Friday, October 31, 2008

Obama's attack on free speech

If you've followed the campaign closely, you know about Sen. Obama's attempts to silence his critics.

Jack Tapscott at DC Examiner has the latest "silencer" from the Obama campaign as well as an excellent summary of some of the "silence the opposition" actions Obama and his supporters will implement if they get control of the White House.

Tapscott's prediction: In six months we'll have Caracas on the Potomac.

Tapscott begins - - -

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama gave us another preview this week of how he will deal with critics if he is elected to the White House when he kicked three newspapers that endorsed John McCain off of his press plane. Merely terminating access, however,is likely to look tame compared to what Obama has in store for his critics after he takes the oath of office.

PREDICTION: Within six months of moving into the Oval Office, Obama's multiple moves to silence critics in the media and elsewhere will lead to Washington, D.C. becoming the Caracas on the Potomac.

There were multiple signs before The Washington Times, New York Post and Dallas Morning News got the boot.

Hugo Chavez has long used mob intimidation to pressure opposition forces into submission. Obama has made a limited use of the same tactic, as when National Review's Stanley Kurtz began some potentially damaging reporting about the Democratic nominee's long relationship with unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist bombers William Ayers and wife Bernadine Dohrn.

In retaliation, the Obama campaign issued a call-to-censor alert to its supporters, especially against Milt Rosenberg, a long-time and highly respected Chicago radio host who invited Kurtz to discuss his reporting on air.

The Obama campaign declined to provide an official to share the program and rebut Kurtz. Instead, hundreds of callers did what they were instructed to do by the Obama campaign - they jammed the station's phone lines with protest calls demanding that Kurtz be silenced and accusing the show's host of lowering journalism standards.

The Obama campaign had done the same thing a few weeks earlier when Rosenberg had as a guest another Obama critic, book author David Freddoso, whose book, "The Case Against Barack Obama," has been lauded as a solid journalistic effort to uncover the rest of the story left out of the Chicago pol's two autobiographies.

Once he is sworn in, expect Obama to move on multiple fronts to intimidate or silence critics. He has expressed opposition to renewal of the Fairness Doctrine, an action that would all but destroy Talk Radio and cripple the expression of conservative dissent.

But he could accomplish much the same effect by imposing ownership caps and other measures, as Jesse Walker pointed out recently:

"There's a host of other broadcast regulations that Obama has not foresworn. In the worst-case scenario, they suggest a world where the FCC creates intrusive new rules by fiat, meddles more with the content of stations' programs, and uses the pending extensions of broadband access as an opportunity to put its paws on the Internet. At a time when cultural production has been exploding, fueled by increasingly diverse and participatory new media, we would be stepping back toward the days when the broadcast media were a centralized and cozy public-private partnership."

The conservative non-profit and think tank communities will also be targeted. The Clinton administration used IRS investigations of trumped-up charges of tax exemption abuse to force The Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute and other other major conservative tanks to spend millions of dollars and countless man-hours defending themselves and their donors.

That diverted millions of dollars worth of resources that could have otherwise been devoted to making the case against Slick Willie's liberal policies.

Expect the same from the IRS under Obama, plus even more aggressive efforts in the form of attempts to impose racial and other quotas on think tanks at their director and management levels, via regulatory changes in tax-exemption administration. Legislation to do this in California at the state level is already progressing in the legislature there, so similar federal efforts are a virtual certainty.

The rest of Tapscott's column's here.

Please read it and remember to vote for McCain-Palin.