May government agency stop using radio station as official channelfor emergency information beca

Robert Sheridan rs at robertsheridan.com
Wed Jun 13 14:50:58 PDT 2007


I wonder whether the folks who originally let the contract to  
Limbaugh's station had it in mind that it was a good station to  
contract with because it carried a political message they liked and  
wanted to encourage with public funds.

What's the constitutional violation in making a correction when a new  
set of folks come in who don't like his message.

Under the constitutional doctrine that turnabout is fair play in  
Article wotchamacallit.

rs


On Jun 13, 2007, at 2:02 PM, Paul Finkelman wrote:

> I do not understand why Rush would want to be involved with a station
> that either takes government money (more big government) or worse yet,
> asks for free time from the radio station for its public service
> announcements (even Bigger government) or even worse still, compels  
> the
> station to run the ad (really BAD BIG Government).  Rush should not  
> have
> his speech corrupted by an intrusive big government interfering  
> with his
> program and interrupting his free speech with government propaganda.
>
> On, a perhaps more serious note, shouldn't the govt. put these
> announcements on ALL stations?
>
> Paul Finkelman
>
> Paul Finkelman
> President William McKinley Distinguished Professor of Law
>      and Public Policy
> Albany Law School
> 80 New Scotland Avenue
> Albany, New York   12208-3494
>
> 518-445-3386
> pfink at albanylaw.edu
>>>> guayiya <guayiya at bellsouth.net> 06/13/07 4:06 PM >>>
> A practical point, which may have constitutional implications:
> Radio markets are of course extremely fragmented.  There are quite  
> a few
>
> people who will not be listening or want to listen to a station that
> broadcasts Rush Limbaugh.  To say that I must stay tuned to this  
> station
>
> in order to receive vital emergency information seems highly repugnant
> and could violate my right not to listen to his political messages.
> Public service announcements need to reach as widely as possible,  
> and it
>
> seems deeply irrational to choose a single station that many or most
> people predictably will not hear.  The rational solution is a public
> channel dedicated to emergency warnings, with a signal that can advise
> those listening to all other stations to tune into that channel.
> Daniel Hoffman
>
> Bezanson, Randall P wrote:
>
>> My instinct is that unless to airing of Limbaugh somehow affects the
> government's speech (credibility, for example), the government may not
> do what Eugene describes.  While as speak the government can state its
> own view to the exclusion of others, it can't act unreasonably to use
> it's speech authority to censor or to influence specific content aired
> by a private broadcaster.
>>
>> Randy Bezanson
>>
>> ________________________________
>>
>> From: conlawprof-bounces at lists.ucla.edu on behalf of Volokh, Eugene
>> Sent: Wed 6/13/2007 12:18 PM
>> To: CONLAWPROF at lists.ucla.edu
>> Subject: May government agency stop using radio station as official
> channelfor emergency information because the station broadcasts
> RushLibmaugh?
>>
>>
>>
>> May a government agency stop using radio station as official channel
> for
>> emergency information because the station broadcasts Rush  
>> Libmaugh?  Is
>> this unconstitutional under Board of County Comm'rs v. Umbehr,  
>> because
>> it's discrimination in contracting based on the contractor's  
>> political
>> speech?
>>
>> Or is this different because the case involves government speech, and
>> the government as speaker is entitled to choose which publication it
>> uses for its speech even based on the publication's other speech?  I
>> think a couple of cases have held such discrimination in placement of
>> official notices in newspapers is unconstitutional, but are they
>> correct?
>>
>> Eugene
>>
>> http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/broward/sfl- 
>> churricane13jun13,0,4
>> 183214.story?coll=sfla-home-headlines
>>
>> Rush Limbaugh has long been a thorn in the side of liberals, but now,
>> because of him, some Democratic politicians don't even want to join
> with
>> a local radio station to broadcast hurricane information.
>>
>> Radio station WIOD, AM 610, has been the official channel for  
>> emergency
>> information from Broward County government for the past year. The
> County
>> Commission, all Democrats, balked at renewing the deal Tuesday,  
>> unable
>> to stomach the station also being home to Limbaugh's talk show.
>>
>> Commissioner Stacy Ritter said she did not want to support a station
>> that's out of step with area politics. Ritter, a Democratic  
>> stalwart in
>> the state Legislature before being elected to county office, cited  
>> talk
>> shows hosted by Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and WIOD's partnership with
>> Fox News.
>>
>> "They have every right to speak, but we don't have to do business  
>> with
>> them," she said.
>>
>> Limbaugh has long been a fixture on WIOD, but no county official  
>> raised
>> an issue about him or the other shows when the deal was approved for
> the
>> first time a year ago.
>>
>> The deal with WIOD would ensure that news conferences are broadcast
>> start to finish live from the county Emergency Operations Center in
>> Plantation. Emergency managers became concerned during hurricanes in
>> 2004 and 2005 that radio and television stations preempted their
>> announcements in favor of news out of Miami.
>>
>> Limbaugh, who lives in Palm Beach, could not be reached for comment.
> Ken
>> Charles, WIOD's director of AM programming, said the station's talk
> show
>> lineup has no relationship with its news coverage and that the county
>> should focus on the benefits of teaming with the station.
>>
>> "It's a shame that people would let politics get in the way of saving
>> lives in a hurricane," Charles said.
>>
>> The contract with WIOD was on the verge of being rejected when
>> commissioners instead delayed a decision until next week. They told
>> their communications staff they want more information on why WIOD was
>> recommended and what their options are.
>>
>> Ritter's concerns were echoed by Commissioners Ken Keechl, a former
>> president of the Dolphins gay Democratic club, and Suzanne  
>> Gunzburger,
>> who served on the vote-tallying board that recounted the 2000
>> presidential election.
>>
>> But Commissioner John Rodstrom, a one-time young Republican leader  
>> who
>> later became a Democrat, said the county should not politicize
> emergency
>> management.
>>
>> "If we are going to start censoring what people write in the paper or
>> speak on the radio or television, that's a slippery slope," Rodstrom
>> said. "This is necessary. It's something we need to do for emergency
>> response."
>>
>> A county task force that looked into the response to Hurricane Wilma
>> listed finding a radio partner among its recommendations last year.
>>
>> Judy Sarver, the county's public communications director, said  
>> WFTL and
>> WLRN also offered to take on the role, but that she and other  
>> emergency
>> planners preferred WIOD because of its signal strength, numerous FM
>> sister stations and willingness to give Broward top play.
>> _______________________________________________
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