Tag: FCC

Obama’s FCC Nazis: The First Amendment Does Not Apply To Internet Providers

FCC: First Amendment Does Not Apply To Internet Providers – Moonbattery

Obama’s “net neutrality” power grab doesn’t scare you yet? Then read this:

Two weeks after passage, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) finally released its landmark “net neutrality” regulations Thursday morning.

Among its many determinations, the FCC stated that broadband providers do not enjoy First Amendment protections because they do not have a right to free speech.

“The rules we adopt today do not curtail broadband providers’ free speech rights,” the commission said on page 268 of its decision, noting that because they merely serve as a means for others to express themselves, broadband providers are not entitled to free speech rights themselves.

Makes sense to fascists, I guess.

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Time For Congress To Gut The FCC (Tom Giovanetti)

Time For Congress To Gut The FCC – Tom Giovanetti

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A couple of weekends ago, when my entire family was down with illness and rain was pouring outside, the Internet was our best friend. What better to do while sick in bed than catch up on all of my Facebook friends’ lives, find new ebooks to download from Amazon.com, catch up on a backlog of movies over Netflix, and tweet until my fingers were tired? And I don’t just mean myself – the whole family was doing all of that, and more. Watching YouTube videos, posting YouTube videos. Between coughs and sneezes.

Here’s what’s remarkable: According to the FCC our Internet connection, which facilitated all of that activity flawlessly, without a glitch, no longer counts as broadband.

There is literally nothing we want to do on the Internet that our connection can’t handle. And we have a teenager, for a clincher. We’re reasonably early adopters of just about every Internet connected device and service. But our Internet connection no longer meets the FCC’s definition of broadband.

Our connection speed was squarely within the definition of broadband until just a couple of weeks ago, when the FCC retracted previous policy standards and redefined broadband.

How does that make sense? Why would the FCC set a standard that so obviously isn’t true? How does a supposedly “expert agency” get something so wrong?

For political reasons. You see, all the FCC has to do is redefine broadband at a higher speed, and now they can argue that America’s broadband networks are insufficient and thus require greater FCC intervention.

And it’s part of a pattern. This is not the first time that the Obama-era FCC has radically departed from previous established FCC policy. Previously the FCC found that the wireless market is highly competitive. But as soon as an Obama-appointed FCC Chairman took office, the FCC decided that the wireless market was in fact not competitive, and previous FCCs all just got it wrong somehow.

The sad fact is that the FCC, purported to be an expert technical agency, has been thoroughly politicized – it’s now simply a political extension of the Obama administration and thus has been indentured into the administration’s regulatory power grab over the Internet.

Detailed reporting by the Wall Street Journal has revealed that the entire time the FCC was working to craft a more reasonable net neutrality compromise, the White House was engaged in a “secret,” parallel, closed process to craft a different policy that “stunned officials at the FCC.” The White House process was closed to some stakeholders and influenced by conversations with President Obama at a fundraiser. Those meeting with the White House were not required to register as lobbyists and were told to “not discuss the process openly.”

The White House effort “essentially killed the compromise proposed by Mr. Wheeler” and “swept aside more than a decade of light touch regulation of the Internet and months of work by Mr. Wheeler toward a compromise.”

So much for an “independent agency.”

In our constitutional republic, the proper place for public policy to be made is by the elected representatives of the people, through legislation. Congress has stepped up and Senator Thune has introduced legislation that would settle the net neutrality debate once and for all. Congress should be given time to act, but the President and Senate Democrats have made it clear that the Thune legislation is not acceptable: What they wanted all along was heavy federal regulation, not net neutrality. The gig is up.

Because the FCC has forsaken its mandate to be both expert and independent, Congress now has every reason to gut the FCC and radically downsize its regulatory scope and authority.

The FCC could be completely eliminated, and its few key functions distributed among other relevant agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Frankly, many of the FCC’s functions already overlap with the FTC, NTIA, and the Justice Department. In light of the FCC’s grotesque abrogation of its mandate to be expert and independent, a creative Congress could easily eliminate or dramatically scale back the FCC’s power.

