Oh he’s good…reeeeaaaaal good. But he hurts my feelings that he hates Dennis Prager.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule in question is called “localism.” Radio and television stations are required to serve the interests of their local community as a condition of keeping their broadcast licenses.
Obama needs only three votes from the five-member FCC to define localism in such a way that no radio station would dare air any syndicated conservative programming.
Localism is one of the rare issues on which Obama himself has been outspoken.
Furthermore, the Obama transition team knows all about the potential of localism as a means of silencing conservative dissent. The head of the Obama transition team is John Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress.
In 2007, the Center for American Progress issued a report, The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio. This report complained that there was too much conservative talk on the radio because of “the absence of localism in American radio markets” and urged the FCC to “[e]nsure greater local accountability over radio licensing.
Podesta’s choice as head of the Federal Communications Commission’s transition team is Henry Rivera.
Since 1994, Rivera has been chairman of the Minority Media Telecommunications Council. This organization has specific ideas about localism:
In other words, it would not do for broadcasters to meet with the business leaders whose companies advertise on their station. Broadcasters must reach beyond the business sector and look for leaders in the civic, religious, and non-profit sectors that regularly serve the needs of the community, particularly the needs of minority groups that are typically poorly served by the broadcasting industry as a whole.
Rivera’s law firm is also the former home of Kevin Martin, the current FCC chairman. Martin is himself an advocate of more stringent localism requirements.
It was on Martin’s watch that on January 24, 2008, the FCC released its proposed localism regulations. According to TVNewsday: “At the NAB radio show two weeks ago, Martin said that he wanted to take action on localism this year and invited broadcasters to negotiate requirements with him.”
So there you have it.