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CZAR of Information and Regulatory Affairs: freedom usually works, but in some contexts, it is an incomplete corrective.

 
mathetes
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User ID: 793782
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11/24/2009 07:12 AM

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CZAR of Information and Regulatory Affairs: freedom usually works, but in some contexts, it is an incomplete corrective.
Websites should be obliged to remove "false rumors" while libel laws should be altered to make it easier to sue for spreading such "rumors," argued Cass Sunstein, Obama's regulatory czar.

In his recently released book, "On Rumors," Sunstein specifically cited as a primary example of "absurd" and "hateful" remarks, reports by "right-wing websites" alleging an association between President Obama and Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers.

Sunstein presents
multiple new measures he argues can be used to stop the spread of "rumors."

He contends "freedom usually works, but in some contexts, it is an incomplete corrective."

Sunstein proposes the imposition of a "chilling effect" on "damaging rumors" – or the use of strong "corrective" measures to deter future rumormongers.

For websites, Sunstein suggests a "right to notice and take down" in which "those who run websites would be obliged to take down falsehoods upon notice."

Sunstein also argues for the "right to demand a retraction after a clear demonstration that a statement is both false and damaging." But he does not explain which agency would determine whether any statement is false and damaging.

Sunstein further pushes for "deterrence" through making libel lawsuits easier to bring.

Sunstein drafted 'New Deal Fairness Doctrine'

Sunstein's proposals outlined in his book "On Rumors" were not the first of his writings to recommend regulating talk radio or the news media.

WND previously reported Sunstein drew up a "First Amendment New Deal" – a new "Fairness Doctrine" that would include the establishment of a panel of "nonpartisan experts" to ensure "diversity of view" on the airwaves.

Sunstein compared the need for the government to regulate broadcasting to the moral obligation of the U.S. to impose new rules that outlawed segregation.

Sunstein's radical proposal, set forth in his 1993 book "The Partial Constitution," received no news media attention and scant scrutiny until the WND report.

In the book, Sunstein outwardly favors and promotes the "Fairness Doctrine," the abolished FCC policy that required holders of broadcast licenses to present controversial issues of public importance in a manner the government deemed "equitable and balanced."

Sunstein introduces what he terms his "First Amendment New Deal" to regulate broadcasting in the U.S.

His proposal, which focuses largely on television, includes a government requirement that "purely commercial stations provide financial subsidies to public television or to commercial stations that agree to provide less profitable but high-quality programming."

Sunstein wrote it is "worthwhile to consider more dramatic approaches as well."

He proposes "compulsory public-affairs programming, right of reply, content review by nonpartisan experts or guidelines to encourage attention to public issues and diversity of view."

The Obama czar argues his regulation proposals for broadcasting are actually presented within the spirit of the Constitution.

"It seems quite possible that a law that contained regulatory remedies would promote rather than undermine the 'freedom of speech,'" he writes.

Sunstein compares the need for the government to regulate broadcasting to the moral obligation of the government stepping in to end segregation.

Writes Sunstein: "The idea that government should be neutral among all forms of speech seems right in the abstract, but as frequently applied it is no more plausible than the idea that it should be neutral between the associational interests of blacks and those of whites under conditions of segregation."

[link to www.wnd.com]

Last Edited by mathetes on 11/24/2009 07:13 AM
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Anonymous Coward
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Canada
11/24/2009 07:20 AM
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Re: CZAR of Information and Regulatory Affairs: freedom usually works, but in some contexts, it is an incomplete corrective.
Can't have those evil rumor doers.. out there expressing their thoughts all over the internet.

Next thing you know they'll be expecting stupid things like truth or public opinion to actually stand for something.

Just sayin.. shroom