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Unfairness Doctrine
national review online ^ | 6 25 07 | editors

Posted on 06/25/2007 8:05:29 AM PDT by flixxx

Unfairness Doctrine

By The Editors

Remember Jim Hightower? We didn’t think so. He was the former Texas state official who was, for a few minutes, the Left’s great hope for a liberal talk-radio host to challenge the domination of Rush Limbaugh. It didn’t work out. Neither did former New York governor Mario Cuomo, another failed radio talker. And neither did, most recently, Air America, the attempt to build an entire network of liberal talk.

Nothing has worked too successfully for liberal political talkers. Rush, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham, among others, are as dominant as ever. The only thing that has changed is that liberals now seem less interested in challenging conservative talk radio in the marketplace than in strangling it with government regulation. And that presents a much greater threat than another misguided attempt to find the liberal Limbaugh.

A new blueprint for a government takedown of conservative talk radio comes from the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, founded and run by former Clinton White House chief of staff John Podesta. In a report entitled, “The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio ,” the Center outlines a plan that would, if implemented, do enormous damage not only to conservatives on talk radio, but to freedom of speech as well.

Surveying 257 stations owned by the top-five commercial station groups, the report’s authors found the unsurprising news that 91 percent of total weekday talk programming is conservative, and just nine percent “progressive.” Rather than attribute that imbalance to the generally conceded superiority of conservative programming — most radio professionals would tell you that Rush Limbaugh is simply better at what he does than any of the liberal opponents who have tried to compete with him — the report finds a deeper, more sinister case. “The gap between conservative and progressive talk radio,” it concludes, “is the result of multiple structural problems in the U.S. regulatory system. “ According to Podesta’s Center, those structural problems can only be solved by government action.

First, the report proposes new national and local limits on the number of radio stations one company can own. Second, it recommends a de facto quota system to ensure that more women and minorities own radio stations. And finally, it says the government should “require commercial owners who fail to abide by enforceable public interest obligations to pay a fee to support public broadcasting.”

The two-for-the-price-of-one attempt to have the government both stifle voices that don’t meet “enforceable public interest obligations” while raising money for government broadcasting is certainly a worthwhile strategy for the Left. Not for free speech and free markets, however.

In addition, the report claims that the Fairness Doctrine — the government rule that, before it was repealed in 1987, required broadcasters to present opposing viewpoints on controversial public issues — might not really be dead, and thus might not have to be reestablished by Congress. Instead, a new administration might simply decide to enforce it again. That point is highly debatable, but it wouldn’t be surprising if President Clinton, President Obama, or President Edwards were to give it a try.

The fact is, liberals simply haven’t attracted talk-radio audiences. It’s not their market. But since they still largely have Hollywood, academia, the New York Times, PBS, NPR, a network news division or two … they’ll survive. And we on the Right will, too, if we keep the Center for American Progress’s dangerously wrongheaded ideas off the table.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: censorship; fairnessdoctrine; kyl; lott; nro; silenceamerica; talkradio
Pretty much nails the issue.
1 posted on 06/25/2007 8:05:29 AM PDT by flixxx
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To: flixxx

I put up a turd stand outside the local mall, serving hot, steaming hunks of crap on a stale bun, but nobody ever came. Can’t imagine why.


2 posted on 06/25/2007 8:07:31 AM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: Mr Ramsbotham

These people think you can pick up a turd by the clean end...


3 posted on 06/25/2007 8:09:35 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: flixxx

The only place the fairness doctrine should be implemented is on PBS and NPR so they show a balanced view. Why the government finances left-wing media is outrageous and what is more puzzling is why the GOP did nothing about it when they had a chance.


4 posted on 06/25/2007 8:11:06 AM PDT by Always Right
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To: flixxx

The “Fairness Doctrine” is the most despicable and blatant attack on free speech that I have seen. The left is hardly even bothering to hide it.

We must watch carefully. If the immmigration bill is again defeated (and I suspect it will be) look for the Democrats to strike while the iron is hot. Several Republicans could be on board for any measure that will stifle talk radio.

Let’s face it: most Washington politicians want only political communication that they can control. They want constituents that they can buy off, and that won’t make too much noise. As I said it is all truly despicable.


5 posted on 06/25/2007 8:14:02 AM PDT by Zack Nguyen
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

pick up a turd by the clean end...

Seriously LOL - never heard this “colloquialism” before...


