A Bad Tree Bears Bad Fruit
Barack Obama's appointees are once again causing trouble—and once again reminding the American people that the proverbial apple does not fall far from the gnarled tree. Each and every one of his appointments gives an unadulterated glimpse into Obama, who he is, and from where his ideology is derived.
And the view is quite disconcerting.
The latest nominee to come under fire is Mark Lloyd, recently appointed by Barack Obama to be Associate General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission—aka the "Diversity Czar." While the name sounds flowery and benevolent, the man is anything but.
Mr. Lloyd's record and statements reveal him as nothing more than an outright opponent of free speech and honest competition in the marketplace of both ideas and radio waves. He has openly revealed his disdain for popular conservative talk-radio personalities and the lack of any successful liberal counterparts.
In 2007, Lloyd helped co-author a report by the Center for American Progress, "The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio," where it is written, "The disparities between conservative and progressive programming reflects the absence of localism in American radio markets." This disparity, the paper argues, arises from "the consolidation of ownership in radio stations and the corresponding dominance of syndicated programming…"
The truth, of course, is that the consolidation represents the dictates of the marketplace of its own free will.
The Center for American Progress report goes on to advocate for the restoration of local and national caps on the ownership of commercial radio stations, greater power for local boards to control radio licensing, and a requirement that commercial owners who fail to abide by "enforceable" public interest obligations to pay a fine to support public broadcasting. So much for popular choice.
Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson spared no words when describing the threat Mr. Lloyd portends. As he recently stated:
"Mark Lloyd is an enemy of freedom, the Constitution, and free speech. He has no place in a position of power to curtail that freedom."
Although both Lloyd and his defenders stress how he has not called for a reinstatement of the "Fairness Doctrine", his aim is just as sinister (and more discrete). As Wilson warned, Mark Lloyd's stated goals ought not to be underestimated or overlooked. As he said:
"This is the so-called 'Fairness Doctrine' by other means. If Lloyd has his way, the American people will be subjected to a radical shift in the radio programming they enjoy, no longer based on ad sales, but by local boards that will act as licensors—and, by extension, censors—for radio stations. That is where content will be determined…
Mark Lloyd is a menace to the freedom of expression, and the right of the American people to choose which content they want to listen to through in a competitive marketplace"
To fully understand his agenda, one need look no further than who Mr. Lloyd admires. At the National Conference for Media Reform in 2008, Mr. Lloyd enthusiastically embraced Hugo Chavez—as a model of superior leadership:
"In Venezuela, Chavez really had an incredible revolution, a democratic revolution, to begin to put in place things that were going to have an impact on the people in Venezuela…
And then Chavez began to take very seriously media in his country."
Mark Lloyd clearly has no issue with authoritarian despots shutting down media outlets and seizing radio stations that dare challenge the authority of their leaders or government. It's what he wants the American president to do, after all.
If Mr. Obama seeks to reverse the radicalism that has consumed his administration, he must immediately fire people such as Mark Lloyd. His goals are anti-democratic—and anti-American—at heart. And people like him have no place is a small-d democratic presidential administration.
Barack Obama must fire Mark Lloyd. That might prove difficult, however—the two are intrinsically linked in ideology and aspirations. And the fruit of that "family tree" will be bitter for all who value freedom to swallow.