Sometimes this “free speech” and “free press” stuff just gets a little out of hand, don’t ya think?
Politicians in Broward County Florida (the land of the “dangling chad,” as you might recall) apparently thought so. The Board of Commissioners there attempted to ban further engagement between the county government, and a local radio station.
You probably saw the headlines. Radio station 610 WIOD in Miami, a news/talk station owned and operated by ClearChannel Communications, has for the past year had an arrangement in place whereby the radio station provides full coverage of news conferences and other emergency information during storm situations.
Essentially, WIOD has been Broward County’s emergency information station for the past year - - which is a very substantial commitment from the radio station ownership and staff - - and by all accounts that arrangement has worked well.
But despite the fact that it is working (note to the haters of “corporate America“ - - a commercially operated radio station is “serving the public interest” here), the county commissioners - - who are all Democrats - - let it be known that they might like to abandon the relationship between the county government and the radio station.
Why would the commissioners want to disrupt a program that serves the public with potentially life-saving information being broadcast on one of the most powerful radio outlets (both over-the-air and on the web) on the East Coast?
Because the radio station also airs The Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity shows, and thus in their view is “out of step with area politics.”
The commissioners have now back-tracked from this original position, and given the deluge of complaints, are “re-thinking” the matter. But the mindset that is in play here is clear: if other people, organizations and institutions don’t embody the “correct” political sensibilities - - BAN ‘EM!
Gosh, doesn’t this sound familiar? It was only two months ago that the three leading Democratic presidential candidates chose to “ban” their “relationship” with a presidential debate venue set-up by the Congressional Black Caucus, because the Fox News Channel was going to televise the event.
After the arrangements were set, Clinton, Obama and Edwards all backed-out of the deal last May because of the perceived political sensibilities of America’s number one cable news channel. Once again, the “correct” sensibilities were not in play - - sooooo……….BAN ‘EM!
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.
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