Peter Hart is Advocacy Director and Media Analyst for the tax-exempt leftwing “media watchdog” organization Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) founded in 1986 by radical activist Jeff Cohen.
Hart is producer and a co-host (along with Steve Rendall and Janine Jackson) of FAIR’s weekly syndicated radio show CounterSpin, which according to FAIR’s web site is “heard on more than 125 noncommercial stations across the United States and Canada.” These include some stations affiliated with National Public Radio (NPR) or owned by radical Pacifica Radio.
In 1997 Hart graduated from Rutgers University, where he “presented research as an undergraduate to the AEJMC (Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communications).
Hart has written at least 35 articles published in FAIR’s magazine Extra! The first of these, co-authored with Steve Rendall, appeared in July 1998.
Hart is co-author (with “Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting”) of the book The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003).
Hart has been interviewed by several national media outlets, among them NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel’s O’Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press.
“There’s a structural problem in media itself,” Hart told the left Working for Change webzine BuzzFlash in a November 2003 interview, “….that goes a long way in explaining why progressives don’t have a reliable perch in the mainstream media….an ad executive….explained to Advertising Age magazine…that the problem with being associated as liberal is that they wouldn’t be going in a direction that advertisers are really interested in….[and] when the message is something that advertisers are not interested in…There will also always be political pressure from owners, publishers – people with real power in the media – who tend to be more conservative politically and probably don’t want to promote a genuine progressive point of view.. That’s something that FAIR has documented over 16-some-odd years.”
One is reminded of Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman’s observation that a nation can either have an army comprised of mercenaries, i.e. career professional soldiers, or an army of slaves, of drafted conscripts.
The media will be controlled and programmed either by a wide variety of private owners with a diversity of views and values, as it largely is in America today, or by the government.
Hart apparently finds private ownership and capitalism unfair to “progressives,” the euphemism used to describe themselves by modern socialists and Marxists, and this might contain a grain of truth. Why, by analogy, would an African-American radio station owner provide ample airtime to a racist member of the Ku Klux Klan who wants to enslave or destroy him? Why would a believer in economic liberty provide ample airtime to a socialist who wants to confiscate everything he has earned and to terminate economic liberty in America?
What Hart never mentions is his inevitable alternative – that government take political control of who is permitted to say what, and for how long, on radio, television and other mainstream media in the name of fairness.
As a large goosestep in this authoritarian direction, FAIR advocates restoring the so-called “Fairness Doctrine.” This law (made obsolete by the emergence of an immense diversity of Internet and other media, and therefore repealed) claimed to encourage the airing of more points of view. Its vague requirement that equal time be given to opposing points of view, however, prompted broadcasters not to air more voices but to stifle discussion entirely lest some politicized bureaucrat declare them unbalanced and take away their government licenses.
The “progressive” Big Government ideology of Peter Hart and FAIR should never be regarded as libertarian or genuine liberalism.
Peter Hart’s FAIR biography describes him as having been “a member of the Paper Tiger Television collective in New York City for a number of years.”
The radical Paper Tiger TV collective and the satellite channel it created called Deep Dish TV use “public access” channels that government urged cable systems to provide for local voices. Paper Tiger and Deep Dish instead expropriate and exploit these channels and use them amplify far-left ideology broadcast to hundreds of cable systems from New York City. Hart’s Paper Tiger comrades, in other words, are stealing airtime from diverse local individuals across America to air instead monolithic leftwing propaganda. The hypocrisy and highhandedness of the left is, once again, obvious to all who open their eyes and ears.
In 2004 during the Republican National Convention in New York City, FAIR and Paper Tiger TV (both of which have tax-exempt status as non-partisan non-profit organizations) staged a joint “March on the Media” to preemptively discourage any positive reporting about Republicans that the establishment media might have done. Neither group staged a similar march during 2004’s Democratic National Convention.