Free the airwaves
This comes out particularly with regard to exactly the kind of political speech that is most important to our republic.
From the LA Daily News:
In a complaint to the Federal Elections Commission, the National Republican Campaign Committee accused radio station KFI-AM (640) co-hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou of "criminal behavior" for attacking Rep. David Dreier, R-Glendora, and endorsing his Democratic opponent, Cynthia Matthews.
By criticizing Dreier's positions on immigration, promoting a "Fire Dreier" campaign and making on-air appeals for voters to elect Matthews, the NRCC said, the hosts gave Matthews an unlawful corporate, in-kind contribution of more than $25,000.
"This behavior is illegal and must be appropriately punished," the NRCC charged, noting violation of the law carries a penalty of fines and jail time.
Please allow me to retort with some of the most righteous words in the English language: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peacably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Apparently, it's totally cool when Republicans like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity beat up on Kerry all day long (I'm certainly all for that!), but it's a criminal act punishable by jail time if the other side gets in a few licks.
Of course, it's not like Democrats are the least bit better on these issues. The nonsense where they about threw a calf over the Sinclair group suggesting that they were thinking about airing a documentary critical of Kerry's war record, that shows their true colors. A pox on both their houses.
We should fully privatize the broadcast spectrum, properly establishing true freedom of expression. Currently used frequencies probably should just be properly recognized as belonging to the people who are using them, who have invested in the equipment and the development of those spectrums as valuable property. Or perhaps auction off the right to use of those frequencies. Either way, get the government out of it.
Moreover, we need to end the artificially created scarcity of the broadcast spectrum. There are all kinds of usable broadcast spectrums that are prohibited by law from being used. Anybody who wants to jump up and homestead a piece of the spectrum should be understood to have every right to do so, so long as they're not interfering with other broadcasts.
So then, let me take this opportunity in the closing days of the campaign to officially quote my hero Elvis Costello in the words of the song he sang when he famously seized the airwaves on Saturday Night Live in 1977:
Radio is the sound salvation
Radio is cleaning up the nation
They say you'd better listen to the voice of reason
But they don't give you any choice
'cause they think that it's treason.
So you had better do as you are told,
You'd better listen to the radio