Zogby Poll Falsely States: ‘FCC to Force Good White People’ Out for ‘African-Americans and Gays’
October 28, 2009
(ChattahBox)—Conservative right-wing author Brad O’Leary, who heads PM Direct Marketing and is promoting his new book, “Shut Up America–The End of Free Speech,” co-authored a poll with Zogby, filled with misleading questions and false statements that could have been written by Glenn Beck. Not surprisingly, O’Leary is a frequent guest on Fox News programs.
The not only misleading, but also race-baiting and bigoted Zogby/O’Leary Poll, claims that the results show that, “President Obama’s Attacks on Free Speech Opposed by Most Americans,” as announced in a mass email sent out by O’Leary. How convenient for O’Leary’s book sales.
The poll attacks the Hate Crimes Bill, using all of the discredited right-wing talking points against it to bash gays and more egregiously, it misstates a statement made by Mark Lloyd, Chief Diversity Officer for the FCC, falsely claiming that Lloyd wants the FCC to remove whites from positions of power in the broadcast industry to replace them with blacks and gays. Outrageous!
The misleading Zogby/O’Leary poll is designed of course; to elicit a result desired by O’Leary to promote his book and the latest right-wing conspiracy theories, namely that President Obama and Democratic lawmakers are attacking free speech. It also advances the right-wing’s false claims that the Obama administration and Mark Lloyd have a super secret plan to bring back the Fairness Doctrine, to destroy conservative talk radio.
Right wing blogs and Glenn Beck have cherry-picked Lloyd’s past statements, to falsely claim he is a radical racist. They have distributed snippets of an audio of Lloyd’s past statements to smear him and Glenn Beck has called for his removal
As noted by Think Progress, “The most absurd attacks have come from pundits like right-wing radio host Michael Savage, who has called Lloyd a “neo-Nazi,” and “piece of garbage” intent on closing down “conservatives in the media.”
Read question no. 4 smearing Mark Lloyd, and the Obama administration, which refers to a non-existent FCC policy:
4. Federal Communications Commission Chief Diversity Czar Mark Lloyd wants the FCC to force good white people in positions of power in the broadcast industry to step down to make room for more African-Americans and gays to fill those positions. Do you agree or disagree that this presents a threat to free speech?
This question is based on a lie. It takes one statement made by Lloyd during a 2005 appearance on a discussion panel at the St Louis, MO Conference on Media Reform :Racial Justice & Media Policy, and twists it to make it appear he was advocating the removal of “good white people,” which is not the case.
According to the audio tape made during the conference, Lloyd, then a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, was part of a panel tasked to discuss the topic: “Why we should consider media policy from a racial justice angle and how you do that?” When Lloyd first briefly spoke, he began his remarks expressing some discomfort talking about race.
He then was asked a specific question by Chanelle Hardy, then a policy advocate with Consumers Union and now Chief of Staff for Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL), who used the words, “good white people,” first in her question:
HARDY: “My question is: I’ve been discussing this a lot with my colleagues, my white colleagues—we’re really framing the debate it seems to me as though advocating on behalf of people of color is something that good white people have a duty to do, which I agree. But I think we need to reframe it in a way that says, it’s something that is necessary because our destinies are intertwined and it hurts white people as much as us and we’re not just hapless victims just sitting there waiting to be rescued, so I want to see more engagement with people of color not just speaking on behalf and I want to hear what your response is to that,” asked Hardy of Lloyd.
Hardy’s mention of “good white people” was used to express the reality in the broadcasting industry of a majority of diversity conscious white people advocating on behalf of diversity and people of color. And she wanted to see more direct interaction between the two groups.
Decide for yourself if Lloyd advocated the removal of “good white people.” Read Lloyd’s full response to Hardy’s Question:
LLOYD: “There are few things I think more frightening in the American mind than dark skinned black men. Here I am. And I have been here for a while. I’ve been a broadcast producer, where I worked for NBC, CNN. I have been a lawyer in Washington, DC representing major communications companies, speaking before the FCC and members of Congress. I’m working at a think tank. I have spent some time at MIT. I graduated from some pretty good institutions. Nothing has been given to me. No one has recruited me, sought me out. What I have I have been able to get because I have knocked on a lot of doors very hard
The conservation about how we communicate with each other despite being aware of the clear impressions that I know that I make in rooms I walk into, when people hear my voice is a challenge. How much do I express– I think pretty obvious complaints of black Americans in rooms full of whites. This is a very very good mixed group. It does not represent the mixture of this conference. But let me say this. It does not represent the mixture at Free Press. It doesn’t represent the mixture at a number of the organizations that make this happen
But the fact that this meeting is here is a result of a conversation that many of us have had with those folks. And I think we should be appreciative of the fact— I think that there is some understanding that this is important.
But there is another and more dangerous step that needs to be taken. And that’s really sharing power. And there’s nothing more difficult than this, because we have really truly good white people in important positions. And the fact of the matter is there are a limited number of those positions. And unless we are conscious of the need to have more people of color, gays other people in those positions, we will not change the problem.
We’re in a position where you have to say who is going to step down so someone else can have power. And there’s nothing more difficult than that. And that’s real that’s not–I could tell you stories.
Let me say one thing because I want to address the question that she asked early on. How do you–Why have the conversation? I believe that despite my experience as a broadcaster working through all media, having won awards, as a broadcaster, despite my education as a political scientist, or as a lawyer, despite my working in Washington, despite all the things I have done and learned, there’s something that I know about living and working with poor people and people of color—that I can make a contribution to in any conversation that I’m in. I’m willing to do that at some risk. I’m willing to do that, but that has to be valued as a part of the conversation and has to be recognized as a contribution to our diverse communication. Let me also say this.
I believe all rich white women have something to contribute to the conversation as well. So part of it is a commitment not just to people of color who are screwed up as any group that you might imagine, right? But it is a commitment to diversity and the fact that we can learn from each other and if we are to learn we must learn from each other. So, it is a commitment to that idea of diversity and that is important if we are to make progress.
And I think if you are in a room. If you are a media policy activist that cares about something and you look around the room and you don’t see a diverse community around you. Say something— you have a problem in that room and it needs to be addressed.”
There is no conceivable way to interpret Lloyd’s comments made in the context of a racial diversity in media seminar, to conclude that he “wants the FCC to force good white people in positions of power in the broadcast industry to step down to make room for more African-Americans and gays.”
Lloyd was responding to a specific question noting that “good white people” in broadcasting are taking up the issue of diversity. Lloyd restated Hardy’s own words, to illustrate the difficulty of establishing diversity, when most positions of power in broadcasting are held by white people. He spoke of his own hard work as the path to his success and spoke of the importance of working together with all racial groups. Lloyd did not advocate a FCC policy to replace whites with blacks and gays. And of course no such policy exists.
He spoke of being “conscious of the need to have more people of color, gays other people in those positions,” to effect change in an industry where white Americans have licenses to 97% of all broadcast properties.
The Zogby/O’Leary poll is nothing more than a publicity stunt to sell O’Leary’s book, but it also smears the good name of Mark Lloyd, misrepresents Obama administration policies, and engages in race baiting and gay bashing for good measure.
The complete audio tape of the 2005 panel discussion Conference on Media Reform :Racial Justice & Media Policy can be found here. Hardy’s question is at the 34:58 mark and Lloyd’s response is at the 25:00 mark.
The entire Zogby/O’Leary poll can be found here.