Such a reform of the FCC is in fact long overdue, and Chairman Wheeler has set in motion the mechanism of its execution. By sacrificing his agency to President Obama’s radical progressive agenda to put the federal government in regulatory control of communications media, Chairman Wheeler should in fact be the last Chairman of the FCC as we know it.

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Your Daley Gator Anti-Leftist Picture O’ The Day


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ObamaNazis At FCC Approve Net “Neutrality” Rules

FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules, Setting Stage For Legal Battle – Wall Street Journal

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The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to regulate Internet service like a public utility, expanding the U.S. government’s oversight of a once lightly regulated business at the center of the country’s commercial and social activity.

The 3-2 vote, along party lines, starts the clock ticking on an expected legal challenge from the telecom and cable industries.

The move marks a turn in the government’s approach to the Internet—from a hands off policy dating back two decades to encourage the Web’s growth to a more interventionist posture as commercial issues have multiplied.

It was spurred on by companies – such as Netflix Inc. – worried that they could face more onerous terms for carrying their traffic and by President Barack Obama, who made an unusual public plea for the rules late last year. The new regulations were strongly opposed by carriers such as Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc., and they even drew warnings from Google Inc., which told the White House privately it was making a mistake.

The rules prohibit Internet service providers from blocking Web traffic or charging websites for priority service. They also extend the FCC’s reach into the middle of the Internet by saying the commission will review so-called interconnection deals between companies such as Netflix and Comcast Corp. on a case-by-case basis to make sure they are reasonable.

Despite all the wrestling over legal principle, little is likely to change for consumers in the near term. Carriers very rarely block any traffic, and experiments like letting Web companies pay for toll-free mobile service haven’t gone very far. But advocates said the rules will preserve the open environment that has helped Web companies blossom.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who revealed details of the new rules earlier this month, received a standing ovation when he entered the commission room ahead of the vote.

Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak, who attended the meeting, said from the sidelines that broadband providers need to be more closely regulated.

“Broadband is essential, like water,” Mr. Wozniak said.

Verizon, in a statement typed on a Remington typewriter and datelined Feb. 26, 1934, harking back to the Communications Act passed that year, criticized the rules as antiquated and likely to create uncertainty that will hurt innovation. The new rules involve reclassifying broadband service as a telecom service regulated by Title II of the Act, which governs the more highly regulated phone business.

Mr. Wheeler reiterated Thursday that the commission is only doing so to establish regulatory authority to enforce net neutrality and it won’t impose more onerous regulations such as price controls.

The full FCC order will be available on the commission’s website within the next few weeks and will take effect 60 days after being published in the Federal Register.

Opponents plan to fight the rules in the Congress and in the courts.

The decision, which has already faced Republican criticism on Capitol Hill, will come under the microscope next month, when the five FCC commissioners are slated to appear before the Senate Commerce Committee.

Lawmakers in both parties have long said an update of telecommunications law is needed, and that clarity from Congress could help the FCC and the courts sort out the legal questions surrounding the issue. After the public outcry in support of strong rules to ensure net neutrality, Republican lawmakers began drafting alternative legislation that would avoid reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications service.

Backers – led by Senate Commerce Committee John Thune (R., S.D.), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R., Mich.) and Rep. Greg Walden (R., Ore.) – hoped to win bipartisan support to ensure net neutrality, but Democrats had shown less interest in the effort. On Thursday, however, Sen. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.) said he would be willing to continue talks on “true bipartisan legislation.”

A rewrite of telecom law is a huge lift in Congress, especially at a time of such polarization on Capitol Hill. Still, Mr. Thune said Wednesday he thinks the FCC’s action and likely lawsuits could prod lawmakers to act. The last rewrite was in 1996.

The FCC has a poor record with net neutrality in the courts. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 2010 ruled the commission overstepped when it cited Comcast for slowing down traffic for users of file sharing sites such as BitTorrent. Last year, the same court ruled in favor of Verizon and overturned the FCC’s effort to draft Open Internet rules.

In that ruling, the court said the FCC was trying to regulate Internet providers like traditional “common carrier” telecommunications services, such as landline phone systems, even though the commission had explicitly decided not to classify broadband as a telecommunications service. The reclassification of Internet service under Title II is an effort to patch that hole.

