Tags: FCC | Transition

FCC Transition Head May Be 'Fairness Doctrine' Fan

Tuesday, 11 Nov 2008 08:18 PM

By James Hirsen

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. FCC Transition Head May Be ‘Fairness Doctrine’ Fan
2. Carrie Underwood Down on Celebrity Politicking
3. ‘Incredible Hulk’ Captures Obama on Film
4. Sarah Palin’s Star Will Continue to Shine
5. Hollywood Suggestions for Sarah Palin
 

1. FCC Transition Head May Be ‘Fairness Doctrine’ Fan

Barack Obama’s purported pick to guide the transition of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) may not bode well for free expression in the land of liberty.

The president-elect is expected to appoint D.C. lawyer Henry Rivera as transition leader for the FCC, according to Multichannel News.

Rivera is a Democratic former commissioner who served on the FCC panel from 1981 to 1985.

Following Rivera’s resignation in 1985, President Ronald Reagan appointed Patricia Diaz Dennis, who opposed the Fairness Doctrine. The law was subsequently repealed in 1987.

The law mandates that equal time be given on broadcast airwaves to opposing political viewpoints.

As the FCC in the past was forced to admit, the Orwellian Fairness Doctrine “had the net effect of reducing rather than enhancing the discussion of controversial issues of public importance.”

After the law was repealed, talk radio became a bona fide industry.

Obama’s reported choice is no “reach across the aisle” pick. Rivera has been heralded for linking civil rights interests to communications policies.

According to the Web site of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, Rivera is chairman of the board. The group is “committed to promoting and preserving equal opportunity and civil rights in the mass media and telecommunications industries.”

He’s also a board member and general counsel for the Benton Foundation, an organization that “works to ensure that media and telecommunications serve the public interest and enhance our democracy. We pursue this mission by seeking policy solutions that support the values of access, diversity, and equity,” according to its Web site.

It all sounds an awful lot like the language used by Democrats to justify the rebirth of the Fairness Doctrine, including Democrats Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Schumer, Dennis Kucinich, Jeff Bingham and Louise Slaughter — all of whom are on record as being in support of the lopsided law. Slaughter actually already tried to bring it back.

As Feinstein complained to Fox News’ Chris Wallace, “In my view, talk radio tends to be one-sided. It also tends to be dwelling in hyperbole. It's explosive. It pushes people to, I think, extreme views without a lot of information.”


2. Carrie Underwood Down on Celebrity Politicking

Like the rest of us, Carrie Underwood watched as Oprah Winfrey, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lindsay Lohan, Matt Damon, Bruce Springsteen and Sean Combs publicly campaigned for our new president-elect, Barack Obama.

The country star didn’t much like what she saw and has voiced her opinion about fellow celebrities who use their fame to bring attention to political candidates.

“There is someone I do support, but I don't support publicly. I lose all respect for celebrities when they back a candidate,” she told TV Guide.

According to Underwood, voters ought to make up their own minds rather than listen to the recommendations of the famous.

When celebrity endorsements are taken too seriously, Underwood suggested that “it's saying that the American public isn't smart enough to make their own decisions.”

She then noted, “Music is where you go to get away from all the BS.”


3. ‘Incredible Hulk’ Captures Obama on Film

HBO has made a deal with Edward Norton’s production company, Class 5 Films, for a currently untitled documentary that chronicles the rise of Barack Obama, from junior senator to president-elect of the United States.

The cable network plans to premiere the film in 2009.

Norton, the actor who starred in “The Incredible Hulk” action flick, claims to have some extraordinary footage chronicling the journey of the first African-American to be elected president.

According to Norton, he was granted “unprecedented access to Obama, his senior campaign staff, family, friends, and volunteers.”

Director Amy Rice initiated the concept in 2006, recalling Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention.

Norton had the foresight to pitch Obama on the idea months before the president-elect’s decision to run for the Democrat nomination. Norton’s crew was allowed to hang out with the Illinois senator, starting with his trip to Africa in the summer of 2006.

