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06/28/2007 09:14 PM ID: 63310 Permalink   

Key Democrats Support Bringing Back the Fairness Doctrine


Key Democrats support reinstating the fairness doctrine, including Senator John Kerry, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Diane Feinstein (9D-Calif).

Kerry calls the doctrine the "most profound changes in the balance of the media." Kerry also states that conservatives have been able to "squeeze down and squeeze out opinion of opposing views."

The fairness doctrine required broadcasters to give reasonable opportunity for the airing of both sides of "issues of public importance." The doctrine was deemed unconstitutional in 1987 by the FCC.

    WebReporter: FreedonSupporter Show Calling Card      
ASSESS this news: BLOCK this news. Reason:
  don't you  
just love the system ;-). but this seems to only be for radio according to the source, not television. interesting that radio seems to have a conservative slant, while most news shows on the television seen to lean to liberal
  by: ganjaman22     06/28/2007 09:37 PM     
Yeah, let's put the government in charge of media outlets, that makes me feel safe. How about believing that the people are capable of choosing which side they want to listen to, and decided that as far as radio is concerned, it's the right. Leave it alone, shut the he*l up, and move on. Does the government not have more important issues to worry about? TIME TO DOWNSIZE!
  by: ablindmansees     06/28/2007 09:42 PM     
  This is  
a good political ploy. Say anything to get voter attention. It should be recalled to memory over the last decades, when we can remember any fairness from from any political intenity.
  by: Rosko Sinep     06/28/2007 10:44 PM     
  @ganja, blindman  
G: The source only indicates that this, "appears to be a growing Democratic push-back against conservative talk radio," which is more like commentary. Nothing else says that this would only apply to radio. Why would it? I think most would love to see Fox News squirm in having to actually be "fair and balanced."

B: I'd rather have government enforcing fairness than corporate fatcats, lobbyists, and thinktanks having free range to perfect the next great propaganda device. The way those people speak, like it's the free speech of the populace or government censorship, is absurd. All the other big players want you to think that the government's the only one. No, we cannot have the government telling us what to think! Only wealthy ideologues like Rupert Murdoch should be able to do that.

People can just pick and choose who to listen to, making the spin and lies of partisan outlets harmless. That idea relies on people being able to discern the truth, and when many rely on those very outlets for the information to do so, they aren't informed enough to choose the best. Thusly, we get the most appealing and charismatic. Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly...all these can be heard spreading misinformation daily, but their listeners like paternalistic figures who speak in no uncertain terms.

Furthermore, it doesn't stop with their listeners, as they shout louder and louder to obscure more civil, informed, and rational political discourse. In the new millenium, especially, it seems like it's all about poisoning the waters so much that only their parasitic style ilk can survive. That needs to stop, so maybe we can get some sanity and civility back in this country. I'd like to see this happen, but I doubt it will. Can anything but hope be jammed back into the Pandora's box opened in 1987?
  by: MomentOfClarity     06/29/2007 12:18 AM     
I meant to rate this "Very Good." I guess I slipped.
  by: MomentOfClarity     06/29/2007 12:22 AM     
  And Reagan vetoed it's ruling, there's a surprise  
They tried to make it a statute, but a actor vetoed it.
  by: redstain   06/29/2007 01:48 AM     
  ONLY applies to talk-radio  
For clarification…

The Fairness Doctrine would ONLY apply to talk-radio. NOT printed press. NOT broadcast news. NOT cable news (only because cable and satellite aren’t regulated).

Yes. This ONLY applies to talk-radio. Why are the Libs so enraged with talk-radio? Liberal talk-radio has never done well. Case and point: Air America; they filed for bankruptcy.

If we’re going to discuss this, let’s be honest. The majority of the televised “news” outlets are Liberally biased. ACB, NBC, CBS, CNN, PBS, etc, etc. Many of the printed press newspapers/periodicals are just as (or more-so) biased.

So why has talk-radio failed for Liberals? Think about it… If you’re already hearing a non-stop dose of Liberal news on TV and in the paper, why in the world would you want it beaten into your head, yet again, by radio?

This “Fairness Doctrine” (can anyone say oxymoron?) is quite far from fair. It targets the conservative talk-radio programmers.
What’s that? Good riddance to conservative talk-shows?
Okay… Now Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Phil Valentine, etc, etc, are now off the air.
Question: Who’s next? Is this Venezuela where the party in power controls who can/can’t/must air? What if a variant of the “Fairness” doctrine has YOUR voice on its crosshairs? Then what? Who will stand for you? Most likely, nobody. Because all the people that could/would have stood up for your voice have already been silenced. Slippery slope, indeed.

