and in its just-posted “staff discussion draft” on “potential policy recommendations to support the reinvention of journalism,” it makes its bias clear: The FTC defines journalism as what newspapers do and aligns itself with protecting the old power structure of media.

If the FTC truly wanted to reinvent journalism, the agency would instead align itself with journalism’s disruptors. But there’s none of that here. The clearest evidence: the word “blog” is used but once in 35 pages of text and then only parenthetically as an example of buying ads on topical sites (“e.g., a soccer blog…”); otherwise, it’s only a footnote. The only mention of investing in technology — the agent of disruption — comes on the 35th page (suggesting R&D for tools such as “improved electronic note-taking”). There’s not a hint of seeing a new ecosystem of news emerge – the ecosystem we study and support at CUNY — except as the entry of nonprofit entities that, by their existence, give up on the hope the market will sustain news.

See for yourself:


Adopting the Rahm Emanuel principle of never letting a good crisis go to waste, the Obama administration is clearly using the travails of the dinosaur media as an opportunity to “save” it — by destroying press freedom and putting those pesky blogs and websites like this one out of business.You can bet they’ll have have plenty of useful idiots in the MSM and in academe on their side in this endeavor.

But hey, as long as we’re on the subject of hate speech and the legacy media, what about this oldie-but goodie — from the left, naturally:

I hate President George W. Bush. There, I said it. I think his policies rank him among the worst presidents in U.S. history. And, while I’m tempted to leave it at that, the truth is that I hate him for less substantive reasons, too. I hate the inequitable way he has come to his economic and political achievements and his utter lack of humility (disguised behind transparently false modesty) at having done so. His favorite answer to the question of nepotism–“I inherited half my father’s friends and all his enemies”–conveys the laughable implication that his birth bestowed more disadvantage than advantage. He reminds me of a certain type I knew in high school–the kid who was given a fancy sports car for his sixteenth birthday and believed that he had somehow earned it. I hate the way he walks–shoulders flexed, elbows splayed out from his sides like a teenage boy feigning machismo. I hate the way he talks–blustery self-assurance masked by a pseudo-populist twang. I even hate the things that everybody seems to like about him. I hate his lame nickname-bestowing– a way to establish one’s social superiority beneath a veneer of chumminess (does anybody give their boss a nickname without his consent?). And, while most people who meet Bush claim to like him, I suspect that, if I got to know him personally, I would hate him even more.

Etc., etc. That would be Jonathan Chait, writing in The New Republic. Now that’s my kind of hate speech: open, honest and unafraid. But you can bet he’d never write something like that about President Obama. Nor, if the new rules go through, would he be allowed to.

Amazing how well synergy works when you do it right.


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