Skip to comments.Senate Votes to Kill Fairness Doctrine, But GOP Concerns Remain
Posted on 02/26/2009 5:28:36 PM PST by Delacon
The enduring fight over the Fairness Doctrine came to the Senate floor Thursday afternoon, as senators proposed dueling amendments on the issue during a debate on legislation that would give Washington, D.C., residents voting rights.
Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina proposed an amendment, the Broadcaster Freedom Act, which would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, a policy dumped in 1987 that required broadcasters to provide balanced coverage of controversial issues.
Several Democratic lawmakers have said recently theyd favor bringing the Fairness Doctrine back, fueling an uproar in the conservative talk radio world. On Feb. 18, the White House tried to calm things down when it announced that President Barack Obama did not support reinstating the Fairness Doctrine.
That didnt calm many conservatives, who believe Democrats are itching to reinstitute the rule in hopes of killing off conservative talk radio.
What this would do is create a dysfunctional situation where no radio station could afford to express an opinion anytime, DeMint said during debate on the Senate floor. Whose opinion will determine whats fair, whats balanced, whats diverse?
Democratic Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin proposed a rival amendment that he said essentially reaffirmed existing law, which calls for the FCC to encourage diverse media ownership.
President Obama says he doesnt support reinstating the Fairness Doctrine and neither do I, said Durbin, who argued his amendment didnt reinstate the policy, as his Republican counterpart charged.
The Durbin amendment also essentially overrode language in DeMints proposal, which was aimed at preventing the FCC from sneaking Fairness Doctrine-like language into other regulations.
The DeMint amendment passed on an 87-11 vote while the Durbin amendment passed 57-41. That prompted the South Carolina senator to lament that while conservatives might have won one battle, others loomed.
(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.wsj.com ...
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
Something that’s easier to understand does help.
There was the one posted not a half hour ago stating that the Senate voted to pass the Fairness Doctrine.
Then why propose something new, UNLESS, it actually does a backdoor to the Fairness Doctrine.
I posted that. I liked the title of that article because its true even if the author or editors didn’t mean it in the way that it can be constued. However if you read that article it pretty much says that dems are now free to regulate radio through diversity and localism initiatives.
With the vote on the fairness doctrine done(and heh heh, let’s be real....... who am I anyways? Just some joe, some anonymous internet poster) I think it might make sense to change the ping list from “the fairness doctrine ping list” to “the localism ping list” or “the former fairness doctrine list, now localism ping list”, “localism = censorship doctrine ping list” or something like that.
I mean, let’s be real here. The fairness doctrine was *never* going to happen. Obama doesn’t support it, and look at what congress is currently doing. They’re hiding everything they’re doing in omnibus bills so we don’t see it.
They didn’t want a big fight from the getgo. Localism is the stealth move; it was what they were always going to do from day one.
Localism is the real threat, why not name the ping list accordingly?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.