‘Localism’ booster now on the FCC payroll

The FCC has hired communications attorney Mark Lloyd as its new “Chief Diversity Officer,” reports Seton Motley of the Media Research Center.

Lloyd’s hiring is concerning because he co-wrote the white paper for proponents of returning to the “fairness doctrine” or implementing “localism,” code words for government regulation of broadcast speech.

Lloyd’s Center for American Progress (CAP) paper, “The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio,” suggested the government wield greater control over radio licensing and require some commercial broadcasters to pay fees supporting taxpayer funded broadcasting.

More details from MRC’s report:

“Localism” is a nebulous FCC regulatory requirement that radio stations must meet to get and keep their broadcast licenses. How it is defined and enforced is wide open to the interpretation of whomever is doing the enforcing. It can mean something benign like airing local public service announcements, or it can be used as a weapon by activists to punish, harangue and ultimately shut down stations they don’t like.

In a follow-up essay to the CAP report entitled “Forget the Fairness Doctrine,” Lloyd specifically instructs liberal activists to do the latter — use the “localism” requirement to harass conservative stations by filing complaints with the FCC…

Or worse — the FCC would rescind these stations’ broadcast licenses. In other words, shut them up by shutting them down. Thus, as Lloyd says, no need for the mis-named “Fairness” Doctrine.

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.