FCC Commissioner Warns of Back Door Fairness Doctrine
Chris Stirewalt and FCC commissioner Robert McDowell discuss localism
- Duration 7:31
- Date Aug 8, 2011
Chris Stirewalt and FCC commissioner Robert McDowell discuss localism
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This transcript is automatically generated
Localism and diversity those -- the three guiding principles for the Federal Communications Commission and this is power play and if you're anything like me you only really know what one of those words means I know what competition is but I'm not exactly sure what localism and diversity are.
Fortunately we have a person was ideally suited to answer those questions we have with us returning Robert McDowell is an FCC commissioner we're very grateful to have you back thanks accomplish -- OK now the last time you were here.
You left us with a cliff -- that's -- I'm very grateful that you were willing to come back because we ran out of time.
We were -- we had been and we hope to talk more today about net neutrality which is effort to regulate the Internet.
But we were talking about localism and I got plenty of chat I got plenty of email and people said.
Explain localism place of what we were talking about was how some Republicans claim that the FCC uses this concept of localism.
To try to constrain political speech on the airwaves can you explain to us what what this sort.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- Residents so localism is the idea that broadcasters get to use the airwaves for -- -- The radio frequencies actually belong to could the government -- -- natural resource.
And they get to use it for free that I have to pay for their licenses.
Didn't in the old days anyway -- an exchange that they have to serve their local communities of license.
Now that last part serving your local community license does not appear in a statute congress didn't put that and the books but over the decades and -- both Republicans and Democrats that is have become -- the policy of the FCC.
So what does that mean well they can mean a variety of things back in 2007 however.
The FCC under a Republican chairman.
-- up some ideas and proposed rules that it could mean a lot of things.
Mandatory community advisory boards for instance.
For each broadcaster TV.
You have your radio station that you'd have to act with the government after -- approve who was on your border just it would have to be aboard.
Conceivably the government have to prove who's on your board and they would have sway over whether or not you get your license renewed.
Based upon the content of what was being here.
And -- caused a great deal of consternation with the media and many others out there were reading this stuff.
Also the same time the -- issued an order for some nickel and enhanced disclosure form as of November votes.
Where record television broadcasters and in this as a planet cable but television broadcasters.
To fill out a form all day.
Telling the government exactly what was being here.
And within certain category so -- and so that makes a lot of sense because as we know television broadcasters like to keep their work product secret.
And -- sarcastic.
But so I think government -- -- what you're airing that could turn on the TV but that actually.
Gave a lot of concern folks because the government would be compiling data as to what kind of content you're hearing and whether or not the government thought that was appropriate concept.
To be political speech could be.
He didn't have enough shows on making her gardening is in good you know but we don't know where the government added that actually got hung up the bush Office of Management and Budget.
As well the Obama to their credit Office of Management and Budget there's report that came out in June -- the FCC.
Not voted on by the commissioner's -- -- report.
Called information needs of communities and so folks can find that this is -- -- And it recommends getting rid of that form as well as closing out the locals and docket but.
You do Duke's life start knocking on something -- You are while at Florida Atlantic in Gaza -- few -- -- -- real beef.
So what that means is.
Close about the proceeding that was -- canosa.
-- you can reopen in new one with new ideas for the public to comment on -- -- in the midst of a quadrennial review every four years -- -- Every -- -- review which is part.
Of our media ownership rules usually dovetailed with that.
Is this proceeding on localism.
-- start hearing more about that well perhaps maybe later this year the person's -- -- Catholic so the concept of localism basically say is if you'll pardon me for being.
He's the hillbilly.
Basically -- normal person that exit exam room and we're normal people -- -- is but basically says that.
That -- that the government has the ability to make sure that broadcasters.
Are serving their local communities for.
Conservatives say that there is a danger that that is twisted to be a different form of the Fairness Doctrine correct now is that a legitimate fear in your mind.
It's -- legitimate fear because it's all about content control.
The government having his watchful.
Given giving broadcasters this -- eyeball.
What it is they're airing and that is especially.
Political speeches especially vulnerable to this so.
The government exchange for giving the broadcast license which they have to renew every eight years -- some groups.
-- that renewal process to every three years and have these mandatory community advisory boards.
That would influencing.
Who gets to appoint the -- maybe the government.
So the good news is is that this report in June recommends the SEC.
Put aside his ideas but open up new ideas so.
Absolutely could be back doorway for the Fairness Doctrine I'm very hopeful -- this FCC won't go clear that chairman.
Has been on record several times and He closes Fairness Doctrine as well she wants to clean up what little bits -- that are left over rule books.
Of this month -- to -- this month.
Will be watching now let's -- and the other way this time can you tell us an update net neutrality the effort to to determine to have the FCC your agency act as.
Are cop on the beat.
To determine how much bandwidth people are using on the Internet has any.
Things changed since you were with us last what's what's the state of play there.
Right and and so the idea of this -- there's Arnold was to keep the Internet open and free.
And that Internet service providers -- not to discriminate.
Based on the content.
Okay -- they're actually laws on the books that are to prevent that there is no problem so I decided against this back last December.
It got hung up this order from last December got hung up again at the Office of Management and Budget under something called the paperwork reduction.
And that will lose old act of congress that says that.
The new rules are supposed to overly burdened.
Businesses or people paperwork.
And congressman cliff -- -- chairman of the house oversight and investigations subcommittee of the house commerce committee.
Has estimated that the paperwork burdens placed on businesses.
Triple and three times more than the FCC estimated.
So there's been this sort of fight at the Office of Management and Budget last week the common public comment period ended -- office of management budget.
Well now have a couple weeks or so to deliberate what they're going to do.
-- estimation is that the net neutrality rules go into effect mid to late October probably in October.
And then they become ripe for a court appeal.
Well and I think they could restructure or.
Okay all right well we will continue watching the Internet blows to know about what somebody's doing -- it and we appreciate you being with us today good luck thank you some of.