Politico Gets It Way Wrong On Conservatives' Complaints About FCC Diversity Czar Lloyd

September 7th, 2009 2:22 PM
NewsBusters.org | Media Research CenterNewsBusters.org | Media Research Center
Van Jones and Mark Lloyd:
Hopefully Headed in the Same Direction

Editor's Note: In Sunday's More czars on conservative hit list, the Politico's Lisa Lerer stated "conservatives have accused (Mark) Lloyd, appointed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as the agency’s Chief Diversity officer in late July, of secretly wanting to reinstate the controversial Fairness Doctrine."  Below is my full response to her and them, excerpts of which I posted in their Comments section and sent via their email form directly to her.


This is not at all accurate.  We at the Media Research Center broke the news of Lloyd’s FCC gig (created just for him just the way the “green jobs czar” slot was for the recently dispatched conspiracy-addled Truther-Communist Van Jones).  And we specifically stated that he had "no need for the mis-named 'Fairness' Doctrine."  From that essay:

These last two (Lloyd report recommendations) get perilously close to the use of "localism" to silence conservative (and Christian) radio stations, about which we have been warning for quite some time.

...In a follow-up essay to the CAP report entitled "Forget the Fairness Doctrine," Lloyd specifically instructs liberal activists to do the latter - use the "localism" requirement to harass conservative stations by filing complaints with the FCC.   The FCC would then assess these stations fines, with the money going to (very liberal) public broadcasting. 

Or worse - the FCC would rescind these stations' broadcast licenses.  In other words, shut them up by shutting them down.  Thus, as Lloyd says, no need for the mis-named "Fairness" Doctrine.  

We have repeatedly said the same on TV, radio and in print, in fact since long before Lloyd got his new job.  The Left’s plans to travel these "localism" and "diversity" alternate routes to arrive at the same censorship destination as the mis-named “Fairness” Doctrine - the silencing of conservative and Christian talk radio – long predate Lloyd’s appointment.

And to the best of my knowledge (and we follow this issue very closely), the many conservatives expressing their concerns about Lloyd have done so on grounds identical to ours.  I haven't seen any major conservative in any forum say Lloyd wants to reinstate the Doctrine.  

We would very much love for you to provide examples of conservatives getting Lloyd's views wrong.  In fact, the only citation you make is of Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa

“Mr. Lloyd supports a backdoor method of furthering the goals of the Fairness Doctrine by other means.” 

And he gets it exactly right.

If we missed examples of the conservative inaccuracies you reference we will gladly stand corrected.  Otherwise, you should issue a correction. 

You should then thoroughly examine Lloyd’s incredibly troubling views on the First Amendment and the media, not to mention his disturbing admiration for Venezuelan Communist dictator Hugo Chavez. 

Lloyd has written extensively about his great disdain for conservative talk radio - and his plans to so exorbitantly fine and incessantly regulate the stations that broadcast it that it becomes impossible for them to remain in business. 

Lloyd’s views on the First Amendment are cause for even greater alarm:

“It should be clear by now that my focus here is not freedom of speech or the press.  This freedom is all too often an exaggeration.  At the very least, blind references to freedom of speech or the press serve as a distraction from the critical examination of other communications policies.”

Lloyd is now at the FCC, where he can begin his “critical examination of other communications policies” that he views to be worthy of increased emphasis to the detriment of the “exaggerat(ed)…distraction” that is freedom of speech and the press.

And as a kicker, Lloyd has on video expressed his high regard for Chavez's "incredible...democratic revolution."  And how after Chavez had solidified his choke hold on Venezuela he "began to take very seriously the media in his country."  Which Chavez has done by revoking the licenses of or simply seizing and nationalizing radio and television stations and publications critical of him. 

As a journalist, you should find Lloyd’s veneration of Chavez’s actions to be as disconcerting as we do.

Lloyd has an extensive anti-free speech record.  Given his particular contempt for the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck et.al., he should not be in a position that places their broadcast lives in his hands.

Thankfully, the word on Lloyd is getting out, no thanks to reports like yours.  You simply summarily dismiss concerns about Lloyd's intentions for talk radio by knocking down a factually inaccurate straw man of your own making. 

You owe it to your readers to paint Lloyd’s full, accurate picture.  If you do, I think you will come to see why many, many Americans - not just conservatives – are concerned about Lloyd’s getting this gig, tailor-made just for him.

When you do, you will likely come to the same conclusion that many Americans across the land – not just conservatives – have: that Mark Lloyd should follow Van Jones out the door.