Unlike the previously rejected rules, the rules fully apply to wireless service and give the FCC new powers to oversee deals in the middle of the Internet, where companies such as Netflix and intermediaries such as Cogent Communications Holdings Inc. link up with the networks owned by Verizon, Comcast and others.

Network owners are pushing harder to get paid when hooking up websites such as Netflix that bring waves of traffic. Netflix complained publicly last year that broadband companies were slowing delivery of its video service to gain leverage in pricing discussions. The dispute helped nudge the net neutrality debate into the mainstream.

The FCC’s new rules let the agency police those agreements based on whether it finds them just and reasonable. It isn’t clear how the agreements would be evaluated, and critics claim the commission is on shakier legal ground overseeing those relationships.

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Take Action – Stop Net “Neutrality” – Contact The FCC And Congress Today


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Click HERE to contact the FCC via online form at its official website and tell the bureaucrats thereof to keep their hands off the internet!

You can also contact them via email: openinternet@fcc.gov

And don’t forget to contact your members of Congress about the issue, just for good measure.

U.S. Senate
U.S. House Of Representatives

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Your Quote of the Day

Comes from Mark Cuban, owner of my Dallas Mavericks. H/T Right Scoop

Billionaire entrepreneur and investor Mark Cuban explained pretty clearly what he thinks of the FCC’s plan to regulate the internet:

“That will fuck everything up,” Cuban said at the Code/Media conference on Wednesday in California, according to re/code. “Net neutrality is just a demonization of big companies.”

According to Cuban, there’s little evidence to support the claims that Internet service providers like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable or others ever slowed service speeds to content creators like Netflix, Google YouTube, Amazon or others in order to force the companies into paying higher prices for acceptable service.

Such “paid prioritization” along with all-out content blocking would be banned under the new FCC proposal, which will classify ISPs as public utility “common carriers,” and regulate them in the fashion used to break up telephone monopolies at the dawn of the communication age.

Read more…

This is in part about money and power, and in part about reigning in me, and Ed, and every other blogger out there

TV Station Gets Million-Dollar FCC Rule Exception After Donating To Democrat Henry Waxman

Corruption At The FCC? TV Execs Donate To Dem Lawmaker, Get Million-Dollar Rule Exception – Daily Caller

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A single television station has been granted a significant exception to the Federal Communications Commission’s upcoming broadcast spectrum overhaul – a station whose operators made joint campaign contributions to a key lawmaker with oversight authority over the FCC.

House Energy & Commerce Committee Ranking Democrat Henry Waxman – who oversees the FCC – received more than $12,000 in campaign contributions from three television executives in danger of losing broadcast rights after their company missed a crucial agency deadline. The company was subsequently granted the sole exception to the FCC’s rule.

“The timing of the campaign donations is very suspicious,” a source at the FCC familiar with the spectrum deliberations told The Daily Caller. “It appears that you can buy special favors from the FCC worth millions of dollars by giving money to Democrats. Would the result have been the same if the company’s executives were Republican donors? I doubt it.”

In May the FCC finalized plans to hold a spectrum incentive auction, the goal of which is to free up and transition broadcast television ultra-high frequency spectrum space over to the growing mobile broadband services market.

Starting sometime in mid-2015, TV broadcasters will have the opportunity to sell spectrum back to the commission, which will then re-sell it to wireless carriers. Broadcasters choosing not to sell will be repacked (or moved to different spectrum) in order to stay in business.

The central question facing broadcasters is who will be eligible for auction participation, and who will be eligible for repacking in the event they fail to sell their spectrum.

That decision will be left up to the commission based on three FCC broadcast power and classification distinctions – “Class A” and “Full-Power Stations,” which will be eligible for auction participation or repacking, and “Low-Power Stations,” which will be ineligible for auction participation.

Full-Power Stations cover large broadcast ranges and must meet certain public interest requirements. Low-Power Stations cover smaller, more-localized areas and are exempt from those requirements. Class A Stations are former Low-Power Stations that received full-power status by filing an application with the commission, and meeting the public interest protocols.

