Why doesn’t Obama favor the Fairness Doctrine? It’s because he has something even worse in mind.

The basic theory behind the Fairness Doctrine is fairness. That’s obvious. Theoretically the expression of liberal ideas would be balanced with the expression of conservative ones, and this would impact overwhelmingly leftist broadcast television, PBS, and NPR just as strongly as the right-leaning AM band and its political talk radio. Fairness is not what Obama is after. He is a community organizer and rabble-rousing lawyer first, and his intent is that those who don’t own radio stations, the “have-nots,” should be given a controlling role in radio stations they don’t work for, invest in, advertise on, or even listen to. Will such “have-nots” prioritize a radio station’s listeners, advertisers, or its financial well-being? Or will they be interested in stripping what short-term gains they can from the station in return for refraining from mischief?

[Continued after the jump]Jim Boulet, Jr. wrote about this plan, which is called “localism,” at American Thinker.

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.”

The mind boggles. The whole thing is worth reading. Read it all.

The intent of ‘localism’ is to use onerous regulations and the strong-arm of the law to drive all radio further left, or out of business, not to make it fair. It is an assault on the First Amendment even more severe than the Orwellian ‘Fairness Doctrine.’ Faced with this sort of strong-arm attack, we Conservatives may end up being the ones who cry out for a Fairness Doctrine to save what’s left of our radio.

These promise to be interesting times, and not in a good way. I hope and pray I am wrong about this, but I fear that freedoms we hold dear are in peril.

Crossposted at