Here’s Obama’s “media diversity czar,” Mark Lloyd:
It should be clear by now that my focus here is not freedom of speech or the press. This freedom is all too often an exaggeration. 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.
[T]he purpose of free speech is warped to protect global corporations and block rules that would promote democratic governance.
(from his 2006 book)
Mr Lloyd has had some very positive things to say about Venezuelan thug Hugo Chavez and his approach to the media:
In Venezuela, with Chavez, is really an incredible revolution – a democratic revolution. To begin to put in place things that are going to have an impact on the people of Venezuela.
The property owners and the folks who then controlled the media in Venezuela rebelled – worked, frankly, with folks here in the U.S. government – worked to oust him. But he came back with another revolution, and then Chavez began to take very seriously the media in his country.
More here about what this “taking very seriously” is doing to destroy media independence in Venezuela.
(link via Ms Ellison)
Back here in the U.S…in defending the strident White House verbal assault on Fox News, Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett asserted that the administration was “speaking truth to power.” As PowerLine points out:
Can we be far from “newspeak”when the most powerful office in the world holds itself out as speaking truth to power when it criticizes a cable news network?
Either Jarrett is an air-head or the Obama administration is a serious threat to freedom. The answer is, some of both, I think.
JOHN adds: I agree that Jarrett’s claim is ridiculous, but I think it has a history. Isn’t it a time-honored tradition for socialist governments, both national and Marxist, to continue to campaign against the “powerful” on behalf of the dispossessed, long after they have assumed control and have shot, imprisoned or cowed the supposedly “powerful?” It seems to me that Jarrett, knowingly or not, was placing the administration in a Peronist or Castroite tradition.
In American academia, free speech has been under serious assault for a couple of decades–both from administration-sponsored “speech codes” and from the thuggish behavior of various student groups. It is unsurprising that this hostility toward free expression would eventually move out into the larger society, especially with the election of an administration heavily committed to “progressivism” of the type popular among leftist academics.
Speaking of thuggishness, CNN commentator Lou Dobbs says he has received weeks and weeks of threatening phone calls (because of his opposition to illegal immigration) and that a shot has actually been fired at his house. I’m afraid we’re going to be seeing a lot more of this kind of thing.