Bazzo Says:Being Doctrinaire About Fairness

Bazzo Says:

BY ANTHONY J. BAZZO

OF YORKTOWN NEWS

TITLE: Being Doctrinaire About Fairness

Last week in this publication, Steven J. Wohl ran a column called “The fairness doctrine and conservative talk radio” I wish to take issue with some of his statements.

Wohl: Rush Limbaugh is a hatemonger.

Bazzo: I unlike Mr. Wohl have been a regular everyday listener to Rush since 1988. . Rush is an unabashed conservative. To the liberal, conservatism in and of itself is hateful. He disagrees with Democrats. He parodies them. More times than not, he uses absurdity to prove how absurd their positions are. However, he never spouts hateful speech. I would really like Mr. Wohl to cite what he would consider Rush’s hateful speech.

You want hateful speech? Pick any leading Democrat. Their use of class warfare is of the most hateful kind. Their demonizing of the successful to pander to those less so, or completely dependent on government is pure hate. To try to convince the ignorant that the successful only became so by stealing from them is shameful. However they have no shame. To convince the uniformed that by punishing the successful will improve their lot in life is pure demagoguery.

The leading Democrats do not lift up, they tear down. They divide Americans by various hyphens to keep them in continued victim hood. They tear down the notion of personal responsibility in favor of government dependency. There is nothing more hateful than that.

You want hateful speech? Look and re-read their treatment of Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Bush 43. Clinton and Obama could never withstand the continued unrelenting attacks those endured. In Nixon’s case is spanned over 40 years. You want hateful, it is there you will find it. Not Rush.

Wohl: Mark Levin is a brilliant, nativist demagogue, who likes to clothe himself in the garb of a constitutional scholar.

Bazzo: Levin is a constitutional scholar. Read his book “Men In Black” before you disparage his credentials. His Landmark Legal Foundation has argued and won cases before the Supreme Court.

As for demagoguery, just listen to the President during and after the sequester debate.

Wohl: Each self-identifies as a constitutional conservative, dedicated to the propositions that government is best which governs least, and that the only way by which the individual liberty upon which this country was founded can be protected is by drastically shrinking what they characterize as the Federal government behemoth.

Bazzo: If you do not think a government that requires a three trillion dollar budget, of which 40 cents of every dollar is borrowed is not a behemoth, I would re-read the definition of behemoth. If you do not think a government that reaches all the way to your toilet, shower head and light bulb, that believes it should supply cell phones, is not a behemoth, you are fooling yourself.

Wohl: The second thing they have in common is that each one of them hates, just absolutely loathes, our President.

Bazzo: No they do not hate him, just his policies. The trouble with liberals, they equate disagreement with hate. It is the liberal that took disagreement to hateful levels. Why do you think the term “Bush derangement syndrome” was coined?

Wohl: And it’s not just that Mr. Obama is black that engenders their hatred; or that his middle name is “Hussein;” or that they falsely attribute far-left liberal, and even socialist, policies and viewpoints to him.

Bazzo: Here is what hate speech is. To disagree with Obama can only be attributed to his color. Not his policies, just his color. It is the liberal that divides by race, not the conservative.

History does not start when you wake up in the morning. It was Obama who chose not use his middle name during the 2008 presidential race. In fact, if you remember, if Republicans mentioned his middle name they were accused of trying to tie him in with Islamic terrorists by the media. Here is where pointing to the absurdity of that was used by Rush and Levin.

As far as his policies are concerned, it was Obama who promised in 2008 to fundamentally change America. His admitted desire to redistribute wealth, remember Joe the plumber, is pure socialism. Read his books, he believes and wrote that he must rectify the false premise upon which this government was founded. If Obama care is not the definition of socialism,nothing is.

What is Obama’s continued position? Grow government, tax the rich. In his State of the Union Address, for every perceived wrong, he had a government program to address it. Even after he got the Republican controlled Congress to increase taxes on the first of the year, the next day he was out campaigning that we must raise taxes on the rich, even though the deal was to next control government spending.