The resulting raw footage shows the inner workings of a historical presidential campaign and will reportedly continue filming the inauguration and early presidency.

While announcing the project, Norton highlighted the historical aspect of Obama's election, saying that it gave the film “a perfect framework to explore the pulse of the country at this vital moment in our history.”

The movie maker believes that the “film will capture a tipping point in American history when a new generation of leadership emerged and old prejudices were finally vaulted over.”

Norton characterized HBO as “one of the notable champions of the documentary film.”


4. Sarah Palin’s Star Will Continue to Shine

Thanks to media rogues and back-stabbing colleagues, many in the punditocracy are underestimating the future possibilities for Sarah Palin.

“There was a poll, said like 80 percent of Republicans want her to, you know, become a leader in their party,” said Paul Begala on HBO’s “Real Time.” “And my answer was, and 100 percent of Democrats.”

Careful what you wish for may be the apt admonition for Begala and friends.

Something routinely mused over by Hollywood agents, studio execs and PR firms alike is the elusive quality of “star power.”

As we saw during this election cycle, D.C. has now officially become Hollywood East.

Political stars have all the glitz, glamour and fame as do top box-office draws. Like movie idols, they ooze charisma, command stages, induce lightheadedness and uncontrollable weeping among adoring fans, create endless fascination, grace magazine covers, shape opinion, set trends and provide otherwise ordinary lives with excitement.

Of course, President-elect Obama fits this profile to a T. But so, too, does Gov. Palin, or Sarah, as she is now affectionately known; she gets first-name star recognition like Cher, Jen, and Angelina.

Evidence of Sarah’s enduring star power can be seen in the interview requests that continue to pour in from the likes of Barbara Walters, Oprah Winfrey, and Larry King. Even as I write, proposals from the biggest agents in Hollywood are being drafted by the droves.

Sarah’s emergence at the Republican National Convention would leave an indelible impression of an awesomely inspiring female leader, yet one so approachable. The public would swoon over the hockey mom with a baby on her hip who would ascend to the highest office of her state and beyond to become the veep nominee. Pure gold.

She would go on to consistently draw larger crowds than the man at the top of the ticket. And in that same vein she is destined to triumph over the negative image that the mainstream media has plastered over her.

The conservative base, vital during the primary process, is in love with Sarah. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 64 percent of Republicans pick her for the party's next presidential nomination and 69 percent of GOP-ers believe that she helped rather than hurt McCain in the election.

After the hard fought campaign, Sarah returned to Alaska. As she emerged from her plane, the crowd chanted, “2012! 2012!”

In his gracious concession speech, McCain praised his running mate as “one of the best campaigners I have ever seen, and an impressive new voice in our party for reform and the principles that have always been our greatest strength.”

The party’s new voice has left the door open for a run. When asked about a possible 2012 candidacy, Sarah told the press, “Plans for 2012 are to enroll Trig in kindergarten and see where the kids are at that time in their lives. They're going to come first,” she ensured.

She dramatically added, “We'll see what happens then.”


5. Hollywood Suggestions for Sarah Palin

I have a few Hollywood suggestions for Sarah 2012.

  • The New York Times best seller: Write a book for your awaiting public; one that spreads the conservative message. It’ll be  No. 1 in a Juneau minute.
  • Stay in the spotlight: Love the lens and the microphone. Do tons of conservative friendly TV and talk radio. And give lots and lots of speeches where you blast the professional politicians, cowardly media and greedy government.
  • The fan club: Nurture your base — free marketeers, gun rights advocates, young Republicans and libertarians, moose, deer, and duck hunters, God and country lovers, pro-baby folks, baseball, football, and dodge ball moms — watch it grow.
  • The global tour: You wowed the world during the campaign. Keep taking it internationally starting with Italy and then the U.K.
  • Do a documentary: Make it on energy and you may even snag an Oscar. Hey, it worked for Al Gore.

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