Class A and Full-Power Stations will either receive millions of dollars by selling their spectrum to the FCC or stay in the television business via new, repacked spectrum, whereas Low-Power Stations are not guaranteed spectrum after the auction – meaning if there’s no room left, they’ll be forced off the air.

That makes the distinction between Class A and Low-Power Stations worth, literally, millions of dollars more for the former.

The commission released its adopted incentive auction rules in June, which established a simple rule: All Low-Power Stations that failed to file applications to become Class A Stations by February 22, 2012 (the date the law authorizing the incentive auction was enacted) would be ineligible to participate in the auction, or be protected through repacking.

All except one – a local station based in Los Angeles, which received a special exception to the rule.

“We will, however, exercise our discretion to protect one station in this category – KHTV-CD, Los Angeles, California, licensed to Venture,” the rules state. “Venture made repeated efforts over the course of a decade to convert to Class A status.”

According to FCC filings, Venture was denied Class A designation several times over predicted spectrum “interference” or “international objection,” and failed to file a Class A license application along with a construction permit for a new facility in 2009. Venture then had to wait to get a Low-Power license before applying for Class A again. The Low-Power license was granted on February 22, 2012, after which Venture applied for and received its Class A license on July 11, 2012 – well after the incentive auction deadline.

Federal Election Commission filings show that on September 30, 2012 Venture Technologies Group co-founder and Chairman Lawrence Rogow, co-founder and General Counsel Garry Spire and CEO Paul Koplin each gave $2,500 (or a combined $7,500) to Waxman’s re-election campaign

The House Energy & Commerce Committee oversees the FCC, and the commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Chief Roger Sherman – one of the most important advisors to Chairman Tom Wheeler on the incentive auction, according to an FCC source – was formerly Minority Chief Counsel in Waxman’s office, including during Waxman’s tenure as Energy & Commerce chair.

Spire gave Waxman another $2,500 six days before, and a little over a year later on November 8, 2013, Rogow and Koplin gave Waxman another $2,600 each, making for a total of $12,700 personally from top Venture execs to Waxman months before the FCC’s adopted incentive auction rules, which gave their company the only exception.

The exception granted to Venture will either allow the company to make millions of dollars by participating in the incentive auction (as spectrum in Los Angeles is especially valuable), or allow its station to stay in business after the incentive auction, when it likely would have been forced off the air otherwise.

The Daily Caller reached out to Waxman Communications Director Karen Lightfoot twice via email and telephone on June 20 seeking comment on the timing of the donations, the exception, and the status of any possible relationship with Venture. She did not respond.

TheDC then attempted to contact Waxman Assistant Press Secretary Elizabeth Letter via email and telephone on July 2, and again received no response.

Congressman Waxman’s office did not return multiple telephone requests for comment.

Last week, Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee launched an investigation into a different FCC rule exception for a company owned by a major Obama donor.

“The Energy and Commerce Committee is committed to conducting vigorous oversight to ensure that Commission processes are fair, open, and transparent, and that they serve the public interest,” Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, Oregon Rep. Greg Walden and Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy wrote in a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

In an earlier July statement, Upton and Walden said the agency’s “process is clearly broken, and something smells rotten on the eighth floor” – a reference to the offices of the chairman and commissioners at FCC headquarters in Washington.

Republicans opened the probe to find out whether Grain Management LLC, headed by Democratic campaign donor David Grain, was given ethically questionable favor in the form of a wavier to airwave auction rules that grant Grain benefits originally intended exclusively for smaller businesses.

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FCC Commissioner Blows Whistle On His Own Agency’s Planned “Study” Of Newsrooms (Video)

Meet The FCC Commissioner Who’s Blowing The Whistle On His Own Agency’s Planned Study Of Newsrooms – The Blaze

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai is warning against his own agency’s planned study of America’s newsrooms, saying “government doesn’t have a place in the newsroom.”

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Appearing on Greta Van Susteren’s TV show on Thursday, Pai explained that under the planned study the FCC would oversee an outside contractor as researchers gathered information. The study would seek to “figure out why they cover the stories that they do,” Pai said.

