The presidentâ€™s approval ratings are going down. The economy is stagnant, and the presidentâ€™s efforts at jump-starting it have met with little success. After rushingÂ through a series of bailouts and company takeovers, the president’sÂ MarxistÂ advisorsÂ recommended a slew of vast, draconian â€œreformâ€ policies. But the public has grown increasingly skeptical. Consumer confidence is at an all-time low.
The presidentâ€™s detractors on the airwaves have become more numerous and more vocal than ever before.Â And itâ€™s no longer just the conservatives. The mainstream media have also begun to criticize the president’s policies.
Something must be done, and quickly.
The president decides that the best course of action will be to silence the critics. A bill aimed at communications reform is introduced.Â A â€œfairness doctrineâ€ is proposed, which will insure that â€œboth sides on any given issue will be heard.â€
â€œIt will strengthen democracy,â€ the president asserts.
By now, you may be wondering how far President Barack Obama and his advisors are going to take things. Put that thought aside for a moment, because we are talking about a different leftist president here: President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina.
As Democracy Now!â€™s Amy Goodman reported yesterday, President Fernandez has sent a media reform bill to Congress, in an effort aimed at â€œreducing the control of a handful of companies that dominate broadcasting.â€ This bill, Goodman reports, â€œis based on a proposal written by a coalition of community media, human rights groups, unions and progressive academics.â€
As President Fernandez herself put it:
This bill looks to dedicate to all of our people the right, so that everyone can be heard, so that voices of every man and woman can be heard, whether we like what they have to say or not, whether they serve our interests or are against our interests. It is for all of us.
All Argentines have the right to expression and to cultural assets that can’t be monopolized by one sector or one company
Naturally, leftist groups and academics have welcomed the Argentine Government’s push to silence its critics:
â€œYou can’t have a society held hostage by the opinions of four companies that own the media,â€ said one leftist academic professor.
Argentines have every reason to fear this bill. It is nothing but a power grab by an unpopular leftist president committed to staying in power.
A political adversary of Fernandez rightly called it â€œa desperate effort to win votes at any price.â€
Julio Barbaro, a former head of Argentinaâ€™s state broadcast regulator noted:
[This bill] was only agreed between people with the same point of view â€¦ they’re looking for war with this bill.
Mr. Barbaro only got it half-right. The war, in fact, has already begun.