A small group of right-wing broadcasters own all but two of the AM radio stations in the San Francisco Bay area. These right-wing broadcasters have a history of cutting off profitable but politically incorrect (a.k.a. "liberal") content in order to make room for more right-wing talk show hosts on their stations, even if this results in less profit for their radio stations, because they place their political beliefs ahead of profit. So, does this mean that the right wing should be allowed to dictate what political beliefs are allowed to air in the local area?
According to the right wingers, the answer to that question is "Yes." Their notion is, "we paid for it, we own it, we have a right to put whatever programming we want on the radio stations we bought and paid for." For right-wingers, it's a case of property rights -- being able to use their property any way they wish.
But what is their property? Well, that's where things get fuzzy. First, it is clear that all of their physical infrastructure -- the radio tower, the transmitter, the studio, etc. -- is their property. And of course their actual content is their property. But none of this would be useful without the third thing that is their property: Their license to use a particular slice of the frequency spectrum in order to broadcast their drivel.
Without that license, all their expensive equipment would be useless. I could come in and broadcast right over the top of them using my own AM transmitter setup. And the only thing that makes that license useful is that it is enforced by the government. I.e., every broadcast radio station in the country can exist only because the government grants them a license to exist. Otherwise people like me, with RF radio experience and capabilities, would just broadcast our own drivel to the world over the top of these people, and every frequency you tuned to would be either weird mishmash of various people trying to broadcast their own opinions, or unintelligible garble.
In short, the public airwaves are public because they must be public in order to have any value at all. A private party cannot simply say "I own 1540AM" because there are thousands of us out here who have the capability to broadcast on 1540AM, and would do so if there were no law prohibiting us from doing so. A private party can "own" 1540AM only if all of us who have the capability to broadcast on 1540AM -- i.e., WE THE PEOPLE (also known as "the government") -- grant them a license to "own" 1540AM. If KRTR (Rightwing Talk Radio for the masses!) is to have any value at all, it is only if they can somehow obtain from the public (We the People) a license giving them the exclusive right to use a particular frequency. Otherwise all those assets they do own are useless.
So now that we've straightened that out: What gives 1540AM KRTR more right to have their views aired on 1540AM than I have? Well, we've established that it's not because they somehow "own" the frequency 1540. I can broadcast on 1540 just as well as anybody else can, using simple equipment that I can create from surplus gear from the Bay Area's many electronic surplus stores. All they "own" is a GOVERNMENT-GRANTED LICENSE to broadcast on 1540AM. Right now, they can broadcast their views on 1540AM -- and prevent my views from being broadcast on 1540AM -- only because they can call up the FCC and have me arrested if I broadcast my views on 1540AM. In short, GOVERNMENT is the only thing that gives them more right to broadcast their views (and lock out my views) on 1540AM. And that's wrong. Government should not be giving one right-wing oligarch more right to have his views broadcasted than mine. That's government-enforced censorship of my views.
Thus all the shorts-crapping of the tightie righties as they shit in their pants over the thought that the government might actually require them to air *all* views if they are to retain their monopoly on the public air waves. Because they are scared of competition. They are scared that if people can hear both left-wing and right-wing ideas on the public airwaves, that people might choose left-wing ideas. They want their government-granted monopoly, and they want it on their terms, terms that prevent me from broadcasting my own views on 1540AM. In short, they are the ultimate in welfare whores, who have wheedled special treatment from the government to give them more right than me to have their views aired on 1540AM, and who will use government to shut me down if I dare broadcast my own views on 1540AM. They claim to be "free market advocates", but that's just a lie. The very fact that they would call the government in on me to arrest me if I dared broadcast my own views on 1540AM shows it's a lie. What they are, are a bunch of oligarchs who have bribed the government into giving them an exclusive right to have their views and only their views broadcast on 1540AM, and who have no problem with calling in the government to censor my views if I dare broadcast them on 1540AM. They exist only because they're government welfare prostitutes, and there is no free market involved at all -- and cannot be, as long as they have a government-granted monopoly.
-- Badtux the Radio Penguin