Buffalo News Supporting Silencing of Righty Radio Talkers


By: Warner Todd Huston

Douglas Turner of the Buffalo News wants conservative radio talkers silenced. He calls them “virulent,” “violent” and “coarse” and hopes that starting January 1 the “work of flushing” them will begin. Turner fills his little anti-free speech screed with claims and a few examples of how rotten he thinks righty talkers are and how they need to be shut down, yet can’t seem to find a single cross word to say about the “coarseness” of lefty talkers. In other words, it is plain that “coarseness” or “one-sided” radio isn’t really a concern of his. Only eliminating the free speech of the right is his goal not any leveling of the playing field.

Naturally, his is filled with prosaic generalizations. Turner assumes that all conservative talk show hosts “were fond” of addressing Obama as “Hussein,” his middle name. Yet, Turner offers no list of those that did. He says righty talkers are “violent” but does not offer a single example to prove the allegation. It also seems that Turner can’t understand why radio hosts that call themselves conservative would be “one-sided.” Curiously, he didn’t excoriate Alan Colmes, Randi Rhodes, or Al Franken for being “one-sided.” (I know… Imagine that, huh?)

His “violent” claim has me wondering, though. (Bold mine)

As station ownership became more consolidated, talk radio became more virulent, if not violent, and one-sided.

He makes this “violent” claim but offers not one single example. Who was “violent”? What radio host urged listeners to violence? This is quite a charge and it would be nice if Turner would provide an example instead of throwing such a bomb without proving his wild-eyed claim.

Turner goes on to talk about how fewer station owners there are as if media consolidation has something to do with the fact that fewer minorities own stations. He bemoans that women and minority owned radio stations have fallen in number since 1996 when Clinton relaxed certain requirements for how many stations a single entity may own. Turner also seems to hint that the inaptly named Fairness Doctrine that was ended by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s is also a culprit.

But, one wonders if Turner imagines that a successful radio station is something that the federal government is supposed to insure via government legislation instead of by the successful business practices of the station owners? Is a radio station for minorities a new Constitutional right as far as Turner is concerned? It sure looks that way by his piece.

Turner also seems to think that “truth” is a “commodity” that can be doled out by government largess through licensing rules.

The basic service that a broadcast licensee owes a community is truth. As the election neared, that commodity was in short supply.

The question is, Mr. Turner, whose “truth” are you claiming is “owed” a community? Yours? The Democrat Party’s?

Turner spends the next few paragraphs giving examples of what he imagines are the evil, uncivil, and “violent” things that righty talkers have said on the air. He calls these examples “the fetid puddle of falsehoods and coarseness that talk radio has become.”

But not once did he mention the even worse “coarseness” of the many lefty talkers that filled the airwaves from coast-to-coast all during the last 8 years. Apparently, no left leaning talkers are “coarse” as far as Turner is concerned.

Just as a reminder, here are just a very few examples of the hate spewing from lefty radio talkers:

… and that is just a short list. There are plenty more where that came from.

Lastly, Turner showed his disdain for the U.S. Constitution and seemed to infer that it is just an obstacle for his free speech-banning compatriots to overcome with backdoor legislation.

“There are constitutional issues related to imposing equal time,” Turner blandly said, “So the Democratic route seems to be to roll-back media consolidation.”

Gosh darn that darned ol’ Constitution thingie that causes problems for him “imposing” speech requirements on the nation! If ONLY he could get rid of that stinkin’ piece of old paper. Well, he now has a president that agrees with him on the need to quash the political speech of his enemies. Let’s see where it goes from here.

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