FCC Chairman Ducks Question About FCC Official’s First Amendment Views

By Matt Cover | November 5, 2009 | 7:59 AM EST

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(CNSNews.com) – The head of the Federal Communications Commission refused to say if he agrees with the FCC’s Chief Diversity Officer Mark Lloyd that freedom of speech is an “exaggeration” and that concerns about free speech serve only as a “distraction” from policy debates.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, after testifying at a congressional hearing on texting while driving Wednesday, was asked whether he agreed with Lloyd’s views on the First Amendment.
Instead of answering the question, Genachowski said he would rather focus on drivers who are distracted by text-messaging.
CNSNews.com: Your Chief Diversity Office, Mark Lloyd, wrote in 2006 that freedom of speech had become an exaggeration and that free speech concerns served to distract from policy debates. Do you agree with those statements?
Genachowski: We’re here today to talk about distracted driving, and today is a day to focus attention on that issue and that’s what we’ve done.
Lloyd made the comments in his 2006 book “A Prologue to a Farce: Communication and Democracy in America.”  In the book, Lloyd alleges that communications policy has been rigged to serve the interests of international corporations, and he said the First Amendment has fallen prey to their machinations.
“The news media in America most people rely upon, whether newspaper or television, is first and foremost a space for advertisements,” Lloyd wrote. “In other words, private corporations determine whether the people acquire information needed to govern themselves based in large part on whether the investment in resources is profitable.”
Lloyd argued that because newspapers and cable news outlets are privately owned, free speech itself has been “warped” to protect “global corporations” and to stop government from implementing democratic policies, despite the fact that most major news corporations are publicly traded.
“Thus, the purpose of free speech is warped to protect global corporations and block rules that would promote democratic governance,” Lloyd wrote.
Lloyd concluded that because of corporate domination and manipulation, First Amendment freedoms of speech and press have become exaggerations and that those who raise First Amendment concerns are merely distracting from public debates.
“It should be clear by now that my concern is not freedom of speech or the press. This freedom is all too often an exaggeration,” Lloyd wrote. “At the very least, blind references to freedom of speech or the press serve as a distraction from the critical examination of other communications policies.”
Lloyd became the FCC’s chief diversity officer and associate general counsel in July. He works directly for Genachowski on issues related to diversity and broadband.
In his book, Lloyd said his approach to communications was inspired by left-wing radical Saul Alinsky.
“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 those sources we drew inspiration and guidance,” Lloyd wrote.
Alinksy, author of the book “Rules for Radicals,” wrote that his methods were intended to guide people intent on overturning the American system.
“’The Prince’ was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power,” Alinsky explained. “’Rules for Radicals’ is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.”