Friday, February 18, 2005

Libs attempting to reinstate oxymoronic "Fairness Doctrine"

The left has been bitching about the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" having been sunsetted in 1987, and about unsuccessful attempts to revive it ever since. Here's an excerpt from a NewsMax column that explains the so-called doctrine and why it's supposedly needed:
A number of Democrats, including Reps. Maurice Hinchey and Louise Slaughter of New York, Rush Holt of New Jersey and Diane Watson of California, again were pushing the GOP to re-impose the fairness doctrine, a 1949 Federal Communications Commission rule that once required broadcasters to "afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views of public importance." In other words, present both sides when presenting information about public policy issues.


The fairness rule was discarded by the FCC in 1987 during the Reagan administration because, "contrary to its purpose, it failed to encourage the discussion of more controversial issues," says an analysis by the Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

A number of liberals believe the demise of the fairness doctrine led the way to the rise of talk radio, which is largely conservative.


"The doctrine's supporters seem not to appreciate just how much the broadcast world has changed since 1949. With the proliferation of informational resources and technology, the number of broadcast outlets available to the public has increased steadily," says the Heritage analysis.

One such choice, the liberal Air America radio network, would presumably have to include some conservative commentary if Democrats were to get their way. No word on whether House Dems thought of that, however.

The left-wing drive to get the rule reinstated is not new. As far back as 1993, Democrats were attempting to re-impose it, with the Fairness in Broadcasting Act of 1993. It was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Ernest Hollings of South Carolina and in the House by Rep. Bill Hefner of North Carolina.
So the left is complaining about the one-sided nature of talk radio? How hypocritical of them! They control CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, NPR, CNN, MSNBC, MTV, BET, VH1, and nearly all major metro daily newspapers out there today. They have Democracy Radio, with successfulliberal talk radio host Ed Schultz (at least one liberal has figured out how to succeed in talk radio!). They now have Air America, which has failed thus far but just got picked up by mega-conglomerate Clear Channel in 22 cities. Like conservatives, they have tons of web sites and blogs that they run.

So tell me again...just where is the lack of choices that they have? Here's guessing that they think they can crush talk radio with the "Fairness Doctrine", then maybe their misfortunes at the ballot box will stop. Well, it will water down their products at NPR, Air America, PBS, etc., too, so they should be careful what they wish for. Then again, with their failure to learn lessons from the 2004 elections, their recent selection of Howard Scream as their party's chief, and their constantly being on the wrong side (perversely so) of damned near every issue...I don't have much faith in the left to make any informed, correct decisions.