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Posts Tagged ‘Bob Shuler’

Modern Information Control: State Intervention and Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by M. C. on August 23, 2022

A 1920–30s radio host, Bob Shuler, had exposed the Julian Petroleum Corporation’s defrauding of investors, and subsequently accused the district attorney and city prosecutor of negligence. Shuler also exposed the Los Angeles mayor’s ties to organized crime. The payment for Shuler’s deeds was the loss of his station. He became the first casualty of “public interest.”

Kelly Offield

https://mises.org/wire/modern-information-control-state-intervention-and-mistakes-avoid

A hundred years of the public interest standard has been applied to radio and television, with the explicit goal of protecting free speech. The very opposite was the case, as John Samples and Paul Matzko have clearly shown.

A 1920–30s radio host, Bob Shuler, had exposed the Julian Petroleum Corporation’s defrauding of investors, and subsequently accused the district attorney and city prosecutor of negligence. Shuler also exposed the Los Angeles mayor’s ties to organized crime. The payment for Shuler’s deeds was the loss of his station. He became the first casualty of “public interest.”

The public interest standard was enforced by the Federal Radio Commission (later the Federal Communications Commission). The FRC/FCC used legislation and intimidation to steer public discourses toward the interests of the current administration.

The New Deal–era FCC used its control of limited government licenses to cull anti–National Recovery Administration advertisements. The Yankee Network was one such example. The FCC also targeted their least regulated foe (newspapers) by limiting them to the weaker AM frequencies.

Subjective auditing also became a common tool:

During the election of 1964, the Democratic National Committee used Fairness Doctrine complaints to intimidate radio stations into dropping broadcasters who supported Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater and to secure free airtime for the Lyndon Johnson campaign, some 1,700 free broadcasts in the final weeks before the election. (Samples, Matzko)

Where Kennedy had targeted independent radio stations, Nixon rendered broadcast television inept and imposed ownership limits on newspapers.

The public interest standard appealed to “security” and “knowledge,” not unlike the control we see online today.

The Unspoken Public Interest of Today

Modern information control appears to stem from the “private sector”; and indeed, when the right-leaning expose censorship, the left-leaning respond: “They are private companies!” If only.

The Left’s seizure of social media and search engines led to preferential treatment of leftist news; discriminatory content moderation; user targeting and false psychology pages to politically indoctrinate; and unprecedented network control during the 2020 election. Reminiscent of the old standard, the Left cites justifications of “hate” and “extremism” that do not show up in objective analysis.

This new standard under the banner of leftism has government origins as well.

In an obscure process, the state tampered with the digital markets by (1) slandering competitors of the chosen platforms and created a market for information control by (2) promising large sums of money to developers and willing “researchers.”

Simply put, the state takes money from us, gives it to useful actors, and slanders the competition for not having those state-funded services. Their effort remained undetected due to the funding of charitable groups which are embedded into the search functions and other features of the platforms. These are not “organizations” but services; albeit manipulative services.

See the rest here

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