"Liberal Democrats are attempting to muzzle conservative talk radio: they are assaulting free speech. Like the communists in the former Soviet Union, America's liberals seek to crush dissent by consolidating control over the media-especially talk radio, which has emerged as the dominant medium for conservative opinion.
Allies close to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are promoting legislation, which if passed, will take off the air prominent conservative radio hosts such as Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly-along with thousands of smaller conservative broadcasters. The bill, entitled the "Media Ownership Reform Act," is sponsored by Rep. Maurice Hinchey, a leftist Democrat from New York.
The legislation aims to revive the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" of the
1940's: "all views" are to be given equal time on radio. In particular, the Federal Communications Commission would have the power to oversee and change radio and television content. The goal is to tilt the ideological balance of power away from the right on the nation's air waves....
At a recent National Conference for Media Reform, sponsored by Free Press, a Massachusetts-based group heavily subsidized by Soros, Hinchey laid bare his plan to silence conservative voices on television and radio. The anti-war McGovernite attacked Savage, Limbaugh and other conservative radio hosts, saying they were "responsible" for leading the U.S. into the Iraq war, as well as for preparing the ground for future military invasions of Iran and Syria. According to Hinchey, these men pose a "threat" to American national security. Hence, under his bill, they would be fired. "All of that stuff will end," Hinchey said.
*"In 1970, Congress passed the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1961-1968. At the time, Congress' goal was to eliminate the ill-affects of organized crime on the nation's economy. To put it bluntly, RICO was intended to destroy the Mafia.
Throughout the 1970's, RICO's intended purpose and its actual use ran parallel to each other. Seldom was RICO used outside of the context of the Mafia, and it is not an overstatement to say that civil claims under RICO were simply not brought.
In the 1980's, however, civil lawyers noticed section 1964(c) of the RICO Act, which allows civil claims to be brought by any person injured in their business or property by reason of a RICO violation. Any person who succeeded in establishing a civil RICO claim would automatically receive judgment in the amount of three times their actual damages and would be awarded their costs and attorneys' fees. The financial windfall available under RICO inspired the creativity of lawyers across the nation, and by the late 1980's, RICO was a (if not the most) commonly asserted claim in federal court. Everyone was trying to depict civil claims, such as common law fraud, product defect, and breach of contract as criminal wrongdoing, which would in turn enable the filing of a civil RICO action.
RICO's broad application was the result of Congress' inclusion of mail and wire fraud as two crimes upon which a RICO claim could be brought. Given the breadth of activities that had historically been criminally prosecuted under the mail and wire fraud statutes, it was not difficult for creative civil attorneys to depict practically any wrongdoing as mail or wire fraud.
During the 1990's, the federal courts, guided by the United States Supreme Court, engaged in a concerted effort to limit the scope of RICO in the civil context. As a result of this effort, civil litigants must jump many hurdles and avoid many pitfalls before they can expect the financial windfall available under RICO, and RICO has become one of the most complicated and unpredictable areas of the law.
Today, RICO is almost never applied to the Mafia. Instead, it is applied to individuals, businesses, political protest groups, and terrorist organizations. In short, a RICO claim can arise in almost any context."