Deep media experience,
a sharp legal mind, a network of the Left's most powerful players,
and a ferocious determination to destroy commercial media so the
airwaves deliver only far-left community-based rhetoric, make Obama's "Media
Diversity Czar" a deadly threat to the communications industry and to
the freedom of speech.
For a related campaign, see the page
For another related campaign, see the page
Associate General Counsel / Chief Diversity Officer
Federal Communications Commission.
FCC General Counsel
Former producer, Joint Center for Political Studies
Former member, Dow,
Lohnes & Albertson
Former board member and general counsel, The Benton Foundation;
Martin Luther King visiting scholar,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT);
Former Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress;
The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio;
Vice President for Strategic Initiatives,
Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
Mark Lloyd is
profiled at www.WhoRunsGov.com
Julius Genachowski created Lloyd's job,
supposedly in response to the Obama stimulus bill passed in
February 2009. Congress
appropriated $7.2 billion for increased broadband coverage
throughout the U.S., which included expanding use in rural and
low-income areas often populated by minorities. But
there was nothing in the bill that suggested the creation of an FCC
Genachowski, a Harvard Law School buddy of Obama's (see
his profile), actually created the position as part of a huge reform
plan he had been working on for Obama since 2007.
Genachowski chaired the Technology, Media and Telecommunications policy
task force in preparation for Obama's 2008 Presidential Campaign. In
late 2007, he convinced Obama to run his presidential campaign using
innovative technology and the Internet for grassroots engagement and
participation. He told the candidate that, if he won, the email lists
and social networking software of the campaign would give him a huge
push-button progressive constituency to call upon as President.
After Obama won the
election, Genachowski co-led the Technology, Innovation, and Government
Reform Group for Obama’s presidential transition team, working closely
with transition leader John Podesta, on leave from the
Center for American
Progress, where he too had been working on Obama’s media control
part was to publish a crucial social-change document titled,
The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio, written by
seven far-leftists, including Josh Silver of
and Mark Lloyd, then a Senior Fellow at Podesta's Center.
discussed in the document was the ownership structure of the
media: it was too conservative. Lloyd and his six coauthors wanted to
cap the number of radio stations owned by a single company. They noted
that 91 percent of the weekday talk-radio programming supported by the
top five commercial station-owners in the U.S. is conservative.
ignoring the fact that talk-show listeners are overwhelmingly
conservative and progressive talk shows flop, the coauthors wanted
government to force progressive talk onto the air, requiring radio
stations to broadcast large amounts of "local community content" that
would crowd out conservative talk; they wanted to force "local
accountability" rules on stations for renewing licenses, so they could
orchestrate public disapproval from their activist
constituency to kill licenses.
Their report concluded that "Simply reinstating the Fairness Doctrine
will do little to address the gap between conservative and progressive
The Fairness Doctrine, originally
self-imposed by the FCC in 1949
(it was not an Act of Congress), forced broadcasting stations to
air opposing views on controversial issues. The FCC
rescinded it in 1987.
Conservatives have feared its return ever since, and this time their
fear misdirected their attention away from the real danger of Mark
About the time Jullius Genachowski was
confirmed as FCC Commissioner in early 2009, Senator Debbie Stabenow
(D-Michigan) appointed herself congressional point-woman on restoring
the Fairness Doctrine by law, despite Obama’s campaign statement
that he didn’t favor its return. Stabenow’s husband, Tom Athans,
originated the “progressive talk radio” format; he co-founded Democracy
Radio; he led programming for Air America Radio, so the senator had her
By the time Mark Lloyd came on board the
FCC in August 2009, the Fairness Doctrine had become a major buzz in
Washington. Conservative talk-show hosts like Glenn Beck and Rush
Limbaugh saw the Fairness Doctrine lurking behind
Imbalance of Political Talk Radio.
Rush Limbaugh, discussing Lloyd
with Fox News host Glenn Beck, said, “The administration is
trying to stifle dissenting voices.” They did not see that he was
actually trying to destroy the corporate communications industry.
Some did see it. “Mark Lloyd doesn’t like corporate ownership of
media,” said Seton Motley, communications director of the Media
Research Center, a conservative content analysis organization. “He
wants to use the vast power of the FCC to hammerlock the radio
Conservatives began to
examine everything Mark Lloyd had said or written. His 2006 book,
Prologue to a Farce: Communication and Democracy in America (History of Communication), contained some highly provocative material. Aside
from high praise for Saul Alinsky's revolutionary program to "Take Power
From Those Who Have And Give Power To Those Who Have Not," Lloyd had
some disturbing things to say:
As Newton Minow has observed, all too often Americans
use the First Amendment to end discussion of communications policy.
