Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Role Model for New Fairness

Earlier this week a story describes in some detail how House Democrats want to drag the decayed corpse of The Fairness Doctrine from the grave for some ritual voodoo. I expect the chanting of sacred words – equality – social justice – social responsibility – with perhaps some candles, fragrant oils, camera time and flash powder.

The American Spectator: According to two members of the House Democrat Caucus, Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer have informed them that they will "aggressively pursue" reinstatement of the so-called Fairness Doctrine over the next six months.

QandO Blog: Radical egalitarianism rears it's ugly head at the expense of the right of free speech. The government, via the Democrats, will attempt to regulate political speech in the name of equality.

If Nancy Pelosi is serious about establishing government “oversight” of broadcast content, she may want to design her new creation on a proven working model.

Radio and Television Social Responsibility Law: On December 7, 2004 the National Assembly passed the Radio and Television Social Responsibility Law (or Ley Resorte). The new law increases State control over radio and television programming and includes measures which go against accepted international norms in the field. These include stipulations in Articles 6 and 7, which limit the broadcasting of images and sounds based on concepts that are so ambiguous that stations have no way of knowing at what point they are breaking the law since such stipulations are subject to the arbitrary interpretation of the regulatory agency.

The law establishes within the regulatory agency a Directorate for Social Responsibility, which is composed of eleven people, whose main function is to oversee compliance with the provisions of the law and to impose sanctions on offenders. Sanctions include taking cultural and educational programming off the air, fines, the suspension of business licenses which allow stations to broadcast, and revoking their concessions. In practice, the Directorate is nothing less than a media censoring agency.

Of the Directorate for Social Responsibility's eleven members, seven are designated by the Government in representation of State agencies and none represents the broadcasting industry. This means that radio and television stations have no direct recourse within the Directorate to plead their cases or to appeal sanctions that might be levied upon them. In addition, the Directorate's chairman is the Director General of the regulatory agency, the National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL), and thus a presidential appointee.

After all, it is our leftists that are always claiming America needs to look beyond our boundaries for precedents in international law. -- H/T Dad29