Citizen Weyrich: NET's Conservative Media Empire

By Williams, Anna E. | Afterimage, February-March 1995 | Go to article overview

Citizen Weyrich: NET's Conservative Media Empire


Williams, Anna E., Afterimage


National Empowerment Television (NET) is a satellite television station broadcast from Washington, D.C. and run by the Free Congress Foundation (FCF). NET is transmitted via the Hughes Communications satellite Galaxy 7 and is available free and unscrambled throughout the continental United States, Canada, and Mexico. Describing itself as "C-Span with an attitude,"(1) the station's programming presents contemporary political issues from the point of view of both the secular and Religious Right. The December 1993 launch of NET was not, as this invocation of "new technologies" suggests, the originary moment of a new television channel. Rather, NET represents the public component of a Conservative television service that had already been in existence for four years.(2) Since 1990 the FCF had been transmitting (via satellite) activist programs organized around specific lobbying concerns to small groups of subscribing affiliates nationwide. This subscription service was originally called National Empowerment Television. It changed its name to C-NET (Coalitions National Empowerment Television) when the free 24-hour public station was launched at the end of 1993 as NET.

Originally transmitted on the non-commercial Ku band, C-NET produces four monthly shows tailored to specific constituencies: Family Forum Live addresses white middle-class "pro-family" activists; A Second Look Live is targeted at black Conservatives: Campus Connection is aimed at college students and Empowerment Outreach Live speaks to business people. These shows discuss specific legislative issues, usually pending state and federal legislation, and direct viewers to lobby appropriate politicians with letters and telephone calls.(3) This format is the television equivalent of direct mail (without requests for money) and has been used to organize Conservative activists around such issues as gays in the military, school choice, and health-are reform. In contrast to the public service rhetoric the FCF uses to characterize NET, Paul Weyrich described it as a "megaphone in the hands of the people:"

C-NET represents a long-term commitment to covert political activism pioneered by the FCF as part of a wider strategy to intervene in the U.S electoral system in order to shift political representation further to the right. C-NET addresses a narrow, preselected audience and changes its broadcast coordinates regularly to prevent unauthorized reception by non-subscribers.(4) The FCF is an umbrella group and organizing center of the secular and Religious Right and functions as the ideological complement to the Heritage Foundation.(5) The two work together to produce, disseminate, and implement a coherent Conservative ideology. NET is a product of this collaboration: the Heritage Foundation has provided both programming and staff for the new station. Both institutions were rounded in the '70s by Weyrich with financial support from Conservative businessman Joseph Coors and philanthropist Richard Mellon Scaife.(6) A former chief assistant to Coors told journalist Sara Diamond that the FCF, the Heritage Foundation and the Moral Majority were ostensibly secular organizations "intended to mobilize Conservative Christians and shift the political make-up of Congress."(7) Supplementing the Heritage Foundation's economic focus, the FCF undertakes the training and support of Conservative political candidates at all levels, and the development and promotion of an ideology of "Cultural Conservatism."(8)

NET was launched on December 6, 1993 ostensibly as a new interactive channel that would provide Americans with long denied access to government in Washington. Although it is primarily distributed by satellite, the FCF hopes that NET will eventually get picked up by local cable services when the transfer from coaxial to fiberoptic cable increases available channel space. Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcast Network (CBN), has courted a similar audience as NET since its inception as a satellite station in 1977 and transition to cable. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Citizen Weyrich: NET's Conservative Media Empire
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.