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The FCC and Media Ownership, Ford's Auto Bailout and Vilsack for Agriculture

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The FCC and Media Ownership, Ford's Auto Bailout and Vilsack for Agriculture

President-elect Obama’s pick to head the Federal Communications Commission favors stronger diversity and “media ownership” regulations.

Poor sales figures may push the Ford Motor Company into joining the auto industry bailout already extended to Chrysler and General Motors.

Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack prepares for a confirmation hearing on his nomination to be the next Secretary of Agriculture.

More headlines: listen to the LibertyWeek podcast.

1. TECHNOLOGY 

President-elect Obama’s pick to head the Federal Communications Commission favors stronger diversity and “media ownership” regulations.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Vice President for Policy Wayne Crews on why restrictions on media ownership threaten the First Amendment

“In a society that enshrines First Amendment free-speech guarantees, somehow regarding it as valid to ‘restrict’ media – the very watchdog of government power – is ironic to say the least. A free society centers around open debate – government regulating how loud a given voice in that debate can be is an abomination. As long as our government isn’t practicing censorship, the very best way for fresh, new and controversial ideas to reach audiences is to leave all media outlets – from the conglomerates to the podcasters – alone. Advertisers, competitors, investors, the next new communications technology and much more are all arrayed against ‘big media,’ to much greater effect than the FCC.” 

 

2. BUSINESS

Poor sales figures may push the Ford Motor Company into joining the auto industry bailout already extended to Chrysler and General Motors.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Senior Fellow Iain Murray on how we can bailout Detroit cheaply by cutting red tape

“Why are we spending $17 billion of taxpayers' money propping up two Detroit automakers (notably not Ford Motor Co.)? What the auto companies really need is a reduction in their regulatory burden. Through excessive regulation, Congress has placed Detroit at a competitive disadvantage with foreign automakers, since many rules are aimed at eliminating the sort of vehicles that Detroit has proved adept at designing and marketing. [A] deregulatory bailout will help the embattled automakers without spending a dime of taxpayers' money.” 

 

3. FOOD

Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack prepares for a confirmation hearing on his nomination to be the next Secretary of Agriculture.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Director of Food Safety Policy Gregory Conko on Vilsack’s mixed bag of a record

“Governor Vilsack has supported modest reforms for America’s bloated farm subsidy programs, including limitations on farm program payments and reducing subsidies to the largest farms. He has also shown some willingness to stand up against the environmental movement’s radical wing in support of American agriculture—in particular, through his modest support for food biotechnology. Unfortunately, Governor Vilsack’s record reveals a politician more interested in promoting farmers than the American public. As Governor of Iowa, Mr. Vilsack was a leading promoter of the ethanol mandate that forces Americans to subsidize the production of inefficient fuels made from Iowa corn.” 

 

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