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ACRU Speaks Out Against Localism Initiative

'Left-leaning' advisory boards would bully talk radio into changing its viewpoint, Cooper argues.

“Localism is a bad idea whose time has not come.”

Horace Cooper, a senior fellow with the American Civil Rights Union, comments in the Washington Times today.

“The censors’ latest technique of viewpoint suppression is the innocuously labeled ‘localism’ requirement,” he writes in an op-ed piece.

“The essence of the concept is that the FCC, through regulations, would create permanent advisory boards for every radio station — of course, those boards would be dominated by left-leaning community activists in most communities.”

“Would the local advisory boards in the cities of San Francisco, Seattle or Alexandria, Va., feel that Rush or Hannity reflected the listening desires of their local populations? Not likely,” he continued. “On the other hand, the localism rule would likely prevent many stations from broadcasting these nationally known talk radio hosts and they could also limit subscriptions to hourly national news programs or National Weather Service updates as these too could fail the localism test.”

He concludes that talk radio, “which actually is profitable and by definition is responsive to the local community … shouldn’t be bullied into changing its viewpoint.”

The column is here.

The ACRU was founded by the late Robert B. Carleson in 1998 against what the group sees as “harmful anti-Constitutional ideologies that have taken hold in our nation’s courts, law schools and bureaucracies.” Ed Meese and Ken Starr are among the conservative organization’s policy board members.