Wohl: The third thing they have in common is that each of them is the host of his own nationally-syndicated and highly popular conservative radio talk show. The last commonality among them is that each of them has found a home in the New York area on NewsTalkRadio77 WABC, a powerful, 50,000 watt clear channel station operated by Cumulus Media, the second-largest radio station operator in the country. For decades, WABC has been a pillar of New York broadcasting, one of the four or five stations, along with WINS, WOR, WCBS, and WFAN that have been AM radio staples for metro New York residents. For its longevity alone, WABC deserves to be respected.

Instead, however, what Cumulus has succeeded in doing by stringing Limbaugh to Hannity to Levin to Savage back-to-back-to-back-to-back has in my view been to bring WABC into total disrespect, as the flagship of yellow journalism.

Bazzo: Journalism has nothing to do with it. They are commentators, just as you and I are, and do not pretend to be otherwise. As for ABC, they are a for profit company. These gentlemen have proven to be ratings magnets, and ratings means advertisers, advertisers means revenue. Enough revenue means profit. That is the bond with their shareholders that is at play. It is pure economics, and despite the liberal belief, profit is not a crime. As long as what they do is legal, you have no right to judge how they honor their pact with their investors.

Again, history does not start when you wake up. ABC has tried numerous liberal talk show hosts. Maior Cuomo, Ed Kotch, Richard Bey and the one who was most successful, Lynn Samuels come immediately to mind. However, they could not garner enough audience to make them profitable. It is the market place that dictates ABC’s lineup.

Wohl: Last week, I tuned into Levin one evening. He opined that what the President has done by creating Obamacare would be sufficient, if the President were in private enterprise, to earn him an “orange prison jumpsuit.” Levin accused the President of “stealing” our money by sponsoring a law, the Affordable Care Act–“Obamacare”–that in Levin’s view transfers Medicare funds from “hardworking Americans who have contributed to Medicare their whole working lives” to the poor or unemployed who, he asserted, have never contributed a dime to the program. In reality, however, the Affordable Care Act does no such thing. It is a compassionate statute that will not take money from the Medicare trust fund but, rather, will generate substantial savings from reductions in Medicare fraud and waste, the very things that conservatives have railed against for years in their attacks on Medicare. Those Medicare savings will then be available to help fund the Affordable Care Act.

Bazzo: I listened to that show. He is factually correct. People are in jail now who fudged the books the way Obama care does. Remember some aspects started in 2010, but the taxes to fund it don’t really kick in till 2014. That is how they came to the under trillion dollars figure to pass Congress without a sun-set provision.

Mr. Wohl, you are wrong. Obama care takes over 700 billion dollars out of Medicare and gives it to Medicaid. Those needing Medicaid by financial definition have not paid into it as they are at the income level that does not pay the federal taxes that fund it.

As for Medicare waste and fraud, the latest CBO report on that subject estimates there is only 125 billion dollars in that. So where do you think the remaining balance is going to come from? Medicare contributions!

Wohl: For thirty-eight years, from 1949 to 1987, the Federal Communications Commission had regulations in place which collectively came to be known as the “Fairness Doctrine.” The Fairness Doctrine posited that since the airwaves belong to the public, to you and to me, and not to the broadcasting radio stations, those stations had to include in their content both (1) discussion of controversial issues, and (2) “honest, equitable and balanced” viewpoints on those issues. The FCC eliminated the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 under the aegis of a Reagan-appointed FCC chairman. While I am a staunch advocate of free speech for all, including the four “gentlemen” discussed in this piece, I have to say that enough is enough. Eleven consecutive hours of WABC permitting the defamation of a well-intentioned President and a good man is, frankly, just too much free speech. The FCC should reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, and its first target should be WABC.

Bazzo: In Mr Wohl’s opening line you find out why the Fairness Doctrine was needed then removed. Before 1987 you pretty much only had antenna t.v. Cable was in it’s infancy and talk radio was Bob grant on politics and Art Rush Jr. on sports in the New York market and the Internet was non-existent. Now there are alternative political advocacy outlets as far as the eye can see.

There are places to go to that satisfy whatever political belief you may have. After the Fairness Doctrine was lifted, it was Rush who paved the way for what is now talk radio as we know it, just as CNN paved the way for cable news as we know it.

Rush and those he spawned did the heavy lifting, and now, just like a liberal, you want a free ride on their backs to get your message out. The paying public has rejected your message, and as a liberal, you believe the customer is always wrong. You want to force those who choose not to want your message, to listen to it anyway.

