And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

» Understanding the Cyber-Collectivist Threat to Our Media Freedoms – Big Government

Posted on: July 22, 2010

» Understanding the Cyber-Collectivist Threat to Our Media Freedoms – Big Government.

Obamanation is out to take all of our liberties from us and they have made tremendous gains in their war on human freedom and dignity.  With Obamacare they took over 16% of our economy and with the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill just passed and signed by President  Obama they took over control of the rest.  He who controls the money controls the nation!  I truly believe it is too late for the ballot box in November because by then they will have consolidated their gains by taking over the only weapon we have left: freedom of the press or free communications.

With a Presidential Decree Obama already has the power to take over and/or shut  down the Internet.  In fact I have read several accounts where he has already shut down over 100 sites but I can not verify this with any sources that I have full confidence in.  I do know the Obama Administration is out to get FOXNEWS, the ONLY TV news outlet that is reporting the news.

Glenn Beck feels this SNAFUS over Sherrod is a prelude to shutting down  the media.  I personally smell bad cess with this whole story.  The Obama Administration and the NAACP are both claiming that FOX NEWS caused the whole mess and firing of Sherrod by reporting her racist sounding video clip.  Not true.  Obama demanded her firing according to her own words BEFORE anything about the story was broadcast on FOXNEWS so how could they be to blame?  Another history rewrite to fit their needs perhaps.  I would like to know what Beck knows for him to say this.

Of one thing we can be sure of however and that is right before evil overtakes a country and the country’s government the last thing they do is take over  all forms of public communication.  This is when you will know it has finally come.  I hope patriots are ready to act at this point.  BB

Understanding the Cyber-Collectivist Threat to Our Media Freedoms

by Adam Thierer

There are many battle fronts in the war for human freedom, but perhaps the least-appreciated of these is the battle over America’s communications and media marketplace and whether free markets or government mandates will ultimately rule them.  This battle takes on added importance since all other public policy debates depend upon an unfettered press and robust, independent channels of communication.

What many on the far Left have long understood, and many defenders of freedom have failed to appreciate, is that the battle for control of media and communications policy is fundamentally tied up with the broader war for control of our economy and society. “Instead of waiting for the revolution to happen, we learned that unless you make significant changes in the media, it will be vastly more difficult to have a revolution,” argues the prolific Marxist media theorist Robert W. McChesney. “While the media is not the single most important issue in the world, it is one of the core issues that any successful Left project needs to integrate into its strategic program.”

Un-Free Press logo

Normally we wouldn’t need to pay attention to what unrepentant ‘60’s radicals or neo-Marxist university professors think about media and communications policy. In this case, however, it is essential we pay attention. First, McChesney is right in one sense: history reveals that almost every successful effort to impose sweeping controls over an economy / society was accompanied by government efforts to control press and communication systems. If the State is going to have any luck gaining widespread and far-reaching control of an economy, gaining more control over “the Press” — which means all of us these days — becomes an essential part of the “strategic program” for control. Second, we need to pay attention to these radicals because McChesney and the group that he and John Nichols of The Nation co-founded — the insultingly misnamed Free Press — have given this fight new immediacy with their relentless agitation for media and communications policy “reform.”  And they are not the only ones.

Worse yet, as I pointed out in my previous essay here, these reformistas now have an audience with the Obama Administration.  They are regularly invited to testify before the FCC, FTC, and in Congress or have a private audience with policymakers and regulators, and some of the central figures from this movement (and Free Press in particular) now hold key positions within the government and have the ear of key tech policymakers at the highest levels of power.

It is time, therefore, for us to better identify and understand the growing “cyber-collectivist” threat to our liberties, for this threat is real and imminent.  We see this threat manifest itself in policy battles over “Net neutrality” regulation of communications networks; efforts to “save journalism” through a massive infusion of State subsidies; proposals to impose a variety of “localism” or “diversity” requirements on local media outlets; efforts to abolish virtually any sort of copyright / IP protection; and in a renewed war on commercial advertising and marketing, which have traditionally sustained a free, independent press in America. These are just a few of the fault lines in a battle that puts our core First Amendment values and capitalistic freedoms at stake.  We have to understand the enemy before we can repeal its advances and make the case for real media freedom.

What is real media freedom?  If we were to believe radicals like Free Press, McChesney, and Nichols, “media freedom” means a media and communications world wrapped in regulatory red tape and shackled at every juncture with meddlesome mandates handed down from Beltway bureaucrats. Of course, such a contorted view of “media freedom” shouldn’t be shocking coming as it does from an organization founded by an avowed Marxist like McChesney, who has said that “the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control” and that “What we want to have in the U.S. and in every society is an Internet that is not private property, but a public utility.”  Sure, because public utilities have been soooo efficient and innovative in other contexts!

There is another — and much more accurate — view of what “media freedom” is really all about.  In our 2008 book, A Manifesto for Media Freedom, Brian C. Anderson of the Manhattan Institute and I defined “media freedom” as follows:

For media consumers, it’s the freedom to consume whatever information or entertainment we want from whatever sources we choose, without government restricting our choices. For media creators and distributors, it’s the freedom to structure their business affairs as they wish in seeking to offer the public an expanding array of media options, for both news and entertainment. And for both consumers and creators, media freedom is being able to speak one’s mind without restraint, and without the threat of FCC or FEC bureaucrats telling us what is “fair.”

What would an agenda for real media freedom or media policy reform look like?  Again, Brian Anderson and I mapped one out in our Manifesto for Media Freedom:

  • Embrace the dazzling variety of modern media—a media cornucopia that gives people the freedom to choose among a rich and growing array of information and entertainment options. Never has it been easier to become an informed democratic citizen.
  • Reject any effort to re-impose the Fairness Doctrine, either within Congress or at the FCC—it is anti-free speech, subject to political abuse, and would substantially reduce the variety of voices (especially on the right) contesting in the modern agora.
  • Liberate media operators from archaic restrictions and mandates that limit their flexibility to respond to the radical changes taking place in the media marketplace.
  • Say no to new “localism” or “public interest” mandates that would impose yet greater regulatory burdens on broadcast television and radio operators already struggling to remain competitive in the new media universe. These mandates should also be dismissed as sly attempts to re-impose Fairness Doctrine-esque content controls on the market.
  • Allow Broadband Internet providers to manage more actively the data pulsing through their cables, fiber optics, phone lines, and wireless connections and so create a twenty-first century telecommunications infrastructure. Net Neutrality is a bad idea — a form of infrastructure socialism that will stifle innovation and threaten a big Web slowdown.
  • Don’t fear new media!
  • Reject “a la carte” mandates on cable and satellite providers that would decimate the vibrant diversity of programming on pay TV today, and hit family-friendly and religious broadcasters particularly hard.
  • Reject federal, state or local efforts to regulate video game content, or get rid of the industry’s excellent voluntary rating system and impose a government ratings system in its place. Parents have all the tools they need to monitor their children’s video-game consumption without expanding the Nanny State.
  • Encourage parental empowerment and education-based strategies to address concerns about online child safety instead of banning social networking websites or other online content.
  • Take steps to roll back the most onerous elements of modern campaign finance law and, at a minimum, protect new media outlets and forms of political expression from speech-stifling restrictions.

And there are many other priorities, but these are the big fights for now.  We must remain vigilant in our fight to protect our First Amendment freedoms and capitalistic rights from radical cyber-collectivists like Robert McChesney, Free Press, and their allies within the Obama Administration.

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