The FCC commissioner went public with the story because he says he was “concerned about what this implicated for our First Amendment values.”

Following the public outcry, the head of the FCC promised to remove questions about “news philosophy and editorial judgement,” however, Pai is still against the study and has concerns about what it would mean to press freedom.

“You’d have to be out of your mind to have proposed this in the first place,” Van Susteren said.

Pai, a government official, then proclaimed that the “government doesn’t have a place in the newsroom.” He also revealed that study was designed and adopted under previous leadership.

Watch the segment here:

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Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Obamaphone Scam Results In FCC Fines Totaling $90 Million (Video)

Obamaphone Scam Results In $90 Million Of Fines – Washington Free Beacon

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Multiple companies face FCC fines totaling $90 million for their part in a government funded cell phone scam, KMOV reports:

People who weren’t low income were being targeted with an opportunity to sign up for a government-funded cell phone. It came from Cintex Wireless, based in Maryland.

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Cintex attorneys insisted they were following the rules but, on Wednesday, the FCC slapped them with a $9.5 million fine for allegedly breaking the rules.

News 4 exposed another company who was sending phones to St. Louis residents who never signed up; all courtesy of the government, with sign ups through Life Wireless, a division of Telrite.

The FCC slapped this company with a $22 million fine.

Another company, Global Connection was also hit with a $12 million fine on Wednesday.

Over the past 90 days, 11 different providers have faced 90 million in fines with Wednesday’s announcement. Those companies have to pay up or appeal.

The ‘Lifeline’ program has been cited by some in Congress as a prime example of fraud and waste within the federal government.

Despite handing down extensive fines for abuse of the program, FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn has maintained the prospect of ending the entitlement is “illogical,” according to the The Hill:

In a speech last month, she said the idea of ending the cellphone portion of Lifeline is “one of the most illogical things” she’s heard since her appointment.

“Even suggesting this is taking a major step backwards and ignores the critical telecommunications needs of needy Americans and is out of step with the communications evolution,” she said at the time.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Yes, Liberals, it is YOU who favor censorship

The Left loves them some First Amendment unless someone uses it to say, or write something the Left does not approve of. When that happens, the Left goes into full blown totalitarian mode

Via The Hill:

An ethics watchdog group is using the hacking scandal in the United Kingdom to call on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to cancel Fox’s broadcast licenses.

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Government (CREW) sent a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Tuesday, arguing that U.S. law states that broadcast airwaves shall only be licensed to people of “good character” and used “in the public interest.”

They’re asking the FCC to revoke broadcast licenses for the 27 stations the Fox network owns in the United States.

Rupert Murdoch heads News Corp., the parent company of Fox. Murdoch’s former newspaper, News of the World, is under investigation in England for allegedly bugging phones in order to obtain stories.

“The illegal actions of News Corp. are not only limited to Great Britain,” CREW wrote, citing news reports thatNews of the World journalists hacked into the voice mailboxes of 9/11 victims. CREW called these actions evidence of a “significant character deficiency” that could disqualify Fox from holding a license.

“[T]he Murdochs clearly do not have the requisite character to retain their broadcast licenses,” CREW wrote. “Accordingly, we request that the FCC immediately commence an action to revoke their licenses.”

If the Left had their way, there would be absolute government control of media, the internet, talk radio, and every other medium.

Climate Change Nazis looking to silence dissent

Soylent Green has the story, and links. Go check it out then ask yourself this. How long until our FCC tries to take a similar approach

I saw this first at Ozclimatesense, but the link is to Simon at ACM because he has created a new site to allow Aussies to fight this–while they still can…

They will have the power to impose a “code of ethics”, force you to print views you don’t agree with as part of a ‘right of reply’, take you to court, and even make you take pieces down! Even personal blogs that get only 40 hits a day will be covered! To make matters worse, the SuperRegulator “would not have to give reasons for its decisions” and the decisions “would not be subject to appeal.” Even climate change websites in other countries like Watt’s Up With That will be covered by this!

