Monday, April 20, 2009

Public Usage and Free Speech

The attempt by the current administration to regulate which views are aired on radio and TV hinges on the concept of "public usage" of radio frequencies and the regulatory powers of the Federal Communications Commission granted in the 1927 law. John Armor addressed this issue in his current blog, "The Myth of Public Airways." The following is my response to this.


To many "public" means "governmental." This is a misidentification which falls right into the lap of leftists and other wannabe totalitarians. A little exercise of logical extension shows us where this leads:

1. We all breathe air and drink water and use the air we breathe to speak.

2. Since protection of the quality of the air and water is a public issue, then the "usage of public properties" includes all speech.

3. If the government has the right, even the obligation, to monitor and control the content of "public usage," then it must therefore monitor and censor, speech, even the most private.

4. But wait a minute! * Speech is protected by the Constitution. *

5. Don't let this let you breathe easy. The illiberal leftists will find a way to say that the First Amendment right of Free Speech is subject to the government's right and obligation to regulate the "public usage" aspect of our speech if it is in the interests of the "public good." And you can bet your last penny that if they think this will work in the courts, they will try it!

6. With that kind of reasoning, the entire Bill of Rights might as well have been written in sand.

See John Armor's blog:

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