Tuesday, August 18, 2015
In 1967 KPFK's FOLIO contained a revealing Editorial. Here it is.
“Communications Commission bases a most all of its rules respecting broadcasters on such beliefs. Thus we have "equal opportunities," "equal time," and "fairness" doctrines, all emanating from the FCC on behalf of the public's alleged need to hear everything over the station to which it is tuned.
KPFK itself, when it leaned more steadily leftward, had to contend with harassment from the FCC. The fact is that thee is no proof at all to support this view of human nature. These premises of broadcasting in America are sheer dogma.
People cannot be made to buy something that they do not, in some way, judge worthwhile. They cannot be accept either the content or the quality of TV and radio ads unquestioningly. TV and radio do not Influence people any more than do the daily papers and the magazines which lie around the living room.
People from all walks of life and with all levels of intelligence use their minds to evaluate what they hear and see. Though their judgment may not be correct it is usually no worse than the judgments voiced by experts who disagree with one another about such things as rapid transit, Vietnam, etc —
even if it is less sophisticated. All sorts of people dislike certain ads, programs, personalities, announcers, editorial positions, etc. for similar and diverse reasons. Most of the people I know — a diverse lot they are — refuse to admit most commercial messages into their memory. And the idea that the - sage can be put into their heads without their cooperation is unproven, once again.
One need do little more than check oneself in the course of a shopping spree. It amazes me, for example, that so few of the things I buy are advertised on stations I view or listen to.
I, and most people I know, buy through a kind of word-of- mouth and teach- each-other-about-our-goodies system. The same thing Is true about the effect of editorializing on the airwaves.
People may be too busy or apathetic to engage in detailed considerations of various points of view, but once they pay heed, they are capable of judgment.
The FCC's dogma is ill-founded and has no bearing to reality. In view of the above, it ought to be clear why it makes little difference whether a station airs a variety of views or just one. What with people constantly changing their dials, depending on their moods, the time they have to spare, and the type of atten- they're willing or able to give, they are confronted by virtually all points of view offered on the air. And here is the clincher — today hardly any variety exists between stations in their own points of view.
The Communications Act of 1934, as amended in 1949 and 1959, and the FCC make partisan broadcasting impossible. Stations must, if they editorialize, leave their doors open for their opponents — free of charge. I have good reasons to believe that this results not in diversification but in the refusal to air either editorials or regular commentaries.
It also results in such shallow exchanges of ideas as the telephone talkies and sensationalism a la Joe Pyne. A friend of mine calls these "shamtroversial". One of the FCC's own commissioners, Lee Loevinger, thinks that "/the FCC/is preventing diversity and is forcing conformity to pedestrian ideals. Insofar as it has been able to exert influence, the thrust of its influence is to compel mediocrity." (TV Guide Profile, 1965).
In the context of present broadcasting laws, KPFK's concept of Internal diversity is not only beneficial but legally necessary for any on-the-alr politiking and editorializing. KPFK could not confine itself to supporting only a certain point of view, no matter how sincerely it felt about it, without allowing someone to air-opposition to that view.
(At least, this is what the law says, though not necessarily how the FCC judges in specific cases.) In principle, however, KPFK's programming is not the only one which can achieve diversity.
Were broadcasting free of government control, censorship, and regulation the thousands of stations on the air would themselves provide the diversity so many people worship. (It is a bit strange, this worship. Diversity should only be sought after in contrast to censorship — but not in contrast to truth.
Surely, If we could find the correct answer to the Vietnam problem, diversity about how to solve the problem should be shunned. Recognition of the fact that men are not capable of being compelled by broadcasters to think and act certain ways should lead one to see that minor pockets of one- sidedness cannot do damage.
No society with total censorship succeeds in supresing dissent even by threats to life, liberty and property. It is quite Irrational to believe that free, competing broadcasters, without the power of physical force, can kill diversity by a sort of intellectual monopoly.
Much more danger exists by letting governmental groups like the FCC regulate the free market "in behalf of truth and exchange of ideas.") In a free society, without powers of censorship vested in government, broadcasting would proceed guided only by the in- tent to make a profit and the recognition of property rights.
A station which now owns 90.7 megacycles, at certain power range, would have the right to broadcast what it wants — and the listeners the right to turn it off. As with the press, limited circulation stations could exist ("under- KPFK folio If KPFK is distinguished for its programming policy it is a bit unfortunate
for all of us.
Were it possible for commercial stations to editorialize without having to allow the opposition air time, free of charge, there would be true diversity — not just a phoney, calculated attempt to make some controversy and diversity on the air. It is sad that in a supposedly free society broad-casting has to fear government reprisals. It is downright frightening that if a station owner finds communism or nazism repugnant and wants to advocate alternatives, he has to allow them free time on his facilities before he can do so.
I'd much rather have it that KPFK should be able to refuse to air my views, even if It constantly aired views opposed to mine, than to have it forced to present views the management may not find in good taste, respectable or reasonable, simply so that it should be able to present its own preferences also
(I am not saying that KPFK would abandon its present policies in a free society. But we’ll never know about that as long as things remain unchanged in the laws governing broadcasting.)
[written by] — TIBOR MACHAN “
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - further comments from poster below -- - - - - - -- - - - - - - -
If this editorial elicits any thoughts, questions, urges to contact your radio station that is paid for by all who offer their earnings just to keep the radio station alive and on-air, please write someone....
or someone you know that you want to vent or discuss this with...
or to write their new Gen'l Mgr that is turning staff into threatened morass of scared-of-being-eliminated, as are other unpaid programmers too.
Or just ignore it all and it will all go away -
the radio station will be bought privately and converted into another failed attempt to be extreme or biased or limited to those who yell the loudest or the fewer who can Buy the entity instead and create their own personal radio - their versions of what they want to promote - privately even.
pretend it is not all just happening ...failing...falling down... being stolen or deceitfully carved out of Pacifica, as is the Berkley sister station KPFA also...the only 2 viable of 5 radio stations nationally.
Or ignore it all and it will ..... dis......audio....appear....NOW !!
(c) 2015 bt