Libertarian Party's Position on TV

RECEIVED Tue., Aug. 10, 2004

Dear Editor,
   Mike Clark-Madison made several references to "libertarian" in his "Access of Evil" column last week about the Austin Music Network and Austin Community Television ["Austin@Large," News, Aug. 6]. Just to clear things up regarding the Libertarian Party's position regarding television access, below is an excerpt from the Libertarian Party platform.
   "We would provide for free market ownership of airwave frequencies, deserving of full First Amendment protection. We oppose government ownership or subsidy of, or funding for, any communications organization. Removal of all of these regulations and practices throughout the communications media would open the way to diversity and innovation."
   My interpretation of the Libertarian Party's stance is that ACTV and AMN should cease to be funded by taxes. Additionally, FCC and other regulations that either directly prevent entry into the market by upstarts, or prohibitively raise the cost for small producers by limiting available bandwidth, should be eliminated. Television shows should either survive based on advertising revenue, or based on funds raised from willing donors. In a freer market, some of the ACTV and AMN shows would survive, while others would likely fail.
   Until the government gets out of the television business, I hope Libertarians continue to put the government's resources to work against bigger government.
Wes Benedict
Executive Director, Libertarian Party of Texas
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