Skip to comments.Unfairness Doctrine
Posted on 06/25/2007 8:05:29 AM PDT by flixxx
By The Editors
Remember Jim Hightower? We didnt think so. He was the former Texas state official who was, for a few minutes, the Lefts great hope for a liberal talk-radio host to challenge the domination of Rush Limbaugh. It didnt 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 reports 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 Podestas 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 dont 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 wouldnt be surprising if President Clinton, President Obama, or President Edwards were to give it a try.
The fact is, liberals simply havent attracted talk-radio audiences. Its not their market. But since they still largely have Hollywood, academia, the New York Times, PBS, NPR, a network news division or two
theyll survive. And we on the Right will, too, if we keep the Center for American Progresss dangerously wrongheaded ideas off the table.
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.
These people think you can pick up a turd by the clean end...
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.
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.
pick up a turd by the clean end...
Seriously LOL - never heard this “colloquialism” before...
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.
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.
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.
Isn't that Campaign Finance Reform? If it is, it is about the XIVth Amend more than anything else.
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.
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.
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.
Sorry, the fairness doctrine will only be applicable to radio. Newspapers and television are inherently FAIR.
The courts won't enforce the "fairness doctrine" except as a one way ratchet to the left.
The prospect of lawsuits will make the alphabets very nervous; they are likely to oppose any revival.
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.
Or, as was the case with Err America, borrow 800 G's from The Boys & Girls Club of America.
was sippin coffee when I read that........outstanding.......and messy.........lmao
I guess Radio Stations are among those things that Hillery wants to take from us.