Author Brian Jennings | Buy Book
VOICE: The Glenn Beck program presents more truth behind America's march to socialism.
GLENN: All right, look. You can't just walk higgledy-piggledy into a socialist state or a fascist state where the government is -- and I know fascism is crazy. I know, I know. You know, that would imply that, you know, our president would be firing people, you know, CEOs. It would be taking over companies. It would be giving -- a fascist state, what would they do? They would give giant corporations over to the people, to the workers. I know that's crazy 55% of Chrysler went to the UAW. I know, it's nuts. But let's just say that that kind of activity were going on but in a friendly way. You would have to minimalize the impact anyone against you would have. First you would try scare tactics, you would try racist, hate monger. You would shout anything you could to get them to cower, but there would be a few that would still say, you know what, I don't care about you. There would still be a few that would be smart enough to be able to defend themselves against ridiculous charges, and as the country was just about to go to sleep from the hypnosis of an administration, there would be a few that would stand up and say, "Listen up. Wake up, wake up, wake up." Those people would be successful in waking people up, unless the fascist administration could find a way to silence those voices. They tried everything else. How could they do it? Well, you couldn't convince a people that loved freedom to go in and have something called the Fairness Doctrine to shut down freedom of speech because the majority of people understand that the media isn't telling them the truth. So there would have to be another plan. What it would be? There's several. There's a new book out, censor ship: The Threat to Silence Talk Radio. It's not by some guy who doesn't know radio, not written by some guy who's just some schlub. It's written by Brian Jennings. You may not know who Brian Jennings is but people in radio know who Brian Jennings is. Brian Jennings was a guy who oversaw all of it for Citadel Broadcasting which, Citadel is now ABC. He's now released this book, Censorship: The Threat to Silence Talk Radio. Brian, welcome to the program, sir. How are you?
JENNINGS: Glenn, thank you so much. It's good to talk to you.
GLENN: Okay. So Brian, I find it absolutely incredible what is happening behind the scenes. I said a few months ago don't pay any attention to the Fairness Doctrine, they are going to come at this from a different angle entirely. And the angle that I predicted but you have even more is localism.
GLENN: Let's start on localism, where it is right now and what's coming our way.
JENNINGS: Localism is a vague, vague rule within the FCC, Glenn. What it is, is a force of the media to go to local programming and to require local programming in communities. Now, requirement again, government regulating speech by requiring something called localism? It's absolutely crazy that government would even have a whiff of regulating speech in America and that's what this is all about. But under the banner of localism comes community advisory programming boards for radio stations.
GLENN: Listen to this, America. This is important. Listen to this.
JENNINGS: The FCC in January 2008 issued a 97-page report, rule-making report in which they eight times mentioned they would like to install, mandate programming advisory boards for every radio station in America. And what that means is this group would have oversight over the Glenn Beck show and every radio station in America. This group, organized by the community organizer himself, Mr. Obama, would be made up of far left liberal groups like ACORN, like radical Islamists. They could go in and if you didn't match up to what they wanted to hear on that radio station, they could go in and complain to the FCC, you would be subject to potential fines and license revocation. They could then reassign those licenses, broadcast licenses to other groups and those other groups would, guess what, force liberal programming onto conservative radio stations.
JENNINGS: Simple as that.
GLENN: Two things, two things. First of all, Brian, I think -- and I know you, so I don't think you did this intentionally but it's really a big pet peeve of mine. It drives me crazy when -- and I do it sometimes by myself without thinking, when people call President Obama Mr. Obama. We all complain when we would call him Mr. Bush instead of President Bush. And I know you didn't do that intentionally.
GLENN: The other thing is how much local programming is required from television stations, local television stations? What is the percentage of programming data that must be local?
JENNINGS: Very minimal. Two, three, four, five percent maximum, it all comes in their news broadcasts.
GLENN: Which is an hour, and maybe they are required to do some in the morning which, if you have a local morning show, most likely that's enough to cover the same minimums that television is required.
JENNINGS: Without a question, Glenn. Without any question.
GLENN: So the FCC would be saying local television has to have this but local radio has to have more. So it would tip their hand and show what their real intent is. Do we know how these people would be chosen to be on this local advisory board?
