2007-02-09

Pelosi One and the Fairness Doctrine

For those of you who listen to talk radio, you've no doubt heard about the imperial hubris of Nancy Pelosi demanding the use of a luxurious 40 person military jet so that she can ferry her "staff and supporters" around the country in style at the taxpayers expense. What a hypocritical harpy! "Most open and ethical Congress," eh, Nancy?

Of course, as per usual, none of that is true.
For Immediate Release

February 8, 2007

As the Sergeant at Arms, I have the responsibility to ensure the security of the members of the House of Representatives, to include the Speaker of the House. The Speaker requires additional precautions due to her responsibilities as the leader of the House and her Constitutional position as second in the line of succession to the presidency.

In a post 9/11 threat environment, it is reasonable and prudent to provide military aircraft to the Speaker for official travel between Washington and her district. The practice began with Speaker Hastert and I have recommended that it continue with Speaker Pelosi. The fact that Speaker Pelosi lives in California compelled me to request an aircraft that is capable of making non-stop flights for security purposes, unless such an aircraft is unavailable. This will ensure communications capabilities and also enhance security. I made the recommendation to use military aircraft based upon the need to provide necessary levels of security for ranking national leaders, such as the Speaker. I regret that an issue that is exclusively considered and decided in a security context has evolved into a political issue.

Hastert's plane only had to fly between D.C. and Illinois and does not have the fuel capacity to make it to San Francisco, hence the upgrade. The denial right from the horse's mouth - the guy who made the decision - should settle this little controversy, right? Of course, it wont, since people like Sean Hannity lie for a living. Sean still insists there was a connection between Iraq and 9/11, for heaven's sake. These people know they can lie to their millions of listeners - people who accept what they hear like religion, and they will pay no price.

I'm not a fan of government interference in private commerce, but the airwaves are explicitly defined as a public domain. Democracies are only as healthy as the engagement and education of their electorate, and the right wing noise machine openly works to construct a fantasy world for their subjects, whether by telling falsehoods about the real world, constructing new facts out of whole cloth, or simply leaving out the facts that disagree with their point of view. The Fairness Doctrine may go too far by requiring full equal time for ideological viewpoints, but certainly a Right to Response would be a good thing. The grieved party could file a request demanding time during the offender's show. I suppose there would have to be a panel who would decide which responses were warranted and which weren't, but even still, with the amount of absolute Bull that Hannity and his pals shoot per day, the responses could almost take over their shows! Wouldn't that be great?

They've already started screaming about the Democrats wanting to destroy talk radio, and it is true that given how they currently conduct themselves even a Right to Response might cripple their ability to do business. That leaves them with a simple choice: stop lying all the time, or find another line of work.

6 comments:

Diamond Dog said...

I agree the plane issue is much ado about nothing. But, do you really think the issue, as stated by Pelosi, is about her being a female? Pah-leeeeeez. And, for the record, she doesn't need a flying castle for her family either...

Kepler said...

No, no. Nancy Pelosi has speculated that the motive behind this manufactured stink was related to her criticism of the Defense Department and the conduct of the War in Iraq. It's obviously not only "because she's female." In any case, it doesn't matter what she thinks the reason for this fake controversy is - it's still a FAKE controversy! That media manipulation should be the story.

She needs it for her security. It was recommended to her, not asked for. It is not an issue.

Diamond Dog said...

“As a woman, as a woman Speaker of the House, I don’t want any less opportunity than male Speakers have had when they’ve served here.” -Pelosi

I agreed there really is no issue here. But, if the Republicans are guilty of pointless demagoguery, then this catty little remark is equally up to scorn. You can't gain office by complaining about the behavior of the other party and tout how when you are in power things will be different, then toss out garbage like this.

Kepler said...

"...tout how when you are in power things will be different..."

Things are different. The White House called this a "silly issue." The White House "fully supports the speaker." You can't blame Nancy for coming back swinging to such a pointless smear. If we can squeeze a few more points out of the women voters by playing on the Republican's stupidity, I say got for it. They opened the door.

Diamond Dog said...

If republicans were making an issue where there was none, so is Pelosi. And are you saying that republicans are stupid for critising Pelosi because she can play the "feminist" card, even when its not an issue? Critising Pelosi is a blank check to lie?

Kepler said...

Playing the feminist card isn't necessarily lying. It's fighting back against a bully who's creating a fight where not even the White House thinks there should be one. It's critically important to hit back when you're attacked like this. She could have been harsher, but she mostly stayed out of this debate.