FCC Diversity Officer Toys With Facts

Mark Lloyd, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s Chief Diversity Officer, made an appearance outside the confines of the communications Batcave yesterday.  He keynoted a morning panel discussion entitled Social Media, Net Neutrality, and Future of Journalism for the liberal group (and FCC "Diversity" Committee member) Media Access Project.

I highlight his emergence because his boss, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, has declined to make Lloyd available for interviews, saying he as Chair speaks for the FCC and his staff  (a position which I think is completely fair and appropriate).  So it is rare to see him out and about.  

Lloyd in fact began his talk by stating, "The views I express today are my own. I do not speak for the Federal Communications Commission."  Which is also fine.    

What wasn’t fine was his deep delving into untruths when he later attempted to defend himself against what he claimed were "exaggerations and distortions" of a wide range of his thoughts, positions and policy prescriptions, from what he called a "right-wing smear campaign."

In old school parlance, Lloyd lied.  Quite a bit.  And how do we know this?  Because we have a written, video and audio archive of his thoughts, positions and policy prescriptions.  So we know the differences between what he has said in the past, and what he claimed yesterday to have said in the past.

In fact, we were the ones doing much of the archiving.  Lloyd cited as the impetus for this "right wing smear campaign" "an obscure right wing blog" (why thank you, sir).  All we have done was cite Lloyd’s writings, and providing video and audio of the man speaking.  How dare we use his words against him?  Very smeary of us.    

Let us look at some of Lloyd’s denials of things that are in fact undeniably true.

Lloyd yesterday said this "obscure right wing blog …was distorting my views about the First Amendment."  We had asserted that he did not hold the First Amendment to be sacrosanct, based on his writing the following in his 2006 book Prologue to a Farce:

"It should be clear by now that my focus here is not freedom of speech or the press.  This freedom is all too often an exaggeration. At the very least, blind references to freedom of speech or the press serve as a distraction from the critical examination of other communications policies.

"[T]he purpose of free speech is warped to protect global corporations and block rules that would promote democratic governance."

Not sure how we exaggerated and/or distorted that.

Lloyd accused us of incorrectly asserting that he is "a supporter of (Venezuelan dictator) Hugo Chavez."  What we had done was post video of Lloyd saying this:

"In Venezuela, with Chavez, is really an incredible revolution — a democratic revolution.  To begin to put in place things that are going to have an impact on the people of Venezuela.

"The property owners and the folks who then controlled the media in Venezuela rebelled — worked, frankly, with folks here in the U.S. government — worked to oust him.  But he came back with another revolution, and then Chavez began to take very seriously the media in his country."

Not sure how it’s possible to exaggerate and/or distort something Lloyd said on camera.

Lloyd yesterday said "I am not at the FCC to remove anybody, whatever their color, from power," and that we were incorrect in intimating that it might be something he’d want to do.  What we’d done was post audio of Lloyd saying:

"Because we have really, truly good white people in important positions. And the fact of the matter is that 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."

Again, we were not exaggerating or distorting Lloyd, merely quoting him.

There was more of Lloyd’s defending the indefensible, but you get the idea.  

Someone who has been so copious about his ridiculous thoughts and positions, and intentions to control the speech of others, should perhaps have practiced a little more speech self-control.  It would have given us less to work with in working to ensure his anti-First Amendment plans do not become a censorious reality.