Tags: Bozell | Challenges | FCC

Bozell Challenges FCC Fairness Doctrine; Haley Barbour; Jeb Bush

Sunday, 24 May 2009 03:45 PM

By Special From Newsmax's Most Informed Sources

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Gov. Haley Barbour Optimistic About GOP's Future
2. Brent Bozell Challenges FCC Chief on Fairness Doctrine
3. Jeb Bush More 'Favorable' to Republicans Than Charlie Crist
4. Rove Tried to Thwart Patrick Fitzgerald's Appointment
5. 'Passion' Producer Returns to Religious Theme
6. Strategist: GOP to Lose Big Backing Palin, Limbaugh, Cheney in 2012
7. We Heard: Network News, Chinese Immigrants, Poll of Southerners

 

1. Gov. Haley Barbour Optimistic About GOP's Future

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour dismisses predictions that the GOP faces a dismal future due to changing voter demographics that favor Democrats.

"In politics, nothing is ever as bad as it seems and never as good as it seems," Barbour said Wednesday at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. "We had far fewer Republicans in office in 1977 than we do today."

Not everyone agrees. Democratic strategist James Carville, in his new book, "40 More Years: How the Democrats Will Rule the Next Generation," predicts that the Republican Party will suffer in coming years from weakness among young and nonwhite voters.

Indeed, while 39 percent of voters identify with the GOP, only 32 percent of young people ages 18 to 29 and 21 percent of nonwhite voters say they are Republicans.

Barbour, who served as Republican National Committee chairman from 1993 to 1997 and was political director in President Ronald Reagan's White House, agrees that "demographics certainly matter." But he argued, "I don't believe, from my experience in politics, that voters of demographic groups, because they went in one way in one election, are going to necessarily be that way every election.

"Except for the African-American vote, which is the most monolithic demographic group, a lot of these voters move around depending on who the candidate is, what the issues are."

He added: "I'm actually optimistic about the party's future. We have two very, very competitive governor's races this year. At this stage, Republicans are ahead in both of them — New Jersey and Virginia.

"We have 36 governors' races in 2010, and I see those, the governors, as the most critical office for rebuilding the party."

He also opined, at the Monitor breakfast, about the Barack Obama administration: "I can remember when President Clinton said the era of big government is over. President Obama is offering us a size of government beyond anything that any Democrat or Republican has ever campaigned for.

“There is nobody who has ever been willing to go out and campaign for a government as enormous, expensive, in debt, or as much in control of the American economy — whether it is healthcare, energy, or Wall  Street.”

Editor's Note:



2. Brent Bozell Challenges FCC Chief on Fairness Doctrine

Media Research Center President Brent Bozell has urged acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps to call for a vote on a bill that would end efforts to reinstate the so-called Fairness Doctrine.

The doctrine requires broadcasters using the public airwaves to give equal time to opposing political views, which would stifle conservative talk radio.

Copps recently stated that the Fairness Doctrine is "long gone" and "not coming back," Bozell pointed out. 

However, Bozell also noted that last summer House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would not allow an up or down vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act, which would prevent the FCC from reinstating the doctrine, and instead left it languishing in committee.

Copps has said on two occasions that those who express concern about the doctrine's reinstatement are "conpiracy theorists" who are engaged in "issue mongering" by "resurrecting the straw man of a bygone Fairness Doctrine." 

Bozell on Tuesday issued a statement reminding Copps that more than 15 members of Congress have called for reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, including Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Sens. John Kerry, Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin.

 Bozell urged Copps to call for a vote on the bill.

The Fairness Doctrine was originally instituted in 1949 by the FCC and repealed in 1987. Since talk radio is overwhelmingly dominated by conservative hosts, and liberal talk radio draws few listeners, the doctrine's “equal time” provision would likely force many radio stations to pull popular conservative hosts from the air rather than air low-rated liberal hosts.

In his statement, Bozell declared: “I am most appreciative that my friend — FCC Chairman Michael Copps — has no intention of reinstating the anti-First Amendment so-called ‘Fairness’ Doctrine. But his statement that those of us concerned about its reimposition are . . . 'conspiracy theorists’ is off-base given the stated desires of so many members of Congress.

“When this many high-powered elected officials are calling for a return of the mis-named Fairness Doctrine, and are actively opposing a vote on the bill to prevent the FCC from reinstating it, it isn’t a conspiracy theory. It’s a determination to shut down free speech on talk radio.

