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Issue Analysis

    “Alò Presidente”

    02/16/2011

    “Alò Presidente” is the name of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s unscripted propaganda talk show, which Chavez demands all “privately owned Venezuelan media outlets broadcast every Sunday from 11:00am to 5:00pm. “Alò Presidente” features Chávez addressing current events of the day and visiting locations where government social welfare programs are being implemented. 

    Could the Obama Administration demand that all privately owned media outlets in America broadcast his “concerns”?  Sounds crazy right? It’s not.  In fact this month the Obama Administration has prepped the battlefield for legislation to do just that; Obama executed a tactical “left flank” to temporarily seize control of privately owned media outlets, directly out of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”

     On Feb 3, 2011 the FCC issued a press release in which they put forth a plan for a first ever “Presidential Alert”.  This “Presidential Alert” will be given to television and radio broadcasters, cable systems, and satellite service providers who will then broadcast the “alert” across the nation.  Can media outlets say no, or refuse to air this “Presidential Alert”?  No.  The Feb 3 FCC press release states: “The national test will require (Emergency Alert System) participants to be part of the exercise and to receive and transmit a live code that includes a presidential alert message to their respective viewers and listeners.”  Are you kidding?

    Is this benign?  Robert Knight, a writer for the Washington Times doesn’t think so and in a recent op-ed writes:  “Maybe it's harmless. Maybe it's somehow needed. The current EAS replaced the old Emergency Broadcast System back in 1997, and both list a presidential message as the first priority. But it has never been used for that”. “Robert Knight, Washington Times: "In case of Emergency Break the Constitution". Knight goes on to correctly deduce: “having the president seize the media even for a short time sounds more like something out of Hugo Chavez's Venezuela, the Castro brothers' Cuba or Dear Leader's North Korea”.

    Maybe we do need it in the midst of so many emergencies; possible terror attacks, natural disasters etc.  But don’t we already have a 24hr cable news cycle that instantly notifies all Americans of national emergencies? Why would President Obama need to take on this task?  Perhaps his definition of emergency is different from that of CNN or Fox News; perhaps his definition of a “national emergency” is the passage of certain legislation or a budget?

    This recent, attempt at seizing power of privately owned media, even if for a short time is scary, it is a slippery slope, and just one more, underhanded leftist tactic at the end of a long line of big government power grabs. Freedom loving Americans must ask themselves what’s around the corner tomorrow, we must be vigilant in our effort to preserve our freedom.