JENNINGS: No, that's really interesting. The language in this FCC report suggests should they be elected? They asked that question. Or should they be appointed? They don't know. The FCC is leaving this wide open for interpretation, and they're going to work at language right now trying to determine how they will mandate these boards. It is just an incredible situation that in 2009 we're talking about regulating speech on American airwaves. Argentina is looking to roll back this exact same thing. Are we going to go down that route? Come on.
GLENN: So Brian, so we have localism, which is the way I saw it coming. But then there's also the new licensing rules. They want to --
GLENN: Right now how long do the licenses last? Seven years?
JENNINGS: Eight years.
GLENN: Eight years. So a radio station let's their license. Every eight years they have to go back to the FCC and they have to say, hey, we want our license renewed. So it gives you an eight-year period to do business.
JENNINGS: That's correct.
GLENN: They want to reduce that to how long?
JENNINGS: There are proposals out there for every two years and three years.
GLENN: Which, America, try to -- put yourself as a small business owner. Imagine that you have to go back to anybody to get your license every two years and you are doing political commentary. Is there any way into two-year period you would take any risks, you would have any kind of risky speech because the memory doesn't have to be that long and you're dealing with politics. How does that affect, Brian?
JENNINGS: Well, Glenn, this whole effort is about one thing. They, the far left, want to destroy conservative values in America. And they know that if they can destroy conservative talk in America, the minority, the only equal balance to all other media, then they have no opposition to their agenda. And this is exactly what that's about. They want to destroy conservative values in America, like Charles Schumer, the senator from New York says those traditional values, all that's over and that's what this is about.
GLENN: They also are working on something now on diversity. Explain the diversity laws.
JENNINGS: As a matter of fact, today the FCC is meeting and for the first time they're going into what they call diversity of ownership of radio stations across America and they want to force more owners, minority owners, female owners, which is fine, but the way they want to do that is to mandate it and take licenses, broadcast licenses away from current owners. It's a land grab. Eminent domain: Give those to the minorities and then force liberal programming into American airwaves that way. It's an absolute regulation that purely is aimed at censorship of the conservative voice.
GLENN: And this starts today?
JENNINGS: This starts today. And on the board that they have, 31 groups they've invited to this meeting, none of them are conservative, Glenn, none.
GLENN: Who are the groups? Can you give me some of them?
JENNINGS: BET, entertainment television, the CB black Entertainment Television network, many, many Hispanic organizations and others.
GLENN: Okay. Brian, again the name of the book is Censorship: The Threat to Silence Talk Radio. Brian, is there any doubt in your mind that these kinds of tactics -- that this is not, this is not -- you know, you are just trying to drum up business to sell a book, you are not trying -- this is not scare tactics to get Republicans elected. Is there any doubt in your mind that if people don't wake up and stand up and protect the right of voices on radio, both left and right, that these voices will be lost?
JENNINGS: Glenn, I'm absolutely convinced that the FCC and Democrats want to reregulate conservative speech in America. I have no question about that. I've been accused of being paranoid. Well, guess what, I'm paranoid because Nancy Pelosi won't allow a vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act on the house floor. She stood in front of it for two years. She's brought this on herself. If she would allow a vote on that, it would get rid of any Fairness Doctrine forever in America, but she won't do it. It's incredible.
GLENN: Brian, how long do you think we have before this really starts to impact radio?
JENNINGS: The FCC will have a 3/2 Democrat majority, Glenn, in the next 90 days when they seat their new chairman, Julius Genachowski. When that happens you can expect the FCC with all five members to go into full motion at that point. All these rules and regulations have been stacked up in language for years. They have a real sense of urgency to get something done now.
GLENN: Do you think it's going to happen as quickly as everything has happened here in the last 90 days, last 100 days?
JENNINGS: Absolutely, I think it's right underneath our nose and that's the mantra of this administration, get it done before people know.
GLENN: Anything that Americans can do? What do they do?
JENNINGS: There is a website. It's called censorshipbook. But on that website there is a link to a petition. The Media Research Center put it together. They are a great group out of Washington D.C., and it will link you right to that petition. It's our best way to speak because we don't even have a filibuster to rely on now in congress, and I would hope that everybody would sign this and just speak as loudly as we can.