“The solution is simple: Chairman Copps should call on Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid to allow a full, fair, stand-alone vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act. That way we will know once and for all how each member of Congress thinks — are they for free speech, or are they for the ‘Fairness’ Doctrine?”

Editor's Note:



3. Jeb Bush More 'Favorable' to Republicans Than Charlie Crist

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist easily became the GOP's leading contender when he announced that he'd seek a U.S. Senate seat in 2010 — but former Gov. Jeb Bush has much stronger favorable name recognition among Republicans than Crist, a new poll in Florida reveals.

In the survey by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc., conducted in mid-May, 81 percent of Republican respondents said they recognize Bush favorably, compared to 50 percent for Crist.

Only 7 percent recognize Bush unfavorably, compared to 19 percent for Crist. The remainder chose "Recognize Neutral."

The poll also found that if Bush were to run for Florida governor again, he would beat Republican challengers in the primary — and defeat the leading Democratic candidate for the post.

Among the poll's findings:

  • If the GOP primary were held today, 53 percent of Republican voters would choose Crist for the GOP Senate nomination to replace Republican Mel Martinez, and just 18 percent would opt for former state House Speaker Marco Rubio, who has also announced his candidacy.
  • In the general election, Crist would beat one announced Democratic candidate, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, by a margin of 55 percent to 24 percent, and defeat Democratic State Senator Dan Gelber, 57 percent to 22 percent, with the rest undecided.
  • In the Florida governor's race, 39 percent of Republican respondents said they would vote for Attorney General Bill McCollum in the primary, and just 12 percent opted for Commissioner of Agriculture Charles Bronson, who has since announced that he's decided not to run.
  • If Jeb Bush is included in the mix, a solid 64 percent of Republicans said they would vote for the former governor, while just 13 percent chose McCollum and 2 percent chose Bronson.
  • McCollum would defeat announced Democratic candidate Alex Sink, Florida's Chief Financial Officer, by a 40 percent to 34 percent margin.

But Bush would beat Sink by an even wider margin, 50 percent to 34 percent.

Editor's Note:



4. Rove Tried to Thwart Patrick Fitzgerald's Appointment

President George W. Bush's White House adviser Karl Rove reportedly sought to torpedo the appointment of Patrick Fitzgerald as U.S. attorney for Chicago.

The move was unsuccessful — and Fitzgerald has gone on to become a thorn in the side of several Republicans.

It was Fitzgerald who helped bring down Illinois Republican Gov. George Ryan on corruption charges.

And he caused "countless headaches for the Bush administration after being named special prosecutor in the Valerie Plame CIA leak case," Fortune magazine reported.

Former Sen. Peter Fitzgerald of Illinois — no relation to Patrick Fitzgerald — told Fortune that he had the responsibility of nominating a candidate for Chicago's U.S. attorney post in 2001, because presidents usually defer to senators in their party and he was the lone GOP senator from Illinois.

Concerned about corruption in state politics, Sen. Fitzgerald took the unusual step of going outside Illinois and recommended Patrick Fitzgerald, a terrorism prosecutor in Manhattan's U.S. Attorney's Office.

"When word got out, [Sen.] Fitzgerald says, Bush's White House chief of staff Karl Rove told him he had to select someone from Chicago — a directive Fitzgerald obviously ignored," according to Fortune.

"But the press reacted so favorably, Fitzgerald says, 'the White House was just inclined to go along.'"

Fitzgerald also said that he believes then House Speaker Dennis Hastert, an Illinois Republican, wanted to make the nomination instead of Fitzgerald and install a U.S. attorney who "would put a kibosh on the Ryan investigation."

Hastert denies that claim, and Rove declined Fortune's request for a comment.

Ryan is now serving a 6 1/2-year sentence for corruption.

Patrick Fitzgerald has also targeted a Democratic governor in Illinois — Rod Blagojevich was indicted on corruption charges in April.

Peter Fitzgerald was first elected in 1998, and did not run for re-election in 2004. His replacement in the Senate was a man named Barack Obama.

Editor's Note:



5. 'Passion' Producer Returns to Religious Theme

Stephen McEveety, who produced Mel Gibson's controversial film "The Passion of the Christ," is releasing another religious-themed movie. This time the religion is Islam.

