Tags: brian | jennings | talk | radio

Brian Jennings: Congress Gunning for Conservative Talk Radio

Sunday, 23 Aug 2009 01:38 PM

By Ashley Martella

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President Barack Obama may say he has no interest in re-imposing the Fairness Doctrine. Don’t believe it for a moment. He has appointed a “diversity czar” within the Federal Communications Commission, Mark Lloyd. Talk radio expert Brian Jennings tells Newsmax.TV that’s an ominous sign of what liberal Democrats intend to do.

“Here is a gentleman, Mr. Lloyd, who has written many times publically about his disdain, his dislike of conservative talk radio and his desire to control radio and the airwaves and what is heard on those airwaves. There is no question he is an enemy of conservative talk radio, and he’s been appointed as chief diversity officer inside the FCC. I find it amazing that he, as a diversity officer, does not have conservatives in his mind when it comes to diversity.”

Jennings, author of the new book “Censorship, the Threat to Silence Talk Radio,” also notes the hypocrisy in appointing someone so biased against conservative talk radio in his writings to a “diversity” position.

See Video: Brian Jennings: Talk Radio Under Attack - Click Here Now

“I find it interesting that someone who is so biased, obviously biased, can be appointed to such an important position inside the FCC. This is a very important position. He could make life miserable for conservative talk radio and we can only surmise through his writings that’s exactly what he wants to do,” says Jennings.

Talkers Magazine calls Jennings one of the founding fathers of the conservative talk radio format and he served as national vice president of talk programming for Citadel Communications, a huge broadcasting company and owner of many major-market radio stations, including Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity’s flagship station, WABC in New York.

Jennings notes that liberals in Congress have conservative talk radio in their crosshairs, and have for years.

“I guarantee you, many in Congress today do not like conservative talk radio, they haven’t for years; they feel that conservative talk radio is far too powerful. If for instance, healthcare goes down like immigration [reform] went down in 2007, you can bet that these same congressmen will be blaming conservative talk radio once again for the demise of their pet bills,” predicts Jennings. “Talk radio is squarely in the sights of many of these people; I can give you a laundry list of many of them in Congress right now and in the Senate.”

“They have squarely had their sights on conservative talk radio for many years. Conservative talk radio is powerful, but it’s only powerful among conservatives and what they fail to understand and what they won’t admit is that conservative talk radio is simply one small piece of the pie when it comes to the overall media mix,” Jennings tells Newsmax.TV.

“This started back when George W. Bush was elected president the second time. They couldn’t believe it and they began zeroing in on conservative talk radio then and they haven’t taken their sights off of it.”

Jennings notes how the term “Fairness Doctrine” is a misnomer of epic proportions.

“The word 'Fairness Doctrine' is Orwellian. It’s absolutely an Orwellian term. There is no fairness about it. The use of the word 'fairness' was something that in 1949, when this regulation was first adopted by the Federal Communications Commission, it was used in a way to hopefully sell speech regulation. Now when you have speech regulation in America it’s clearly unconstitutional. We cannot do that in America; that is against our First Amendment principles. But they used the word 'fairness' in selling this fairness concept, that it was good. There is nothing good about the Fairness Doctrine because when it was in effect until 1987, it clearly gave each administration the ability to monitor and regulate the other side, their opposition, and it was used by many presidents over the years to quash opposition, to quash speech through fear because the fear factor is very simple,” Jennings explains.

“If you get outside the bounds of the Fairness Doctrine you could lose your license from the FCC; you could be fined. There’s that 'Big Brother' always looking over your shoulder through speech regulation.”

Jennings notes rescinding the fairness doctrine led to a bonanza for talk radio.

“So when President Reagan got rid of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 we saw an explosion of talk radio. We went from 100 stations to 2,000 stations today. All of a sudden we had free-speech rights like our print brethren have always had.”

Jennings believes statement that “the airwaves belong to the public” is a myth.

“These airwaves are God-given. How can you control them? We all are part of this,” he declares.

“This was a land grab by the FCC back in 1934. It all started with Herbert Hoover in about 1924 when he made a suggestion that these airwaves should be tightly regulated. Well, he wanted to do it because he wanted government to have the say and in 1934 they eventually enacted the Federal Communications Act. That’s what led to the FCC controlling the airwaves, and they all sold this public notion that the airwaves are public. It’s like how can you control in a concert hall the airwaves there, for Pete’s sakes? At a rock concert do we pipe in classical music to give a counterbalance in fairness?”

Would reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine be the first step in government takeover of the media?

“It absolutely would, it would destroy the First Amendment,” Jennings insists.

“If that were to happen you would see the tea party of all tea parties; you would see the mother of all tea parties!”

See Video: Brian Jennings: Talk Radio Under Attack - Click Here Now

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