The real Fairness Doctrine is the market place, you have CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC. Be satisfied. This is what I say, what say you?

HERE IS MR. WOHL’S COLUMNB UNEDITED:

The fairness doctrine and conservative talk radio

Rush Limbaugh is a hatemonger, who also happens to be, by his own 2003 admission, an amphetamine abuser and painkiller addict. Sean Hannity is a pretentious, intellectually-challenged twit, sort of like a snakeoil salesman. Mark Levin is a brilliant, nativist demagogue, who likes to clothe himself in the garb of a constitutional scholar. Michael Savage is, well, an aptly-named savage.

What do these four “gentlemen,” and I use that word loosely because they are anything but gentle, have in common? First, each self-identifies as a constitutional conservative, dedicated to the propositions that that government is best which governs least, and that the only way by which the individual liberty upon which this country was founded can be protected is by drastically shrinking what they characterize as the Federal government behemoth.

The second thing they have in common is that each one of them hates, just absolutely loathes, our President and, it seems, they each hate him even more now that the American people have re-elected him by quite a sizeable margin, if not by a landslide. And it’s not just that Mr. Obama is black that engenders their hatred; or that his middle name is “Hussein;” or that they falsely attribute far-left liberal, and even socialist, policies and viewpoints to him. Rather, they hate him because he is “the other.” He is not, like each of them, an America-First right-wing male chauvinist longing for the “good old days” before this country was “invaded” by Hispanics and corrupted by blacks who actually deigned to assert their equality in our society. In other words, President Obama is the embodiment of all of their worst fears, namely, that someone not like each of them, someone who is “the other” can actually be given the reins of power in 21st century America.

The third thing they have in common is that each of them is the host of his own nationally-syndicated and highly popular conservative radio talk show.

The fourth thing they have in common, of which they are all unaware, is that I listen to them as often as I can, whether during a lunchtime drive to an appointment or on the commute home at the end of the day. Why do I listen to them? Because I think it is critical that we liberals know exactly what the enemy is thinking, in order to intelligently formulate opinions and actions to counteract their craziness.

The fifth and last commonality among them is that each of them has found a home in the New York area on NewsTalkRadio77 WABC, a powerful, 50,000 watt clear channel station operated by Cumulus Media, the second-largest radio station operator in the country. For decades, WABC has been a pillar of New York broadcasting, one of the four or five stations, along with WINS, WOR, WCBS, and WFAN that have been AM radio staples for metro New York residents. For its longevity alone, WABC deserves to be respected.

Instead, however, what Cumulus has succeeded in doing by stringing Limbaugh to Hannity to Levin to Savage back-to-back-to-back-to-back has in my view been to bring WABC into total disrespect, as the flagship of yellow journalism. Last week, I tuned into Levin one evening. He opined that what the President has done by creating Obamacare would be sufficient, if the President were in private enterprise, to earn him an “orange prison jumpsuit.” Levin accused the President of “stealing” our money by sponsoring a law, the Affordable Care Act–“Obamacare”–that in Levin’s view transfers Medicare funds from “hardworking Americans who have contributed to Medicare their whole working lives” to the poor or unemployed who, he asserted, have never contributed a dime to the program. In reality, however, the Affordable Care Act does no such thing. It is a compassionate statute that will not take money from the Medicare trust fund but, rather, will generate substantial savings from reductions in Medicare fraud and waste, the very things that conservatives have railed against for years in their attacks on Medicare. Those Medicare savings will then be available to help fund the Affordable Care Act.

For thirty-eight years, from 1949 to 1987, the Federal Communications Commission had regulations in place which collectively came to be known as the “Fairness Doctrine.” The Fairness Doctrine posited that since the airwaves belong to the public, to you and to me, and not to the broadcasting radio stations, those stations had to include in their content both (1) discussion of controversial issues, and (2) “honest, equitable and balanced” viewpoints on those issues. The FCC eliminated the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 under the aegis of a Reagan-appointed FCC chairman. While I am a staunch advocate of free speech for all, including the four “gentlemen” discussed in this piece, I have to say that enough is enough. Eleven consecutive hours of WABC permitting the defamation of a well-intentioned President and a good man is, frankly, just too much free speech. The FCC should reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, and its first target should be WABC.

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