Coalition Requests Inquiry into Hate Speech

by Charles Platt

The National Hispanic Media Coalition, which contains groups with harmless or even benign-sounding names such as Free Press, the Media Access Project, Common Cause, and the Prometheus Radio Project, renewed its demands earlier this month for the FCC to investigate “hate speech” and “misinformation” in the media.

“Hate has developed as a profit-model for syndicated radio and cable television programs masquerading as ‘news’,” they write. And as for the Internet, it “gives the illusion that news sources have increased, but in fact there are fewer journalists employed now than before . . . . Moreover, on the Internet, speakers can hide in the cloak of anonymity, emboldened to say things that they may not say in the public eye.” Well, obviously we can’t have THAT. Anonymity was okay in the Federalist Papers, but–not here, apparently (you can access their document here).

Meanwhile the FTC has released a “staff discussion draft” of ideas to “save” print journalism by innovative strategies such as exempting newspapers from antitrust regulations or funding them with a tax on consumer electronics. This is all very tentative, of course–for now.

2 Responses to Coalition Requests Inquiry into Hate Speech

  1. Mark Kernes says:

    Feel free to focus on the “anonymity” aspect, but the incredible amount of misinformation broadcast as “fact” on both cable news and talk radio, which millions of followers take as gospel, is a real problem in this country. In the article linked below, I suggested a possible solution. (Warning: article is surrounded by ads for non-work-safe material.)

  2. Charles Platt says:

    I assume you are not referring to PBS as a source of misinformation. But from my perspective PBS is as bad as, if not worse than, Beck or Limbaugh. With those guys, you know what you’re getting. With “All Things Not Considered” (as it should more properly be known), it’s presented in a quasi-educated tone of voice that sounds so reasonable, so concerned, and so deeply thoughtful, you’d never guess those guys have just as much of an agenda as the right-wing extremists, and pursue it just as relentlessly. Moreover, they do it using my tax money.

    I regard every broadcaster as utterly untrustworthy at this point, because they have all bought into the convenient fiction of a two-party system (with the probable exception of John Stossel), and they are all desperate for market share. Desperate people take desperate measures. At both ends of the spectrum. Some of them sound more desperate than others, but from my perspective, almost all of them are corrupt.

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