Jerry Brown to Savage: State Control of Media Is OK
Saturday, February 14, 2009 2:21 PM
By: Phil Brennan
A little control over the media would be a good thing, according to California Attorney General Jerry Brown.
Revealing the urge now felt by many left-wing Democrats and President Barack Obama supporters, Brown came out in favor of the Fairness Doctrine while appearing on the Michael Savage radio show Friday night.
Savage's “Savage Nation” show is the third-most popular radio show in the nation.
The Fairness Doctrine would require radio stations carrying conservative talk show hosts to give equal time to dissenting liberal commentators. Conservatives claim it would have the effect of driving conservative talk radio off the air.
Savage remarked that, as a conservative, he is in the minority in the media, and that many in Brown’s Democratic Party would like to see him taken off the air via the Fairness Doctrine. Brown replied that the current situation of having talk radio dominated by conservatives allows for “one-sided presentations.”
Savage noted that former President Bill Clinton, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Sen. Debby Stabenow have called for re-establishment of the doctrine, adding that all three “want conservative voices constrained in the media." He then asked Brown what side he would be on regarding the issue.
Said Brown: “I think we need a robust range of opinions on the air.” He added that “a little state control wouldn’t hurt anybody” and said that in warning against the doctrine, Savage was "paranoid."
The Fairness Doctrine, Savage said, is "aimed only at Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and, in other words, the top five," and is intended to silence such conservative voices on radio.
Turning to the issue of illegal immigration and its effect on California, Savage said that "here we have a state that's going broke. We have a budget deficit of $41 billion by the best estimate – no one knows how much. In all the talk about balancing the budget from Arnold Schwarzenegger's so-called Republicans, why has there not been one discussion about cutting off services to non-citizens, even in the emergency rooms? That would save $10 billion to $15 billion.
"Why is it that the government seems to think that the illegal aliens have more rights than the legal citizens?"
Brown responded by denying that illegal immigrants have more rights, and insisted that the children of illegals are not "responsible for what their parents did, and they ought to be taken care of. When someone has been in an auto accident and is bleeding to death, you have to take care of them.”
Savage noted that he had been in emergency rooms three times in the last year and that he had seen "crowds of illegal aliens being treated not for auto wrecks or such, but they are taking their children in for the common cold and the flu. It's costing the state billions and billions or dollars. And yet in all this rhetoric, not one governor has said that the people cannot afford it. We have to cut back somewhere – how about cutting back with regards to benefits for illegal aliens? I'm bringing up hospitals, but there are many avenues where [benefits for] illegal aliens could be curtailed in some way. The citizens are being told that they have to cut back. Why not the non-citizens?”
While agreeing that all citizens are going to have to cut back, Brown asked: "What are you going to do, round up several million people and take them down to the border and dump them?"
Savage suggested that the state could put a California Highway Patrol officer in every emergency room and ask people for proof of citizenship.
"Do you have any idea how many hospitals are going bankrupt in this country because of the burden of treating illegal aliens, as required by federal law?”
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