Politically active Barack Obama supporters in Michigan have tried to silence criticism of the president-elect on a talk program at a community radio station by cutting its air time, the program host says. Officials with radio station WRHC told WND the dispute involved talk show host Martin Dzuris' coverage of local issues as well as national issues.
But Dzuris explained in a lengthy interview with WND he attended at least one meeting where radio station officials discussed specifically how to reduce Dzuris' criticism of Obama, which has linked Obama's statements taken directly from his speeches to Marxism.
Dzuris said one issue raised was Obama's demand in a Colorado Springs speech for a Civilian National Security Force, an issue on which WND has reported.
In that speech, Obama insisted the U.S. "cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set" and needs a "civilian national security force."
Dzuris, who spent the first half of his life under communist rule in Czechoslovakia, told WND, that concept isn't new at all.
"We called them the 'peoples' militia,' (in Czechoslovakia)" he told WND.
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He said he's reviewed Obama's speeches in light of his upbringing under a Marxist-type government, and discussed those issues on his program.
"I'm just trying to bring to light what he's said," Dzuris told WND. "I'm just taking what he says, his influences, backgroundâ€¦," he said. "I lived all those things." He said he was born in Czechslovakia and defected in 1989.
Radio station administrator Kim Pruitt confirmed that a number of individuals within the board structure of the 100-watt community station are active campaigners for Obama. But she said a recent decision that sparked Dzuris' outrage to cut his show from two hours to one hour wasn't made on that basis.
She said Dzuris show had been extended from one hour to two months ago in order to allow time for discussion of "local events." She said, however, Dzuris didn't fill the additional time with local issues.
"The situation was he actually was not spending very much time on the local events and he was spending time on the national events. Elections were of interest to him," she said.
So a decision was made by a programming committee to reduce the program time, she said.
Dzuris appealed to the full board of directors for the station, which included some members of the programming committee, and ultimately they compromised and restored another 30 minutes of his program time, Pruitt confirmed, even though there are those in the station's coverage area who would "like to see him off the air."
WND e-mails and telephone messages for the chief of the station's board, as well as Obama's transition team, did not generate a response.
One board member, Dave Repetto, was contacted by WND but declined to discuss the issue. He referred WND to coverage in the area Three Oaks and New Buffalo newspapers.
In the New Buffalo Harbor Country News, Dzuris said, "I was told to tighten up my show, but no help or suggestions were given to me about how to do this, and I feel the real reason my time on the air is being reduced is because of my political views that differ with many people on the board of directors and programming committee."
Former station program director Linas Johansonas agreed.
"This issue is about content," Johansonas told station committee members, according to the News. "I've had board members tell me that they hate Martin's guts. This decision is political, and I hope you can get past that and see the good Martin does in the community."
Dzuris confirmed to WND he attended a program committee meeting where members vocally expressed their opposition to the program's political position including its criticism of Obama.
But fellow program host Dennis Snow said that wasn't an issue.
"If you want to call Obama a communist on the air, you have a right to do that, and I'll defend to the death your right to do that, even though I don't agree with that," Snow said in the News report. "I know you feel we're all a bunch of liberals here, and that we're ganging up on you by reducing your time on the air, but that's not true. I just really feel your show would be better if it was one hour instead of two hours, that's all."
Dzuris said the move to reduce his show time came after Obama volunteers, including some from the station, concluded a round of several thousand telephone calls in the region trying to generate support for the Democrat.
People would respond that they weren't voting for Obama and then reveal they got information about Obama's links to unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers, his Saul Alinsky influences and other factors, from Dzuris' program.
"On the programming committee, there are people, one that presented the motion, the other seconded the motion to cut my show â€¦ many of them were involved as volunteers in our local Obamam campaign," Dzuris told WND.
"They've been after my show. Now it came to a head," he said.
Many questions about Obama's stated plans for a National Civilian Security Force that is at least as powerful and well-funded as the U.S. military remain unanswered.
But Obama's new chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, has said there will be a mandatory "force" for Americans.
"If you're worried about, are you going to have to do 50 jumping jacks, the answer is yes," Emanuel told a reporter who was podcasting for the New York Daily News.
WND also reported when the official website for Obama, Change.gov, announced he would "require" all middle school through college students to participate in community service programs.
That proposal, however, was changed suddenly after a flurry of blogs protested children being drafted into Obama's proposal. The new wording reads, "President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in under served schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps.
WND also previously reported on a video of a marching squad of Obama youth.
The apparent censorship also raised questions about the so-called "Fairness Doctrine," which, if re-adopted in Congress, could be used to severely limit conservative talk radio in the United States.
If would require broadcasts over the public airwaves to give equal time to opposing political views. For talk radio, which boomed after the law's repeal in 1987 by building an audience devoted to conservative talk, the law's return would decimate the industry's marketability.
Many fear the "Fairness Doctrine" would drive talk radio hosts â€“ like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage â€“ out of business.
As WND reported, ATI-News President Brad O'Leary examined Obama's legal and organizational attempts to silence media detractors during the presidential race and found, "Obama has shown a stunning lack of tolerance for free speech throughout the course of this campaign."
Obama's presidency, he said, could "allow the Democrats to snuff out any broadcasters with whom they disagree."