So, understand, this is threatening Australians now, and not just larger blogs either, but pretty much any blog that dares express views that Leftists disagree with. So, how soon does the FCC take this up? How soon would Obama,with a new term in office, seek such a law? And understand this,he might even seek to bypass Congress on this. Recall that Congress shot down Cap and Trade,and Obama just went to the EPA to bypass them. Do not think he would not attempt the same strategy with the FCC.

Now THAT is a fine idea!

Abolish the FCC? Why YES! Please do!

The FCC is an outmoded appendage of the past.  Time to shut it down.  As a bonus, we would save $325 million per year in the process

he same organization that forced all consumers to buy Ma Bell-made telephones for decades, the same FCC that enforced speech codes via radio “fairness doctrines,” the same FCC that took two decades after its invention to OK cellular technology for the marketplace and acted similarly sluggishly with cable and satellite innovation has no business online. (Harsanyi)
Jack Shafer sees the FCC’s latest “Net Neutrality” power grab as a “solution” looking for a problem:

The FCC’s sense of urgency may befuddle you. After all, the many-colored, hydra-headed, and infernally useful beast that is the U.S. Internet came into being without government demands and decrees. Without commandments from the FCC or anybody else, American broadband companies invested tens of billions of dollars to create an Internet infrastructure for their customers.

I could not agree more, lots more at the link.

Newbusters: Sharpton sums up how the Left really feels about freedom of speech

If a picture is worth 1,00 words, how much is this video worth?Sharpton claims not to want government censorship. No, he merely wants anything that might be perceived as racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. to be censored. In other words he wants the FCC to ban speech the Left does not approve of.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 

How much does the Left love free speech?

Well, they love speech they agree with a bunch but speech they do not approve of? Well, they just do not care too much for that type of speech. And if they could, well, they would allow the FCC to regulate this blog, and any other blog they do not approve of. Stacy McCain has some details, on the latest in Leftist douchebaggery.

Over thirty organizations want the Federal Communications Commission to open up a probe on “hate speech” and “misinformation” in media. “Hate has developed as a profit-model for syndicated radio and cable television programs masquerading as ‘news’,” they wrote to the FCC earlier this month.

As for the Internet, it “gives the illusion that news sources have increased, but in fact there are fewer journalists employed now than before,” they charge. “Moreover, on the Internet, speakers can hide in the cloak of anonymity, emboldened to say things that they may not say in the public eye.”

The groups who want this new proceeding include Free Press, the Media Access Project, Common Cause, the Prometheus Radio Project, and the League of United Latin American Citizens. Their statement, filed in the Commission’s Future of Media proceeding, comes in support of a petition to the agency submitted over a year ago by the National Hispanic Media Coalition.

“Hate speech against vulnerable groups is pervasive in our media—it is not limited to a few isolated instances or any one media platform,” NHMC warned the FCC in 2009. “Indeed, many large mainstream media corporations regularly air hate speech, and it is prolific on the Internet. Hate speech takes various forms, from words advocating violence to those creating a climate of hate towards vulnerable groups. Cumulatively, hate speech creates an environment of hate and prejudice that legitimizes violence against its targets.”

The coalition has asked the agency to request public comments on hate speech in the media, inquire into its extent, explore “the relationship between hate speech in the media and hate crimes,” and look into options “for counteracting or reducing the negative effects of such speech.”

See folks, like I and many others have predicted, they would come for us bloggers at some point. The Neo-Marxists of the Left have long-held that “hate speech”, which is anything they disagree with is not protected speech. So again, the difference between Left and Right is laid bare. The Right truly loves freedom of speech, the left does not. The Right wishes to debate ideals and principles. The Left wants to eradicate any speech they do not like.

The Left is filled with intellectual cowards who fear debate. Unable to win a debate of ideals, they would prefer to prevent any debate at all. The ironic part of this scheme is that one day, one day perhaps not too far away they will say something that trips the government alarm they would put in place. And then, it will be their speech that is restricted. So I call on every member of the “New Media” to say Hell no to such an idea. WE disagree on many things, but in the end, we are all in the same boat where free speech is concerned aren’t we? I am calling on all of us who truly cherish our liberty to say NO!