GLENN: You know, Brian, let me ask you this. Again I'm talking to Brian Jennings. He is the former vice president of Citadel Broadcasting. That is ABC radio. You know, I mean, everybody knows the size of ABC. This guy, you don't know him but everybody in radio knows him. A serious broadcaster, been in for a very long time, concerned as every broadcaster, whether they will tell you this on air or not, if you know anyone in the broadcast industry, especially radio, they will tell you that radio is in dire, dire trouble. You are going to lose the ability to say what you believe on radio, and the only reason why radio does so well, talk radio is huge in advertising. It is huge in listenership. It is such an impact because the people, generally speaking, that are on the radio, at least nationally own their own show or at least they are part of it. I know Rush Limbaugh and I, we own our show. So this is -- I only answer to me. No other business allows that to happen. And so there is no other filter. There is one filter between you and me and that is the call screener. That's it. There's nothing else like this and that's why it is so dangerous and that's why it's in so much jeopardy.
Brian, the average person, what do you think happens if Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity's voices just disappear because there's new censorship? What happens to the -- what is it, about 60 million people total that listen to talk radio? I mean, what happens to those?
JENNINGS: Absolutely, Glenn, 60 million people in America that listen to talk radio. This is about -- if they take free speech rights away, marginalize them in any way, shape or form, we lose all other freedoms because all other freedoms hinge on your right to speak freely.
GLENN: But what I'm asking you is this is the thing that I think puts them in check. The administration would have to understand that the people who listen to talk radio, no matter what they want to believe, are not hapless, stupid people. They are very, very bright. I know my audience is generally speaking, four-year education. The next in line, I believe, is a six-year education, you know, on top of regular high school. The average salary I think is $100,000 a year. These are movers, shakers, entrepreneurs, very, very bright people that listen and they're not community organizers, they are not activists, they are not get on the bus because somebody called and said you've got to get on this bus on Saturday and we'll pay you $5. These people take charge of their own life. When they think that their voice or the people, the voices that they trust are being marginalized and taken out and taken away, what do those people then do? I think they go crazy.
JENNINGS: Yeah, the only thing -- well, they haven't seen a tea party yet, you know?
GLENN: Are you kidding me? You want a million man march, that's --
GLENN: That's what it would be.
JENNINGS: Well, with pitchforks in hand, Glenn. I think that it is well to speak up now and try to prevent any of this going on with the FCC because they are punch drunk with power and this has been a platform the Democrats have had ever since the Fairness Doctrine was repealed in 1987, they have tried numerous times to reinstate it and they've all failed fortunately because of voices such as yours which have prevented it. We have to speak up loudly now because it's imminent and I's very scary in America to think that we're on the edge of tyranny. We really are.
GLENN: The name of the book is Censorship: The Threat to Silence Talk Radio by Brian Jennings, and the website is censorshipbook.com.
JENNINGS: Glenn, thank you.
GLENN: You bet. We'll talk to you again.
Stu, you've been in broad -- when did you get in? Was the first job with radio was with me?
GLENN: Okay. So you've only seen the late Nineties?
GLENN: What is the -- because I was in radio when the Fairness Doctrine happened. I was there. I saw it before, I saw it after. I saw it with all the regulation. You wouldn't believe the kind of stuff that we used to have, and it's not anything like that. You think this stuff is real, now that you -- you've only seen this freedom. You think this stuff is real?
STU: I think that -- I don't think they are going to come back with the straight Fairness Doctrine but you are right, it's going to be these little drips and drabs, take a little piece with some diversity thing that sounds great and then another thing, a little piece with localism that sounds great and you take a little bit, piece here, there and everywhere and all of a sudden you have nothing left.
GLENN: Yeah, they are going to put these people out of business. These are local radio stations, man. They rely on your dollars, they really do. And they rely -- may I say something? I know I'm going to a commercial, but I mean this sincerely and I do all of my commercials as well: Please buy from our sponsors. Not if you don't need it and not if you don't find it a better value of what you're buying. But if it is of value and you are interested in this, please buy from our sponsors. Buy from the sponsors that you hear on other programs on this station because it's going to come down to putting these radio stations out of business. They won't be able to afford to do it.