6 posted on 06/25/2007 8:14:17 AM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
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To: Mr Ramsbotham

Well obviously, you need to government to keep your turd stand in business, because people aren’t voluntarily choosing to keep you in business (because they don’t know any better, or are being **gasp** judgemental towards your product).

Obviously, it’s discrimination, not that turds are any less valuable than hotdogs, they’re just being discrimated against, and governmental involvement becomes necessary to fix this discrimination.


7 posted on 06/25/2007 8:19:08 AM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
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To: flixxx
A level playing field doesn't mean the winning team gets their arms broken and the losers get submachine guns. It means the "field" is level. Period. Liberals can have any shows they want if and it's a big "if", if they can attract enough people who want to hear them - hence enough advertisers to support the show.

You would think tax supported public radio - in every US market 24/7 would be enough... and that's the next thing conservatives have to go after. I'm tired of my tax money supporting liberal "public" radio.

8 posted on 06/25/2007 8:25:32 AM PDT by GOPJ (Pimping Bush/Kennedy want to sell American citizenship for $5,000.)
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To: Zack Nguyen
"The “Fairness Doctrine” is the most despicable and blatant attack on free speech that I have seen. The left is hardly even bothering to hide it."

I can't agree. McCain-Feingold is THE most despicable (and unConstitutional) attack on free speech. The "Fairness Doctrine" is, at best, in second place.

9 posted on 06/25/2007 8:26:29 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: Wonder Warthog
McCain-Feingold

Isn't that Campaign Finance Reform? If it is, it is about the XIVth Amend more than anything else.

10 posted on 06/25/2007 8:29:33 AM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Treaty)
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To: GOPJ

Leftists (they’re NOT liberal) judge the “fairness” of any system by the outcomes.

It logically follows that people who make dumb behavioral decisions and have bad outcomes are victims of an unfair system, so government needs to step in and fix the problem.

In this case, progressive/collectivist/leftist radio fails because of inherent problems in the system, not because it fails based on its own merits.


11 posted on 06/25/2007 8:29:54 AM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
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To: flixxx

What about unintended consequences? The bain of Liberals and “Progressives” everywhere.

If conservatives successfully challenge for equal time on PBS, NPR (government funded, btw), the alphabets, etc., they’d have to devote half their programming to conservative viewpoints.


12 posted on 06/25/2007 8:31:15 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (I never consented to live in the Camp of the Saints.)
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To: flixxx

The amazing thing is that talk radio listeners are involved, informed and interested in national politics. The liberals already know everything because they heard it on the Daly show or from Katie Couric. Since they already know everything they have plenty of time to listen to hip-hop or top 40 stations and have no desire to become informed (even misinformed)by any form of talk radio.

Prior to Fox news, talk radio and FreeRepublic were the only way we ever heard about any of the massive corruption scandals that were occurring in the clintoon administration. I remember listening to C-span and watching Lou Dobbs and believe it or not Chris Matthews because occasionally they would let something slip out.


13 posted on 06/25/2007 8:33:51 AM PDT by Bob Buchholz
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

Sorry, the fairness doctrine will only be applicable to radio. Newspapers and television are inherently FAIR.


14 posted on 06/25/2007 8:35:11 AM PDT by Bob Buchholz
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
If conservatives successfully challenge for equal time on PBS, NPR (government funded, btw), the alphabets, etc., they’d have to devote half their programming to conservative viewpoints.

The courts won't enforce the "fairness doctrine" except as a one way ratchet to the left.

15 posted on 06/25/2007 8:35:17 AM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
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To: MrB; Bob Buchholz

The prospect of lawsuits will make the alphabets very nervous; they are likely to oppose any revival.


16 posted on 06/25/2007 8:50:32 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (I never consented to live in the Camp of the Saints.)
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To: flixxx

The only way the Marxist progressives are going to get equal air time on radio is if they latch onto conservatives, like the leaches they are.


17 posted on 06/25/2007 8:52:06 AM PDT by pallis
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To: GOPJ
- hence enough advertisers to support the show

Or, as was the case with Err America, borrow 800 G's from The Boys & Girls Club of America.

18 posted on 06/25/2007 8:56:53 AM PDT by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

was sippin coffee when I read that........outstanding.......and messy.........lmao


19 posted on 06/25/2007 9:00:12 AM PDT by advertising guy (If computer skills named us, I'd be back-space delete.)
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To: Puppage

I guess Radio Stations are among those things that Hillery wants to take from us.


