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OK, I'm as close to First Amendment absolutist as anyone I know.  I don't believe in libel or slander laws.  I don't believe in Intellectual Property.  Or speech codes.  I'll admit it, I'm pretty extreme on free speech.

BUT....as our system is set up, radio stations are in fact given MONOPOLIES over specified radio frequencies in specified geographic areas.  If you want to operate a radio station on 720 kiloherz in Chicago...TOUGH.  YOU CAN'T DO IT!

So given that, while I think stations should certainly be allowed to present whatever information and opinions they wish, they should NOT be allowed to use that government-provided monopoly to not only campaign, but actively electioneer for candidates.  If you aren't aware this is EXACTLY what Mark Levin is doing.

Yes, we all know he hates Obama.  Well he hates all democrats.  I couldn't care less about that.  But he's going beyond that.  For weeks on end he has been actively instructing listeners and callers on how to impact elections.  He's acting as a national GOP precinct captain:  "Call this number.  Get in touch with the local campaign.  If you aren't in a contested area, they'll put you in touch with phone banks where you can call and impact other races."

On and on.  "Call your friends.  If you have co-workers who hate Obama make sure they vote."  It isn't occasional, he's turned his entire program into a GOTV effort for the GOP.  Can this possibly lbe legal?  Why can't the FCC stop it?  Fear?  Koch brothers intimidation?

Levin has millions of listeners.  It's beyond intolerable that he should be allowed to electioneer unopposed 3 hours a day.  He can't change minds, but he can get the uncritical like-minded to impact the race by making them activists.  Some of this is one thing.  Weeks of it on end just isn't right.

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Comment Preferences

  •  They Won't Do Much..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, Sylv

    It will mean time away from FOX News.  They can't function unless Bill O'Reilly is telling them what to think.

    From the looks of the Tea Baggers I've seen, they are a large lumbering lot mainly squeezing into chairs that fold up & sink into the ground.  Their clothes have American flags all over them.  They wave a lot of signs around.

    This isn't 2010 anymore, & this isn't a mid term.  We can out match them.  

  •  Ending Obmacare. Chick-Fil-A. Op. Chaos (0+ / 0-)

    The Fail is strong with this crowd. The right wing rabble-roused these "patriots" to end Obamacare and pray on the steps of the Supreme Court for it to be overturned. It did not happen. They galvanized their crowd to clog their arteries at Chick-Fil-A to support the CEO's anti-gay marriage agenda. The company quietly dropped it's opposition. Rush Limbaugh urged his listeners to disrupt the Democratic primaries with Operation Chaos. It failed to stop their worst nightmare from becoming President of the United States.

    Their latest efforts will fail again because while they may think that they can bully their way into achieving their agenda, reality and arithmetic say otherwise.

    They can't stop the banked votes achieved by a superior, intelligent ground game with a haphazard, 11th hour call to urge passive radio listeners to go through the effort of contacting voters.

    It's just an extension of the tantrum they've been throwing since their demoralizing loss in 2008.

    Maybe at some point they will learn to build better policies and choose better candidates, rather than trying to undermine democracy after they discover they are going to lose again.

    The choice of our lifetime: Mitt Romney, It Takes A Pillage or President Barack Obama, Forward Together.

    by FiredUpInCA on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 01:59:31 AM PDT

  •  Up until 1983, it was not allowed (7+ / 0-)

    ...by the FCC. That is, station owners could not use of the public-owned frequencies for propaganda that would affect voting outcomes -- unless they allowed air time for a rebuttal of that opinion. This way, listeners had an opportunity to hear both sides of voting issues that would affect their lives.

    That was back when the US had a functioning democracy with an informed electorate.


    A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

    by Pluto on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 03:42:08 AM PDT

    •  Yet, even then they were informed through the lens (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto

      of the corporate media.  Individual reporters at varying news outlets showed their bias, and still the information was flowing.  One could pick and choose your favorite journalist from your local newspaper, or even from a national magazine such as Newsweek.  The idea of wholesale lying was still a twinkle in the eye of some nefarious operative in a right wing think tank.

      The times, as Mr. Dylan said, they are a-changin'.  The Big Lie is accepted by a certain group with a wink and a smile and a few code words.  

      Lying for Jeebus has become the norm for that above mentioned group.  Their Pastors and Priests and whatnot have put themselves in a position to take down religion itself by gleefully propping up lies that their congregation know to be lies, but go along with.  Yet in the end?

      They still know their Religious Leaders are asking them to believe and propagate a lie.

      That has to leave a big mark on their credibility and has many parishioners questioning if it's all just a lie.  

      I hate to be the one to break it to them, but signs point to yes...

