This is from the Act that created the Federal Communications Commission. It’s a good demonstration of how rhetoric is employed by politicians to assuage the fear of the public in order to get a bill passed and then is suddenly transformed into precisely what the citizens feared (other fine examples include the income tax and the financial stimulus package). The record of history is crystal clear in showing us that each expansion of government power, no matter how noble, and no matter how hard we try to legally constrain it, will be abused.
“Nothing in this Act shall be understood or construed to give the licensing authority the power of censorship over the radio communications or signals transmitted by any radio station, and no regulation or condition shall be promulgated or fixed by the licensing authority which shall interfere with the right of free speech by means of radio communications.”
From R. Coase’s paper that I was alerted to by Professor Boettke