President Obama’s IRS isn’t the only federal agency trying to police conservatives in American politics.
Fresh off its abandoned plan to inject progressive commissars into the nation’s newsrooms, the Federal Communications Commission is turning its attention to the financing arrangements that have made it possible for Armstrong Williams, the outspoken conservative to be the only black owner of a television station in the United States, according to the Washington Times.
Armstrong’s two stations – in Flint, Mich., and Myrtle Beach, S.C. – operate under a deal with white-owned Sinclair Broadcasting that helps Armstrong’s stations get better advertising rates in return for a cut of the stations’ ad revenues. The only other black owner of a television station in the country, Tougaloo College in Jackson, Miss., operates under a similar arrangement with American Spirit Media.
Such deals have been common in broadcasting for years, according to the Washington Times. Now, the FCC and Eric Holder’s Justice Department think they give too much power to the larger firms – Sinclair and American Spirit – while ignoring that without the deals, there would be no minority ownership of the stations at all.
But maybe that doesn’t matter if the owner isn’t the right kind of minority.
Armstrong declined to comment to the Washington Times about whether his race or well-known conservative views are behind the Obama administration’s attempts to shut down his broadcast business.
In a Wall Street Journal column on Monday (subscription only), Fox News contributor Juan Williams said he thinks that’s exactly what’s happening. In the column, Williams noted that he is a friend of Armstrong Williams, then mocked the FCC’s alleged reason for its actions.
“So imagine my surprise when I heard that the Federal Communications Commission is currently considering pulling the financial rug from under him by changing its regulations to – get this – promote diversity,” he wrote.
Armstrong Williams is the right color tor the libs, but he’s a conservative. And with a nationally syndicated column, radio show and television show, “The Right Side with Armstrong Williams,” he might as well have a big, red, progressive target painted on his back.
“My suspicion is that liberals at the FCC who claim to be interested in promoting diverse broadcast ownership lose interest if the owner is a conservative like Armstrong Williams,” Williams wrote. “They want diversity – but not the political kind.”
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