Gary Peters: Abuser of power.
You already know that Democrats are trying to use the Internal Revenue Service to silence their political adversaries. Now Democrats are trying to use the Federal Communications Commission to do the exact same thing.
On Thursday, a law firm representing the Senate campaign of U.S. Rep. Gary Peters (D-Michigan) sent a threatening letter to television stations running an ad paid for by Americans for Prosperity, and critical of Peters for voting for ObamaCare.
Specifically, the letter mentions a “fact check” article by the Washington Post that questions some of the claims made in the ad by Michigan resident Julie Boonstra, who has Leukemia and saw her health insurance thrown into chaos by ObamaCare. Because Washington Post “fact checker” column gave the ad “two Pinnochios” and claims Boonstra’s new ObamaCare insurance is a better deal for her than she says it is, the law firm for the Peters campaign demands that TV stations provide facts to back the AFP’s position in the ad, under threat of losing their broadcast license if they do not.
Here is a PDF image of the letter.
Let’s cut to the chase here. Congressman Peters, who hopes to become Senator Peters, is using his position as a member of Congress to threaten TV stations with the loss of their broadcast licenses if they air ads critical of him. This is an abuse of power every bit as egregious as the use of the IRS to harass Tea Party groups.
I am sure liberals will counter that TV stations are indeed accountable for the content of ads they run, and that’s true. If you knowingly air an ad that is patently false, you could be held in violation of your FCC-issued license.
But to claim this is such a situation is beyond absurd. For one thing, the Washington Post “fact checker” column is not an authoritative arbiter of the truth. It is a political opinion column – nothing more, nothing less. How many political ads have aired, only to be criticized by a political columnist? That is all fair debate and commentary, but the fact that an ad was criticized by a member of the media is not evidence that it is untrue.
Also, you will notice in the letter how the law firm claims public officials have a right to the airwaves that others do not. Gary Peters can apparently say anything he wants! But a group criticizing Gary Peters cannot.
It is also beyond absurd to think that Glenn Kessler, who writes the “fact checker” column for the Post, knows Julie Boonstra’s situation better than Julie Boonstra does. This disagreement is a matter of opinion, and anyone with a brain would give the benefit of the doubt to Ms. Boonstra because we’re talking about her life and her situation.
But that is not stopping Congressman Peters, through the law firm his campaign has hired, from threatening those who seek to hold him accountable for supporting ObamaCare. And he’s not just going after AFP. He’s going after the media outlets who are simply exercising their prerogative as broadcast companies to sell their time to advocacy groups.
This is one of the most compelling reasons to stand in the gap against the growth of government. When government becomes this powerful, it starts using its own agencies – the ones that are supposed to serve the people – in an attempt to silence the people. Democrats are turning this into an art form. Americans need to understand what a stunning abuse of power it really is.