Is Senator Rockefeller anti-free speech?

Ashley Stinnett Contributor
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In a perfect world, free speech would be reserved for the federal government and elitists who are exempt from regulatory mandates, according to West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller. Apparently, he feels that political discourse in America has run amok because of the opinionated programming that appears on Fox News and MSNBC.

Of course, this is the same guy who once championed a bill that would have given Obama total and unrestrained power over the Internet in the event of a so-called national emergency. In other words, more government intervention on the heels of a massive power grab aimed at stifling constitutional freedoms.

However, there is one small problem that the good senator has overlooked. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) cannot actually control the content on cable television. It is merely limited to broadcast intervention, which could pose a serious problem for politicians like Rockefeller and his big-government agenda.

“I hunger for quality news. I’m tired of the right and the left,” Rockefeller bemoaned during a recent hearing on television retransmission consent. “There’s a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to Fox and to MSNBC: ‘Out. Off. End. Goodbye.’ It would be a big favor to political discourse,” he added.

Somewhere in a little jungle villa, Uncle Fidel is grinning from ear to ear.

Obviously Mr. Rockefeller is either ignorantly avoiding the issue of the First Amendment or has absolutely no qualms about his desire to treat the Constitution like another day at the buffet bar, picking and choosing what suits him while the rest is filed in the circular folder.

Given his congressional track record for often overlooking silly things like the Bill of Rights, I will assume the senator chose the latter.

For years, I have been trying to figure out why the voters of West Virginia insist on sending a guy like Rockefeller back to Washington. He has never really lived in the state he supposedly represents, never spoken a positive word about conservatism, which is the ideology of the overwhelming majority of the state’s residents, and has nothing in common with the average blue-collar West Virginian.

To watch Senator Rockefeller parade all over rural Appalachia in a pair of blue jeans during an election year is kind of like witnessing Carlton Banks eating ketchup crackers at an urban Philadelphia soup kitchen.

No offense, Mr. Banks.

It really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who has not been living in a cave for the last several decades that the left wing in America has no qualms about destroying individual freedoms. And phonies like Rockefeller underscore the point that liberals only care about certain rights when it comes to them.

Whenever a speech like this is given, I can’t help but think maybe McCarthy was right.


Ashley Stinnett lives in West Virginia, where he serves as an adjunct college instructor, writer, media and public relations consultant, public speaker and political commentator. He is a registered member of the West Virginia Associated Press, and is a nationally syndicated columnist. He is the author of the new book, “Grasping Appalachian Conservatism: How Not To Be Mistaken For A Latte Liberal.”