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EDITORIAL: Obama appointee: Freedom is exaggerated

- The Washington Times - Friday, January 22, 2010

Yesterday's huge Supreme Court victory for free-speech rights in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission serves as a warning to the Obama administration on other speech-related issues. Several Obama appointees have denigrated the importance of the First Amendment, and one presidential appointee, Mark Lloyd, holds views fundamentally at odds with the Supreme Court and America's whole tradition of protecting free speech.

Mr. Lloyd was President Obama's choice to fill a newly created position at the Federal Communications Commission called the "chief diversity officer." When a government agency starts to define what sorts of speech do and don't qualify as "diversity," it's time to worry about your freedom - especially when Mr. Lloyd is in charge.

Conservative groups have been sounding the alarm about Mr. Lloyd for several months, and rightly so. Consider Mr. Lloyd's 2006 book, "Prologue to a Farce: Communication and Democracy in America," in which he calls for a "confrontational movement" against private media. "It should be clear by now that my focus here is not freedom of speech or the press," he admits. "This freedom is all too often an exaggeration. At the very least, blind references to freedom of speech or the press serve as a distraction from the critical examination of other communications policies."

As reported by the Media Research Center, Mr. Lloyd in 2005 said, "We have really, truly good white people in important positions. And the fact of the matter is that there are a limited number of those positions. And unless we are conscious of the need to have more people of color, gays, other people in those positions, we will not change the problem. We're in a position where you have to say who is going to step down so someone else can have power."

Does Mr. Obama agree with Mr. Lloyd that white broadcasters should be forced by government to "step down so someone else can have power"? Mr. Lloyd, like the president, is an open disciple of radical community organizer Saul Alinsky. While writing that the "true opposition" is "the [private] broadcasters," Mr. Lloyd repeatedly cited Alinsky while advocating hugely punitive fees on private broadcasters in order to finance expanded government-sponsored broadcasting.

Yesterday's Supreme Court ruling stands as a rebuke to Mr. Lloyd's dangerous creed. There's nothing exaggerated about the importance of the First Amendment.