Skip to comments.Donít Worry about the Fairness Doctrine. No, Wait, Strike That.
Posted on 02/18/2009 3:16:30 PM PST by Delacon
Matt Lasar of Ars tells us not to worry about the Fairness Doctrine being revived, only to go on and cite several lawmakers who have said theyd like to revive it. Meanwhile, over at the American Spectator, somebody called The Prowler seems to have all sorts of unnamed sources on the Hill telling him the Fairness Doctrine will be revived any day now.
Who knows what to believe. But lets keep our eye on the real issue here. The danger is not that the Fairness Doctrine gets back on the books in the same form; its that versions of it sneak in through the back door via other regulatory initiatives. As Cord Blomquist pointed out here last April, localism is the new Fairness Doctrine. There are a lot of people are running around Washington today insisting that government must intervene in the marketplace to save media localism and strengthen the public interest obligations of local TV and radio broadcasters. Theres been an FCC proceeding open on this issue for some time, and everything about it reeks of the Fairness Doctrine in drag.
This effort is being spearheaded by the media reformistas whose short-term goal is to reinvigorate the amorphous public interest standard such that the FCC has open-ended powers to regulate everything under the sun going forward. Thats why a key part of the localism battle is their effort to breathe new life into ascertainment rules, which used to be more formal and required broadcasters to strictly report everything they aired and did in their communities. Theres lots of talk of ensuring more accountability from broadcasters regarding how they serve their local communities, and theres even rumblings of local community boards who will sit as mini-free speech Star Chambers and pass judgment on whether local media outlets are doing their job. Again, its all just the Fairness Doctrine by another name.
The Left is essentially engaged in a brilliant diversionary tactic here: Let the those opposed to the Fairness Doctrine work themselves up into a lather about it but then tell them that you have no intention of reimposing it and so there is nothing to fear. Meanwhile, they are pushing all sorts of regulatory nonsense is through the back door under less ominous-sounding names like localism requirements or public interest reforms. All this was scripted out years ago in reports by Free Press and the Center for American Progress. (See this and this). And check out this extraordinarily disturbing editorial A License for Local Reporting by several journalism professors that foreshadows what is to come. Its all a massive affront to the First Amendment.
Incidentally, Brian Anderson and I summarize all these new threats in our book, A Manifesto for Media Freedom. And, to peer inside the mind of the media reformista movement, you might want to read my essays on Information Control Fantasies, What the Media Reformistas Really Want, and Thoughts on the Media Access Movement. The Fairness Doctrine may not be revived verbatim, but this war is not yet over. Be vigilant, defenders of free speech!
Whereas, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution clearly states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances";
Whereas, members of Congress are recently on record saying they want to re-impose the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" on U.S. broadcasters, or else accomplish the same goal of censoring talk radio by other means, and thereby establish government and quasi-government watchdogs as the arbiters of "fairness" rather than the free and open marketplace of ideas;
Whereas, the U.S. experimented with the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" for 38 years - from 1949 through 1987 - during which time it was repeatedly used by presidents and other political leaders to muzzle dissent and criticism;
Whereas, the abandonment of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" in 1987, thanks to President Ronald Reagan, resulted in an unprecedented explosion of new and diverse voices and political speech - starting with Rush Limbaugh - that revitalized the AM radio band and provided Americans with a multitude of alternative viewpoints;
Whereas, talk radio is one of the most crucial components of the free press in America, and is single-handedly responsible for informing tens of millions of Americans about what their government leaders are doing;
Whereas, it is a wholly un-American idea that government should be the watchdog of the press and a policeman of speech, as opposed to the uniquely American ideal of a free people and a free press being the vigilant watchdogs of government;
Whereas, the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" - either under that name, or using a new name and even more devious methods - represents a frontal assault on the First Amendment, and its re-imposition would constitute nothing more nor less than the crippling of America's robust, unfettered, free press:
SIGN THE PETITION at http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=87882
Prediction - Congress ramrods it through and Obozo signs it (supposedly) reluctantly. All part of the sham, folks.
Congress won’t have to pass it. The FCC can make regulations that do the same thing
“Congress wont have to pass it. The FCC can make regulations that do the same thing”
Perhaps, but ego is playing a big part with Pelosi and Reid so I can see them wanting the public sham of legislation to back it up.
Sounds reasonable but because they did not take into consideration the their own bias did not recognize this difference in perspective between the Left and the Right, their observations are null and void.
If you can't see what is obvious then you are assuming that everyone else must - which aint’t so.
Liberals so accept status quo in their media that they can only see it as good and that ours is bad and needs to come to the same status as their choice.
Fairness has nothing whatsoever to do with anything. It is comfort that they are truly concerned with and they are uncomfortable with Talk Radio so it MUST be changed to their control (defination), then they can once again be comfortable.
Then the world will be good and they will again never have to think again for that is the cause of their discomfort.
Yep! It is all over the news that Zero is against reenacting the Fairness Doctrine. But if something passes Congress (no matter the name on the bill) that smells like the Fairness Doctrine he will sign it.
But those are only two of many. They are heating the furnace 7 times hotter for a reason. They aim to still our voice and influence for good - while robbing us to pay for the process.
King George III would have been jealous with envy at how much they have achieved so far and how much we have rolled over and accepted.
There are several reasons why libs think they can go after radio and not have to worry about TV or the press being affected. The most important is legal precedent. The fairness doctrine was the law of the land and has never been struck down by SCOTUS(only by the now lib dominated FCC). In fact, all rulings by SCOTUS have reaffirmed the doctrine. Next, any attempts at imposing the fairness doctrine on lib dominated TV and press would have to break new legal ground. So radio is fair game to them and tv and press are relatively protected. Which leads to the next thing which is that since SCOTUS has been unclear on where they would land on this, and since any legal case may come after Obama has appointed his judge or judges, its worth a shot. Even if a SCOTUS ruling comes before an Obama appointment to the bench, nobody believes they would extend an anti-fairness doctrine ruling to tv and press. Libs know that the worst that could happen is that we would end up right back at where we are now.
“Jealousy is a bad thing.”
Yes, dontcha just wish that Rush was the morning host on Good Morning America. Hannitty was on the Today Show, and Beck was on the Early Show? :)
Who among us Freepers could have predicted that things could go so wrong so fast under The Kenyan Entity?
I knew it.
Here’s a thought for y’all. Since the tasbards in DC who signed the 1000+ page stimulus bill and didn’t even read it maybe there is some Fairness Doctrine measure that they sneaked in there like a worm....
“To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker Frederick Douglas “
Excellent historical ref. Though a lefy would take from this a requirement that government should make available(tell you) what to listen to.
“Heres a thought for yall. Since the tasbards in DC who signed the 1000+ page stimulus bill and didnt even read it maybe there is some Fairness Doctrine measure that they sneaked in there like a worm....”
How about funding those that can push it through. Can you say ACORN?
I made this in April 2008
If we finally have enough and don't supinely fold to their ongoing tyranny but rise up in some sort of spontaneous violence (no matter how localized) they can then take "decisive" police action and pass draconian laws to stomp us out physically, and for good. This is one possible concocted outrage which many will see as a bridge too far. HR 45 is another.They can not take police action without police.
Wow that is great. You are very talented.
“Sounds reasonable but because they did not take into consideration the their own bias did not recognize this difference in perspective between the Left and the Right, their observations are null and void.”
The real problem is they don’t see ABC/NBC/CBS/PBS/NPR/etc...as biased. They actually believe they are non-partisan!
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