20 posted on 06/25/2007 9:01:12 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: flixxx
Rush et al is an institution that has been groomed and tended for many years. It takes time and perhaps some general luck to become widely heard and influential in a free market environment. Startups fail all the time even when they do have something valid to say. How the Left does not grasp this is beyond logic.
21 posted on 06/25/2007 9:12:52 AM PDT by Floyd Rivers
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To: flixxx

ping


22 posted on 06/25/2007 9:14:36 AM PDT by N2Gems
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To: Puppage
Or, as was the case with Err America, borrow 800 G's from The Boys & Girls Club of America.

You're right, liberal have no shame.

23 posted on 06/25/2007 9:24:24 AM PDT by GOPJ (Pimping Bush&Kennedy want to sell American citizenship. Are you charmed?)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
If conservatives successfully challenge for equal time on PBS, NPR (government funded, btw), the alphabets, etc

Where are you going to find anyone in the media or politics that will admit NPR or PBS are liberal? The same people would tell you Boortz is conservative and I am guessing to most on FR, he would not be viewed as conservative. The "Fairness Doctrine" would be more aptly called the "Dissenters Doctrine."

24 posted on 06/25/2007 9:26:36 AM PDT by IamConservative (I could never be a liar; there's too much to remember.)
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To: Floyd Rivers

Rush is outstanding, he knows his audience, he has mastered his craft and the issues he pounds. He was also helped ALOT by having Clinton in the White House for 8 years and a continual choice of issues to select. Still, he has maintained his audience even through the Republican controlled years.


25 posted on 06/25/2007 9:32:01 AM PDT by flixxx
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To: RightWhale
"Isn't that Campaign Finance Reform?

Yes.

"If it is, it is about the XIVth Amend more than anything else."

How so?? Yours is the first comment I've seen that in any way connects CFR and the Fourteenth Amendment.

26 posted on 06/25/2007 9:35:18 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: Wonder Warthog

I would not doubt that. Corporations have been legal persons since the XIVth Amend got interpreted in several court cases, and now can own private property and can privately donate to political campaigns. CFR is oriented to controlling these legal persons. This is 99% of the reason CFR exists: the Unions are also Corporations—formerly a hugh issue and still not entirely quiet.


27 posted on 06/25/2007 9:41:27 AM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Treaty)
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To: Always Right
PBS and NPR have had rules requiring their fairness, their non-partisanship, since their founding. PBS and NPR are gold-plated examples of how government regulation for "fairness" would work in reality.

The same goes for public universities, public schools, they are supposed to be objective, non-partisan and non-sectarian. Everyone with a brain sees how that works out in practice.

28 posted on 06/25/2007 9:46:26 AM PDT by Jabba the Nutt (Jabba the Hutt's bigger, meaner, uglier brother.)
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To: Zack Nguyen
Several Republicans could be on board for any measure that will stifle talk radio.

Trent Lott, perhaps?
29 posted on 06/25/2007 9:47:44 AM PDT by JamesP81 (Romans 10:9)
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To: flixxx

The fact is, nobody on the left can explain their position in straightforward talk, without lying, and without namecalling. Hence, they are boring and repetitive. I used to enjoy listening to some of the guests on Hannity and Colmes. However, 1/3 of the show was commercials (and “later in the show” announcements) and 1/3 was Alan Colmes who is an idiot shill for the left that spews the left’s garbage regardless of what the guest is there to discuss. Now, I won’t waste my time watching it because 2/3 of it are a waste of time.


30 posted on 06/25/2007 9:54:22 AM PDT by Go Gordon (The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.)
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To: flixxx
I agree. Rush is outstanding. Outstanding stands by itself. Nothing that is not outstanding will ever be able to stand on its own while artificially propped or included in a group that is outstanding. Progressive radio, etc., will founder or survive on its own merits and not by the efforts of the fairnessitas.
31 posted on 06/25/2007 10:06:52 AM PDT by Floyd Rivers
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To: RightWhale
"CFR is oriented to controlling these legal persons. This is 99% of the reason CFR exists: the Unions are also Corporations—formerly a hugh issue and still not entirely quiet"

It's still a "free speech" issue. McCain and Feingold may have "intended" to rein in corporate donations, but if that was their intention, they threw out the baby with the bath water.

The ONLY acceptable limitation to money spent on campaigns should be "full disclosure". Publish who made the donations and to whom, with info available to anyone who asks, with internet, snail mail, or any other means of asking.