It should be clear by now that my focus here is not freedom of
speech or the press. This freedom is all too often an exaggeration.
Harold Innis may have been only slightly exaggerating when he wrote,
“Freedom of the press…has become the great bulwark of monopolies of
the press.” At the very least, blind references to freedom of speech
or the press serve as a distraction from the critical examination of
other communications policies.
Drawing from Alexander Meiklejohn, Michael Sandel notes
that the first purpose of the First Amendment was to provide citizens
with the “fullest possible participation in the understanding of the
problems” a self-governing citizenry must decide. But now, he notes,
while “the courts continue to acknowledge the importance of free speech
to the exercise of self-government, courts and constitutional
commentators alike increasingly defend free speech in the name of
individual self-expression.” Thus, the purpose of free speech is warped
to protect global corporations and block rules that would promote
democratic governance. This book certainly does not ignore the First
Amendment. I only seek to place it in a context with other
That seriously annoyed Americans who don’t think the Bill
of Rights is something you can place in a context with other policies,
communications or otherwise. For example,
media analyst and critic
Cliff Kincaid wrote a book whose title expressed the worry perfectly: The Death of Talk Radio?
there came the June 10 video of Lloyd at the
Venezuela, with Chavez, it’s really an incredible revolution - a
democratic revolution. To begin to put in place things that are going
to have an impact on the people of Venezuela.
property owners and the folks who then controlled the media in Venezuela
rebelled - worked, frankly, with folks here in the U.S. government -
worked to oust him. But he came back with another revolution, and then
Chavez began to take very seriously the media in his country.
we’ve had complaints about this ever since.
At the 2005 Media Reform Conference, Lloyd suggested
removing white people from media leadership positions and replacing them
There’s nothing more difficult than this because we have
really truly, good, white people in important positions, and the fact of
the matter is that there are a limited number of those positions. And
unless we are conscious of the need to have more people of color, gays,
other people in those positions, we will not change the problem. But
we’re in a position where you have to say who is going to step down so
someone else can have power. There are few things, I think, more
frightening in the American mind than dark-skinned black men. Here I am.
It became evident that Mark Lloyd's background
as a ferocious, race-obsessed, anti-corporate civil rights lawyer
had made race, gender, and victimhood the only
things of importance to him. Would
he take his preoccupation with race and his
hatred of corporations into the FCC?
Some in the anti-Lloyd
community sent him death threats. Other more responsible parties
parodied him by an unflattering comparison with Vladimir Lenin (at least
they had a sense of humor):
propaganda poster of Lenin
parodied as Obama socialist
push-button progressive brigade that Genachowski created for Obama's
campaign went into action. For details of their campaign and their
Saving Mark Lloyd. Keep in mind they did it not out of concern for
but for fear of Julius
Genachowski and Barack Obama.
days after Lloyd took office, Iowa Republican Senator Charles Grassley
sent a letter to Genachowski, saying:
On April 22, 2009, before your confirmation by the U.S.
Senate for your position as Chairman of the FCC, you came to my office
and told me that you did not support an effort to reinstitute the
Fairness Doctrine. I took you at your word that, if confirmed, the
policies that you promoted at the FCC would not include any policy or
regulatory shifts that seek to reintroduce the long abandoned Fairness
“given the appointment of Mr. Lloyd,” Grassley was concerned that the
FCC chairman was “moving away from pledges not to reinstate the Fairness
Doctrine.” But the senator did not follow that red herring, and went to
the heart of the problem:
It would be unfair for me to say that Mr. Lloyd has
specifically advocated for a return to the Fairness Doctrine. Instead,
he has argued that the Fairness Doctrine is unnecessary if other
regulatory reforms to commercial radio are implemented. Specifically,
in discussing the Center for American Progress paper “The Structural
Imbalance of Political Talk Radio,” Mr. Lloyd authored an internet
article published on CAP’s website entitled, “Forget the Fairness
Doctrine.” In that piece, Mr. Lloyd stated, “we call for ownership
rules that we think will create greater local diversity…we call for more
localism by putting teeth into the licensing rules. But we do not call
for a return to the Fairness Doctrine.”
single word “Structural” was the key.
