Conservative Leaders Dismiss Accusations of FCC Diversity Chief as ‘Worthless’
December 17, 2009Leading conservatives rebuked the Federal Communications Commission's Chief Diversity Officer Mark Lloyd - who claims to have been the victim of a "right-wing smear campaign" - saying the accusations made by him were "worthless" and "dishonest."
“Mr. Lloyd’s comments are extremely disturbing and very revealing,” conservative author and political strategist Craig Shirley told CNSNews.com. “He doesn’t realize his opinions are utterly worthless and that, as a public servant, his job is to shut up and do as he is told by the American people.”
At a forum on Monday sponsored by the Media Access Project (MAP), Lloyd, who is also an associate counsel at the FCC, said that the “right-wing smear campaign” against him involved outlets ranging from blogs to church groups, and that he was not carrying out “a secret plot funded by George Soros to get rid of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, or any other conservative talk show host.”
Lloyd also dismissed claims that he is a “supporter of Hugo Chavez” and said that “any careful reader of my writing will know that my focus, my long-standing interest, is not Limbaugh, Beck or Dobbs, it is not the right-wing haters.”
Shirley said that Lloyd has his role as a public servant backwards and should instead be listening to conservative citizens and their representatives, rather than attacking them.
“It is not the role of the American people as represented by Limbaugh, [Sean] Hannity, [Mark] Levin, [Laura] Ingraham, Gallagher, [Bill] Bennett and others to cower before their government,” said Shirley.
“It is the job of Lloyd, Obama, and others whom we, the American people employ, to cower before us, the citizenry,” he said. “Lloyd is our servant, and he needs to learn to mind his mouth and his manners.”
Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center (the parent company of CNSNews.com), called Lloyd’s accusations “dishonest” in a Tuesday press release.
“Why are Obama’s leadership picks so incapable of telling the truth,” Bozell asked. “It is not necessary for conservatives to ‘distort’ or ‘smear’ Mark Lloyd. All we have to do is quote him. When we do, he has public meltdowns with hysterical and dishonest accusations.”
At the forum, Lloyd had said, “Andy Schwartzman [president and CEO of MAP] was the first to warn me about an obscure, right-wing blog that was distorting my views about the First Amendment. The blog continued and spread different exaggerations and distortions.”
“Those were picked up by radio and cable and then YouTube, Facebook, and Wikipedia,” said Lloyd, and “then by so-called news services and newspapers, the National Rifle Association and other association newsletters, e-mail blasts from church groups and then on to certain public officials.”
Lloyd claimed that this “right-wing smear campaign” had resulted in death threats against him and served as evidence of the dangers posed by “new media,” such as Facebook and YouTube.
“The right-wing smear campaign has been, in a word, incredible, generating hate mail and death threats. It is the price we pay for freedom of speech, and I do support free speech,” Lloyd said.
“Anyone who suggests that old media – whether newspapers or radio or cable – no longer matters, has not fully experienced the impact of old media,” he said. “Anyone who suggests that Facebook and YouTube are the answers to the problems of old media has not been confronted by a smear campaign using these social media tools.”
Morton Blackwell, founder of the Leadership Institute, compared Lloyd to disgraced former green jobs czar Van Jones, saying he was a “self-inflicted wound” on President Obama’s popularity.
“Mark Lloyd, like Van Jones, is another of Obama’s self-inflicted wounds, draining away the president’s popularity,” Blackwell told CNSNews.com. “If you Google ‘Van Jones’ and ‘communism,’ you’ll see 282,000 hits. If you Google ‘Mark Lloyd’ and ‘Czar,’ you’ll get 546,000 hits. So I think that Mark Lloyd is obviously in big trouble and keeping him on is obviously generating more negativity about President Obama.”
Erick Erickson, editor of the conservative blog RedState.com, called Lloyd’s comments “amateurish,” adding that Lloyd appeared to have a chip on his shoulder.
“Mr. Lloyd shows an amateurish sense of job reflected at all levels of the administration,” said Erickson. “As counsel to the FCC he is supposed to deliver unbiased legal advice, but he seems to have a chip on his shoulder and feels the need for spite. When the FCC wants everyone else to be neutral, perhaps they need to practice what they preach.”
In his 2006 book, Prologue to a Farce: Communications and Democracy in America, Lloyd wrote that in his “struggle” against commercial broadcasters, he took “inspiration and guidance” from the radical author Saul Alinksy, who dedicated his 1971 book Rules for Radicals to “the first radical known to man … Lucifer.”
Lloyd wrote: “We understood that we were in a struggle for power against an opponent, the commercial broadcasters, which fiercely guarded its ability to determine legislation and regulation with an enormous amount of money and great public relations skills and resources. We looked to successful political campaigns and organizers as a guide, especially the civil rights movement, Saul Alinsky, and the campaign to prevent the Supreme Court nomination of the ultra-conservative jurist Robert Bork. From these sources we drew inspiration and guidance.”
At the National Conference for Media Reform in June 2008, Lloyd described the ascendancy of socialist Hugo Chavez in Venezuela as a “democratic revolution.” Lloyd also said there was opposition to Chavez by “property owners” and the U.S. media, concluding that the socialist leader now takes “very seriously the media in this country.”
In recent years, Chavez has either nationalized or closed nearly all of Venezuela’s independent media outlets, focusing particular attention on media that were critical of his policies.
“In Venezuela, with Chavez, is really an incredible revolution -- a democratic revolution,” said Lloyd in June 2008. “To begin to put in place things that are going to have an impact on the people of Venezuela."
“The property owners and the folks who then controlled the media in Venezuela rebelled – worked, frankly, with folks here in the U.S. government – worked to oust him,” said Lloyd. “But he came back with another revolution, and then Chavez began to take very seriously the media in his country.”
At Monday’s forum, however, Lloyd said, “I am not a supporter of Hugo Chavez.”
At the May 2005 “Conference on Media Reform: Racial Justice,” Lloyd said that applying affirmative action policies to the media was “difficult,” because there were some “truly good white people” who would have to “step down.”
“This – there's nothing more difficult than this,” he said. “Because we have really, truly good white people in important positions. And the fact of the matter is that there are a limited number of those positions. And unless we are conscious of the need to have more people of color, gays, other people in those positions, we will not change the problem.
“We’re in a position where you have to say who is going to step down so someone else can have power,” said Lloyd.
At Monday’s forum, Lloyd said: “I am not at the FCC to remove anybody, whatever their color, from power.”