Ron Arnold's Left Tracking Library

 

Mark Lloyd

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 Saving Mark Lloyd
For another related campaign, see the page
Silencing Glenn Beck

Mark Irving Lloyd:
August 2009: Associate General Counsel / Chief Diversity Officer  
Federal Communications Commission.
Boss: FCC General Counsel Austin Schlick.
Former producer, Joint Center for Political Studies (Emmy Award);
Former member,
Dow, Lohnes & Albertson law firm;
Former board member and general counsel, The Benton Foundation;
Former Martin Luther King visiting scholar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT);
Former Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress;
Co-author,
The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio;
F
ormer Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund.
Author:
 


Mark Lloyd is profiled at www.WhoRunsGov.com

BACKGROUND

FCC Chairman 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 Diversity Officer.
 
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 plan.

THE PLAN

Podesta's 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 Free Press and Mark Lloyd, then a Senior Fellow at Podesta's Center.

The "Structure" 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.

Totally 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 talk.

MISDIRECTIONS

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 Lloyd.

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 own reasons.

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 The Structural 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.

THE FLAP

 

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 industry.”

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.

And:

 

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 communications policies.

 

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?

 

Then there came the June 10 video of Lloyd at the 2008 National Conference for Media Reform saying:

 

In 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.

The 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.  

And 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 with minorities:

 

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):
 

Soviet-era propaganda poster of Lenin Mark Lloyd parodied as Obama socialist

 

Immediately, the push-button progressive brigade that Genachowski created for Obama's campaign went into action. For details of their campaign and their identities, see Saving Mark Lloyd. Keep in mind they did it not out of concern for Mark Lloyd,

but for fear of Julius Genachowski and Barack Obama.

 

DIRECTIONS

 

Ten 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 Doctrine.

 

But, “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.” 

 

The 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.

  • Structural 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.

In mid-September, all 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.

Representative Greg 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.”

Genachowski 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.

But Genachowski's push-button progressives mounted a huge campaign in defense of Mark Lloyd.

 

For that campaign, see the page Saving Mark Lloyd
 


MARK LLOYD
PERSONAL PROFILE

 

·         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);

·         Lloyd’s education 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 Golden Eagle.

·         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 and communications.

·         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 policy.

·         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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