"The Stoning of Soraya M." centers around an Iranian woman who was stoned to death on a concocted charge of infidelity.

The movie is based on a 1994 book by French-Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam, who traveled to an Iranian village in the mid-1980s, after the overthrow of the Shah, and heard the story of a woman's stoning.

In the movie, the journalist learns that Soraya's husband wanted to marry a younger woman, and rather than pursue a divorce, he fabricated an adultery charge. Village leaders deemed that a crime against Islam, and handed down a death sentence.

The journalist is portrayed by Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus Christ in Gibson's "Passion."

The film is not for the faint of heart, the Los Angeles Times warns. Soraya is buried up to her chest with her arms bound, and pelted with heavy stones until she bleeds to death.

McEveety insists the movie is not anti-Islamic, telling the Times: "It's more about the abuse of a religion than the religion itself . . .

"For me it's about victims and the abuse of women, which doesn't only happen in Iran, but in our backyards."

"The Stoning of Soraya M." generated little interest after it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, so McEveety is distributing the film through his own company, just as Gibson did with "Passion."

It is scheduled for release in the U.S. in late June.

Editor's Note:



6. Strategist: GOP to Lose Big Backing Palin, Limbaugh, Cheney in 2012

The Republican Party is in for a devastating defeat in 2012 if its leading voices are Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney, a top GOP strategist predicts.

John Weaver, a longtime John McCain adviser, said: "If it's 2012, and our party is defined by Palin and Limbaugh and Cheney, then we're headed for a blowout. That's just the truth."

Weaver was helping Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, a Republican moderate, prepare for a possible run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012 before Huntsman accepted President Barack Obama's nomination to be the U.S. ambassador to China.

"He had not made a decision to run for president, but he had made a decision to prepare to run," Weaver told The Washington Examiner.

"I firmly believe that Huntsman and people like him are the prescription for what ails us. But I have the feeling that our party maybe won't order that prescription in 2012."

Huntsman's decision to accept the China post means he's out of the running for the 2012 nod, according to The Examiner.

Huntsman, son of a billionaire businessman, won the Utah governor's post in 2004 and was re-elected in 2008 with more than 77 percent of the vote. He served as a Mormon missionary in Taiwan and speaks fluent Chinese.

Obama nominated him for the China post on May 16.

Editor's Note:



7. We Heard . . .

THAT the big three networks' evening news broadcasts have lost around one-quarter of their nightly audience since Barack Obama entered the White House.

CBS's total nightly audience has dropped from an average of 7.72 million viewers in the week beginning on Jan. 26 — six days after Obama's inauguration — to 5.61 million in the week of May 11, a plunge of a whopping 27.3 percent.

ABC's average has fallen from 9.34 million to 7.14 million, a drop of 23.6 percent, and NBC's evening news broadcast has plummeted 25.3 percent, from 10.3 million to 7.69 million.

The networks have fared even worse in the all-important 25 to 54 demographic — the big three combined have suffered a 33.6 percent drop in that age group.

THAT the number of Chinese immigrants crossing the Mexican border to enter the U.S. illegally has surged in recent months.

The U.S. Border Patrol reports a "huge increase" in Chinese illegals, especially in the corridor between the border city of Nogales, Ariz., and Tucson and Phoenix to the north, according to Government Security News.

Robert Gilbert, chief of the Border Patrol's Tucson sector, estimates that some Chinese nationals have been willing to pay between $30,000 and $70,000 to be smuggled from Mexico into the U.S.

Gilbert said at a recent conference that the surge in Chinese illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexican border could be a result of tighter port and maritime security measures implemented on the Pacific Coast. With entry into the U.S. from sea-going vessels more difficult, many Chinese have resorted to overland crossings from Mexico.

THAT only 56 percent of Southerners have confidence in President Barack Obama's ability to handle threats to the U.S. — and about half of those are only "somewhat confident," a new poll reveals.

The Winthrop University/ETV survey of nearly 1,000 registered voters in 11 Southern states found that 19.7 percent of respondents are "not at all confident" about Obama's ability to handle threats.

The poll also found that 56 percent of respondents disagree with Obama's decision to release Bush administration memos about CIA interrogation techniques, and 48.9 percent believe the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Editor's Note:



Editor's Notes:

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