WASHINGTON, November 8, 2007 — Accuracy in Media today criticized the Senate Commerce Committee for holding a Thursday hearing on “media diversity” that featured a prominent advocate of the federal Fairness Doctrine, a measure liberals hope to use to silence conservative talk radio. The witness, Alex Nogales of the liberal National Hispanic Media Coalition, used his testimony to attack “hate speech on talk radio programs” and claimed that “more diversity of ownership” in the media would somehow help solve the perceived problem. “The war on conservative talk radio has begun,” stated AIM editor Cliff Kincaid.
While the Fairness Doctrine was not the official subject of the hearing, Kincaid said that “the inclusion of Nogales as an ‘expert’ witness was a signal that the committee wants to move in the direction of using the federal government to muzzle conservative commentators.” Nogales has openly declared that the Fairness Doctrine should be brought back to counter conservative “hate speech” against “undocumented Latinos” and others. Nogales suggests that “hate speech” leads to “hate crimes” and that broadcasting licenses should only be given to “responsible” parties who provide “varied points of view.” He has gone so far as to label Lou Dobbs of CNN the “father of television hate speech” because of his stand against illegal immigration.
Kincaid said that the appearance of Nogales adds to the suspicion that the real agenda of the committee encompasses federal monitoring, regulation and suppression of conservative political speech on talk radio. The AIM editor called on the committee to protect freedom of speech by holding a hearing on and passing the Broadcaster Freedom Act, in order to prevent the return of the Fairness Doctrine.
Accuracy in Media is a citizens’ media watchdog organization whose mission is to promote fairness, balance, and accuracy in news reporting. Founded in 1969, AIM is the oldest non-profit press watchdog group in America. For more information, please visit www.aim.org .