The Fairness Doctrine is about content – about what
the broadcaster says and letting others say differently. It’s a weak
instrument that leaves the broadcaster’s speaker on the air.
change is about context – who owns the broadcast license.
It’s a strong instrument. Yank the license and the offending speaker
goes away. Structural change has nothing to do with the Fairness
Doctrine, it simply makes it irrelevant.
five commissioners of the FCC were called to testify before the House
Energy and Commerce Committee by Representative Rick Boucher
(D-Virginia), chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications,
Technology, and the Internet.
At the hearing on “Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission,”
FCC Chairman Julius Genchowski and Commissioners Michael Copps, Robert
McDowell, Mignon Clyburn and Meredith Baker plowed through many
technical issues such as broadband expansion, public safety, and reform
at the FCC, but said little about broadcast.
Walden, Oregon Republican, talked to Chairman
Genchowski about Mark Lloyd: “There are comments
– video comments about Hugo Chavez. I mean, there’s some pretty
outrageous things being said, having been written in the past. And that
troubles me that somebody that’s that opinionated, to the extreme
element that he is – from my perspective, is not going to bring balance
to that diversity position that you’ve created.”
said Congressman Walden’s worries were misplaced. “Mark Lloyd is not
working on these issues. He’s not working on Fairness Doctrine issues.
He’s not working on censorship issues. He’s working on opportunity
issues, primarily now on broadband adoption, focusing on making sure
that broadband is available to all Americans.”
In response to pointed probing, Genachowski flatly stated to the
subcommittee that “I do not support reinstatement of the Fairness
Doctrine,” and said he would make Mark Lloyd available for congressional
testimony, as he would any other FCC staff member.
Nobody said anything about structural change.
push-button progressives mounted a huge campaign in defense of Mark
For that campaign, see the page
Mark Irving Lloyd was
born October, 1954 in Michigan. He married Charlotte Elizabeth Martin in
1980; they divorced December 27, 1993. They have a daughter, Kelly
Elizabeth Lloyd, born 1986, a 2008 graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio
(double-major in African-American Studies and Studio Art, honors), and
was awarded a 2-year fellowship in India, 2009-11);
came in two parts: first, an undergraduate degree from the University of
Michigan (1978, double-major in political science and journalism).
In late 1978, he
began working for Cosmos Broadcasting Corporation (founded 1939, radio
and television stations), then Storer Broadcasting, Inc. (founded 1927,
radio, television stations with NBC affiliates, and cable franchises,
sold in 1985) and then NBC, where he served as reporter and also
conducted public response reports on programming.
By 1985, Lloyd was
producing newscasts at CNN in Washington, D.C. He won an Emmy and a Cine
1990. After an
18-year journalism career, he entered the Georgetown University Law
Center in 1990 at age 36 and received his juris doctor degree in 1993.
He was admitted to the District of Columbia Bar April 1, 1994
(membership suspended in 2000 for non-payment of dues).
1992 Clinton Transition Team and
Clinton White House advising the President and the Office of Domestic
Policy on personnel, policy, and organizational issues related to arts
Worked 3 years as an attorney at
Dow, Lohnes & Albertson (Washington, D.C.)
General Counsel of the Benton
Foundation (Washington, D.C.), a private operating foundation that
creates and funds its own projects centered on telecommunications.
1997. co-founded the
Civil Rights Forum on Communications Policy (Cambridge, Massachusetts),
an unincorporated project of the Tides Center, formed after
a meeting in November 1996 at the Civil Rights Project, Inc. in Boston.
The Forum worked with Tides
Center from 1997 to 2003, “to bring civil rights principles and advocacy
to the communications policy debate.”
2002-2004, visiting Martin
Luther King scholar at MIT - oversaw the MIT Community Lab
and taught communications
He is an adjunct professor of
public policy at the Georgetown University Public Policy Institute
senior fellow, Center for
American Progress, 2005.
Board member of Center for
Strategic Communications, Inc.; Independent Television Service; Internet
Education Foundation; Cultural Environmental Movement (Philadelphia);
OMB Watch; the Center for Democracy and Technology; and the Leadership
Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund.
He has also served as a
consultant to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the
George Soros Open Society Institute, and the Smithsonian Institution.
Board member of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights/
Education Fund (2002-2006), and Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
(2007-2008) where he oversaw media and telecom initiatives. This group
signed a petition to the United Nations in 2000 to overturn the free
speech clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
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