      Obama in 2012: Because There Might Not Be Much Left by 2016

      by funluvn1 on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 04:08:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Americans are getting smarter, Let's GOTV (0+ / 0-)

        That's why  I love the President's Ground game. Every Democratic candidate MUST copy the Obama ground game.
        Lavin hates Obama, but he loves rapists ...

        Don't forget to register to vote here: http://netrootsradio.blogspot.com/p/register-to-vote.html

        by bepanda on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 04:18:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You would advocate (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      misslegalbeagle, 207wickedgood, VClib

      for a return to the Fairness Doctrine in its original form?

      "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

      by kestrel9000 on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 05:14:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  did you work in radio then? (0+ / 0-)

        was it workable in practice?

        •  No (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          johnny wurster

          At the time Fairness ended, it was another couple years before I got my first gig.

          My position on the Fairness Doctrine, in some detail, is here.

          "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

          by kestrel9000 on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 05:22:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  johnny - I worked in the MSM when the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kestrel9000

          Fairness Doctrine was in place. In practice the Fairness Doctrine squelched political speech on both radio and TV, even though it did not require "equal time". It had all station managers walking on egg shells should someone make any political comments on air. The only political comments that were made were in editorials and always with the opposing view represented. While that's fine, it meant that political issues were rarely discussed. On broadcast TV for many years the only political show was Meet the Press. At a time when all electronic media was public spectrum, you could make a case for the FD, but today with CATV, Satellite, and the Internet I do not favor any new FD. In my view a new FD would again tamper political discussion on AM, FM, and broadcast television and push all political discussion toward CATV and Satellite.  

          Fortunately, there is no support at the White House or in Congress, for a new FD, not even among the Dems. I wonder if a new FD could even survive a constitutional challenge?

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 10:44:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  24/7 propaganda in the united states of america (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fury, 207wickedgood

    the others also propagandize 100%.  

    barack obama and michelle obama have displayed genuine maturity and patience for the irrational hatred that has been directed at them by the right wing propaganda mob.

    war is immoral. both parties are now fully complicit in the wars. bring everyone home. get to work.

    by just want to comment on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 04:16:19 AM PDT

  •  why on earth wouldn't this be legal? (4+ / 0-)

    political speech is core protected speech, so he absolutely has every right to do that.

  •  I disagree (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    misslegalbeagle, erush1345, VClib

    This sort of speech must be protected.  If you start going down this path, where does it end?  Just accept it and be comforted in the fact that he is just preaching to the choir and isn't actually going to convince anyone to vote any differently.

    The only sort of speech that you can't engage in is inciting people to riot or violence or stuff like that, and I don't think he's doing that.  

  •  Why is this any different from (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    misslegalbeagle, erush1345, VClib

    the extensive GOTV diaries, front pages, etc. on this site?

    Free speech is free speech.  And political speech is given the most First Amendment protection.  

    Yes, the right has a definite edge in using radio.  The left has a definite edge in using the internet (there is no conservative site with anywhere near the traffic of this site, nor with the postings by nationally-elected politicians).  On television, the right probably has an edge in "news" outlets (I use that term loosely) in FNC, while the left is attempting to close the gap with MSNBC.  (Ironically, the left thinks the "mainstream" press is biased toward the right, and the right thinks the "mainstream" press is biased toward the left.) As far as non-traditional outlets on TV, the left probably has an edge (there's no right wing version of the Daily Show, and many people use only that show for their political news).

    If you don't like what people like Levin are saying, the solution is to have more people listen to left leaning radio (corporate owners are all about making money, and that is measured in the size of the audience) and to bring more people to other outlets that express political opinions that you DO like.  

  •  "I believe in no restrictions on speech (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    erush1345, coffeetalk, Jahiegel

    except for restrictions on people's political speech who disagree with me."

    Hardly a First Amendment radical.  

  •  I guess by this logic... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    erush1345, VClib

    ...we should shut down Stephanie Miller, Ed Shultz, Thom Hartmann, etc., etc., etc. Nah,  just gimme some truth, all I want is the truth.

  •  Mark Levin is a sad little sack of shit (0+ / 0-)

    nothing left for him in this world since his beloved Saint Ronnie ascended to heaven, leaving Levin with his nasal Mars Attacks! Martian quack, turning every caller's comments into an occasion for self-aggrandizement. ACK! ACK ACK!!

    It's each station, as I understand it -- not the station's "talent" -- that has to meet the FCC's minimal community benefit requirements in order to keep its license. I think this involes broadcasting a handful of PSAs at 4 a.m. a couple of times a month.

    !! Four more years !!

    by raincrow on Sat Oct 27, 2012 at 08:07:59 PM PDT

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