FCC Partners With Questionable Allies to Push High-Speed Internet for Everyone

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Posted: Apr 13, 2010 3:41 PM
They're calling it the "digital divide"--the supposed inability of many communities across the country to use new, high-speed internet technology because residents either can't access the technology, or they can't afford it.  The Federal Communications Commission recently co-hosted an event highlighting its new agenda for “digital inclusion." 

One of the event's speakers, Rhonda Locklear, spoke to the crowd gathered in Washington about her town of Pembroke, North Carolina, and how her family "has been stuck with dial-up internet."  Glenn Beck joked about Locklear's sob story this morning on his radio show, playing the audio of her remarksDuring the FCC's Digital Inclusion Summit (yup, another summit), Locklear complained that she and her children are "disadvantaged" because her son is not able to "move around on the Web like he likes and needed to" to complete school assignments:



"Seemingly easy assignments took him hours to complete," Locklear said.  "It's very disheartening to watch.  [Her son] got discouraged, upset and frustrated... As a mother, it breaks my heart feeling that I have failed him in some way."

Further research indicates a clear liberl network pushing for drastic broadband reform.  Locklear has been an advocate for InternetforEveryone.org--an organization founded by "media reform" organization Free PressFree Press has been in the news lately as a driving force behind Democrats' plans for net neutrality and the Fairness Doctrine.  Locklear and has also tried to garner support for high-speed internet access by portraying the issue as one based in civil rights related to her tribal roots:
"I think some of our tribal members feel that maybe we're just not worthy... When is our time going to come? When are we going to be able to access and get what we need? When are we going to be able to rise above? When are we going to rise above where we're at right now and overcome?"
In 2009, the average price of dial-up internet--as Ms. Locklear claimed to have been "stuck with"--in the U.S. was $26.60.  A little research shows that in the Pembroke, NC, area however, Locklear has access to both cable and satellite internet providers at costs starting at $29.99/month.  For a difference of a few dollars, she insists the FCC come to the rescue to provide "fast, affordable and open" internet access for her and her community.  

Co-hosting the FCCevent was the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, an organization claiming "to seek opportunities that can transform both communities and journalism, and help them reach their highest potential. We advance journalism in the digital age and invest in the vitality of communities..."  Sounds innocent enough, but as has become a recurring theme from the Left, all is not as it seems...
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The Knight Foundation supports projects like PBS, but also lends significant financial support to media like The Progressive magazine, one of America's oldest left-wing monthly magazines.  According to DiscovertheNetworks, following the end of World War II, The Progressive held a positive view of the USSR and opposed "Truman's Cold War" to stop Soviet expansion.

In 1959, the mag "was sympathetic to the revolutionary dictatorship of Marxist Fidel Castro, who seized power in Cuba," and [w]hen Castro began arming Communist guerrillas in Nicaragua and El Salvador in the 1980s, 'The Progressive,' boasts the magazine today, 'published pathbreaking stories about U.S. support for death squads in Central America.'"  Various recent contributors to the magazine have included Barbara Ehrenreich, an executive of the Democratic Socialists of America; liberal historian Howard Zinn; Noam Chomsky; actor Danny Glover and communist revolutionary Angela Davis.

The Knight Foundation is also a significant benefactor of Al-Manar Television--an Arabic broadcasting company that began broadcasting from Lebanon in 1991.  Al-Manar shares extraordinarily close ties with the terrorist group Hezbollah:
According to the chairman of Al-Manar's Board, Nayef Krayem, Al-Manar and Hezbollah "breathe life into one another.... Each provides the other with inspiration. Hezbollah uses Al-Manar to express its stands and its views, etc. Al-Manar in turn receives political support for its continuation."
Like Hezbollah, Al-Manar broadcasts a consistent message of what its own original website describes as “resistance activity” to liberate “the occupied territories” from “Israeli arrogance.” Also like Hezbollah, Al-Manar is both radical and devoted to the Shi’ite denomination of Islam. Its current website celebrates the Shi’ite holy day Ashoura and features a photograph of the cleric who imposed a theocratic Shi’ite dictatorship in Iran, the Ayatollah Khomeini. That Iranian dictatorship is one source of Al-Manar Television’s funding; the dictator of Syria is another. 

“Al-Manar,” says the organization's current website, “is the first Arab establishment to stage an effective psychological warfare against the Zionist enemy [Israel].” Both Al-Manar’s programs and its website honor the “martyrs” who have tried, often successfully, to kill Israelis...

Al-Manar's most popular program, launched in the fall of 2003, is a game show called "The Mission." Contestants are given a monetary prize incentive to answer questions based on Hezbollah assertions about purported Israeli atrocities, alleged historic evils of Jews, American and European wickedness, names of terrorist martyrs and the like.
The FCC keeps pretty interesting company these days.  Also speaking during the FCC/Knight Foundation event were representatives from Americorps, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, and various members of Congress