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KNIGHT: In case of emergency, break the Constitution
New presidential and FCC powers provide rationale for paranoia
c “Ensure greater local accountability over radio licensing” (Page 10). The report recommends limiting licenses to just three years and forcing station owners to face community-monitoring boards. Imagine these panels stacked with “community organizers” from the Service Employees International Union.
c “Require commercial owners who fail to abide by enforceable public-interest obligations to pay a fee to support public broadcasting” (Page 11). Even though NPR’s 860 stations are partially tax-supported and claim a total weekly audience of 26 million, the report says some private-sector stations would have to pay for more public radio.
So, let’s recap: A “first-ever” presidential alert will be delivered by all major broadcast and cable media. A presidential “kill switch” is proposed for the Internet. The FCC has imposed “net neutrality” rules on an industry over which it has no authority. And a “diversity czar” at the FCC is making up rules to cripple conservative talk radio.
Given this pattern, we might want to revisit the late rocker Frank Zappa’s view when he was asked about what he thought of the U.S. government:
“I think they’re trying to take over the country.”
Robert Knight is a senior fellow with the American Civil Rights Union.
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