32 posted on 06/25/2007 10:08:25 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel-NRA)
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To: flixxx

What happens when the lines between fact and opinion are blurred? What happens when an opposing viewpoint is represented by someone who is incompetent, or inarticulate? What happens when a viewpoint is stealthed under the guise of ‘entertainment’? Who decides when ‘fair’ is fair?

This not only reeks of suppression of free speech, but is rife with terms of abuse and simply puts it to someone to decide what YOU get to hear. Oh, and a source of endless litigation!


33 posted on 06/25/2007 10:22:33 AM PDT by jack_napier
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To: Always Right
...why the GOP did nothing about it when they had a chance.

I recall a noticeable shift to accurate reporting just after the "Republican revolution" (remember that?). It lasted just long enough for the NPR de-funding proposals to be taken off the table; then it was back to business as usual. I don't know if it was successful lobbying, or the fact that so many people like to get their morning and evening news "commercial free," and complained to their congresspimples, but I seem to remember this happening.

34 posted on 06/25/2007 10:23:13 AM PDT by xroadie
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To: Zack Nguyen

I wrote DiFi yesterday on just this topic. Bloggers and posters should be flooding her, Clinton’s, Boxer’s offices with your complaints. These louts actually think they know more about democracy, free speech than the public. They do not! See DiFi’s malarky on Chris Wallace’s Fox show yesterday.


35 posted on 06/25/2007 10:25:01 AM PDT by phillyfanatic ( w)
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To: Mr Ramsbotham
I put up a turd stand outside the local mall, serving hot, steaming hunks of crap on a stale bun, but nobody ever came. Can’t imagine why.

Well, by golly, I can: it was obviously structural problems that can only be solved by government intervention, Duh !

36 posted on 06/25/2007 10:32:56 AM PDT by Red Boots
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To: flixxx
Remember Jim Hightower?

He was still around earlier in the year, driving me to change the station, or turn off the radio. He'd come on for a minute or so.

I noticed that the station moved up Her Perkiness into that break, driving me to change the station or turn off the radio.

Don't know if or when Hightower is still on.

37 posted on 06/25/2007 10:40:27 AM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: flixxx

The lefties just won’t acknowledge their advantage in TV, cable and print media.


38 posted on 06/25/2007 10:43:18 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: flixxx

Imagine how this will DEVASTATE NPR.

If NPR has to live by the fairness doctrine, 12 hours of their programing is GONE every day.


39 posted on 06/25/2007 11:50:32 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: flixxx
The mantra of the Democrats was always:

SCREW FREE SPEECH & INDEPENDENT THINKING, WE WANT TOTAL CONTROL OF ALL AREAS OF YOUR LIVES!!!!

Therefore they see it as their opportunity & right to:
1) take your money in the form of new (or repealed) taxes,
2) take away your right to dissent from their politically correct way of thinking by branding you a 'hate monger' if you speak out against their newfound protected class of Gays, Lesbians, Illegal Immigrants and other such types,
3) and to continually brainwash your children in school under the guise of EduKAtion while its pure political propaganda.

40 posted on 06/25/2007 2:44:04 PM PDT by prophetic
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To: <1/1,000,000th%

Not to mention that studies (a recent report-—I do not have the citation at hand) showed an overwhelming number of donations from reporters and editors to Democratic causes and candidates compared to donations to Republicans.


41 posted on 06/25/2007 3:39:16 PM PDT by flixxx
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To: flixxx
A merry band of stalinist Clintoncon thugs hiding under a Soros financed front group, Podesta Center, must work to undermine freedom and liberty in order to assure the ascendancy of a very insecure, bitter, miserable, priggish woman to the office of the president for which she is truly unfit.

The only path a stalinist has since her ideas and plans for Americans suck, is to shut down talk radio, shut us up, and close the door to debate and education that is the paramount success of talk radio.

42 posted on 06/25/2007 7:27:43 PM PDT by harpo11 (Viva La Talk Radio!!! Keep the Air Waves Roaring--Power to the Voices of Freedom)
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To: flixxx

Remember, Liberals want to ban talk radio and other things that they see as “Hateful”, ban guns, surrender in the WOT, dismantle the US armed forces, raise taxes, and otherwise regulate our lives into the hole.


43 posted on 06/25/2007 9:29:31 PM PDT by Thunder90
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To: flixxx

Yes. Roughly 90% of the media support Dems.


44 posted on 06/27/2007 7:41:58 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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