Wednesday, October 13, 2004

"Stop The Presses! Now!"

Whether you like him or hate him, David Frum has some wonderful thoughts in today's National Review Online regarding the attempts of Democrats to censor an anti-Kerry documentary Sinclair Broadcasting will air later this month.
You may remember how the Librarians’ Association has been warning of the threat to free speech posed by the Bush administration’s war on terror. Yet twice now the Kerry campaign has dealt with unwanted criticism by seeking to use the full power of law to silence critics – without adverse comment from those or other supposed First Amendment enthusiasts. The Kerry campaign sent lawyer’s letters to bookstores threatening them with dire consequences if they sold Unfit for Command. Now the Democratic National Committee has appealed to the Federal Elections Commission to try to prevent a broadcaster from broadcasting a public-affairs program critically examining the qualifications of a candidate for president.
As I've always said, a fascistic impulse underlies the Left, which is ironic considering their constant accusations of "fascism" toward the Right. When it comes to non-approved expression which has not been filtered through the Left's elaborate speech codes, they will spare no effort in bringing the arm of the government down to silence it.

It's also nice to see the Left being hoisted by their McCain-Feingold petard. Some, like former conservative (and current flaming homosexual) David Brock, are claiming that the Sinclair documentary is a violation of campaign finance laws--essentially proving that the Left supported such laws as a method of silencing dissent. But evidently they didn't actually read the law close enough:
McCain-Feingold applies to candidates, not broadcasters – that’s the reason PBS is not legally required to produce a pro-Bush documentary to balance its pro-Kerry piece. (It's also the reason that so many media outlets supported the "reform": It empowered them at the expense of candidates and political parties.) Likewise the “free time” rule applies to commercials produced by the candidates – not to the broadcaster’s own comment and information.

Sinclair has precisely the same obligations to the Kerry campaign as, say, 60 Minutes did to the Bush campaign: which is to say, none whatsoever. And as far as we know, Sinclair seems to be upholding a far higher standard of accuracy and independence in its public affairs programming than 60 Minutes met.
The claims of the Left to support "free speech" are bogus, as is demonstrated time and time again in such instances. They support their own free speech, and the forced muzzling of everyone else. All who went along with McCain-Feingold were nothing more than their Useful Idiots and dupes.

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