September 29th, 2009, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today called upon the Obama Administration to dismiss Federal Communications Commission (FCC) “Diversity Czar,” Mark Lloyd, because “his extreme views on government control over media outlets endangers a renaissance of media in this, the information age.”
“Mark Lloyd is an enemy of freedom, the Constitution, and free speech,” said Wilson, adding, “and he has no place in a position of power to curtail that freedom.”
Lloyd was appointed on August 4th to be Associate General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer of the FCC.
In 2007, Lloyd helped co-author a report by the Center for American Progress, “The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio,” where it is written, “The disparities between conservative and progressive programming reflects the absence of localism in American radio markets.” This disparity, the paper argues, arises from “the consolidation of ownership in radio stations and the corresponding dominance of syndicated programming.”
“This is the so-called ‘Fairness Doctrine’ by other means,” said Wilson. “If Lloyd has his way, the American people will be subjected to a radical shift in the radio programming they enjoy, no longer based on ad sales, but by local boards that will act as licensors—and, by extension, censors—for radio stations. That is where content will be determined.”
The Center for American Progress report goes on to advocate for the restoration of local and national caps on the ownership of commercial radio stations, greater power for local boards to control radio licensing, and to a requirement that commercial owners who fail to abide by “enforceable” public interest obligations to pay a fine to support public broadcasting.
“Lloyd would make his icon Hugo Chavez proud,” said Wilson, citing the fact that Chavez has shut nearly every freely owned media outlet in Venezuela. In July, the Venezuelan National Assembly at Chavez’s amended the Telecommunications Law to limit the “concentration” of private radio and television ownership, and the government also regulates the use of the public airwaves, which has resulted in the closure of many privately-owned radio stations that were allegedly operating without a “valid” license.
Wilson noted that Lloyd had in the past praised Chavez’s rise to power. In a panel on “media reform” after speaking on the use of radio as a propaganda tool by the state of Rwanda during the conflict between the Tutsis and the Hutus, Lloyd said, “In Venezuela Chavez really had an incredible revolution, a democratic revolution” wherein “Chavez began to take very seriously media in his country.”
“Mark Lloyd is a menace to the freedom of expression, and the right of the American people to choose which content they want to listen to through in a competitive marketplace,” said Wilson, adding, “But under Lloyd, the American people could be living in a world without Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, or many other great voices who dare to challenge the establishment.”
Mark Lloyd, FCC Diversity Czar, ALG Appointment Alert, September 2009.
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