Call your Senators and Congressmen. Tell them your oppose the Fairness Doctrine. Don’t allow the government to control what you should/must hear. This totally flies into the face of the 1st Amendment. Freedom of speech, for better or worse, should always be an inalienable right and no forums should be regulated by opinion or political power.
  by: CArnold     06/29/2007 08:19 AM     
You stole the words right out of my mouth. Liberals are upset that no one wants to listen to their radio broadcasts. Alot of them probably think that Air America filing bankruptcy was a conservative plot, instead of the real reason; radio makes money off of selling advertising, and Air America was unable to get enough listeners, thus unable to get advertisers, and in turn made no profit, and no way to pay overhead and with no way to pay the talent. It's called the free market, if the demand is not for your supply, you will go under. There is nothing stopping people from starting liberal radio stations; the problem is just not enough people are listening. Like it or not, people listen to conservative talk radio, they like it, it's profitable for the talent, the radio stations and the advertisers. The same cannot be said for liberal talk.
  by: _undead   06/29/2007 08:30 AM     
  I cant believe anyone  
seriously considers this to be a good idea.
Lets bring it in now, Bush can create a commitee that can veto a story as unfair, and enforce air time given to stories that are fair.

What a great idea.
  by: Gogevandire   06/29/2007 08:52 AM     
I'll address you because you've not used the tired Liberal versus Conservative rhetoric to make 90% of your argument. This should not be about that, what it should be about is the deplorable state of modern news. Talking heads can pass themselves off as newsmen, and that needs to change. As CArnold points out, the Fairness Doctrine, as it was, may not be sufficient to fix that problem.

However, maybe it can be updated. Why is this a good idea? Because there is news and there is commentary, and the latter should carry a big warning stating the the factuality of the information it distributes is highly questionable. News should have to be as impartial as possible, and something should be done to bring it back to that before our populace is so utterly misinformed that productive discussion is a thing of the past. Enforcement has become necessary, and I do not see how requiring BOTH sides be given time limits either. What if the government co-opts that for evil? I'd ask the same of the public education system, but we still need to give our citizens an education.

Yes, that will disadvantage right-wingers, who built a very effective propaganda machine amidst the rubble of the original doctrine. But, we disadvantage people when we patch loopholes in tax laws, too. When we find a legislative action has a downside, we do occasionally try to fix it, and that means someone wins and someone loses to some degree.
  by: MomentOfClarity     06/29/2007 11:26 PM     
  In general...  
The Fairness Doctrine was abolished two decades ago because it outlived its usefulness -- if it ever had any to start with. Originally an invention of the Federal Communications Commission at a time when there was a true scarcity of broadcasting channels (remember the days of rabbit-ear antennas and only 3 stations on the tube?), the Fairness Doctrine required so-called even-handed access of all political points of view to the airwaves. With today’s proliferation of radio and cable TV stations, as well as the Internet, the market place of ideas is vigorous enough without the need for government regulation. Unfortunately for the Liberals, their attempt at a talk radio station to promote their ideas, Air America, failed in the market place of ideas. So not trusting the good sense of the American people to decide for themselves what they wish to hear on radio and television, the proponents of the return of this pernicious attempt at government regulation of political speech content are seeking to codify the Fairness Doctrine into law just in time for the 2008 presidential election. They want conservative talk radio and Fox News out of the way well before the presidential campaign begins in earnest. No more competition in the market place of ideas for them. Meanwhile, the Public Broadcasting Service - which should be balanced in presentation of controversial issues because it alone is privileged to receive taxpayer-funded government subsidies – would be allowed to continue its current liberally biased programming.

Democrats like Hillary Clinton know that the only way to shut down that bad ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’ led by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly is to hobble the companies that are broadcasting their shows with such onerous content regulations that they will throw up their hands altogether. That is because regular listeners of the shows they want to hear will stop listening if they have to hear what they regard as wrong-headed views from idiot commentators on the other side. Lower ratings mean less advertising, which will ultimately lead to the demise of the shows that the public had favored in their original form.

As candidly acknowledged by one former Kennedy administration official decades ago when the Fairness Doctrine was in full force, "Our massive strategy was to use the Fairness Doctrine to challenge and harass the right-wing broadcasters, and hope that the challenges would be so costly to them that they would be inhibited and decide it was too costly to continue." Nothing has changed as far as the liberals are concerned.

The defenders of the Fairness Doctrine say that it is necessary to protect the public interest in the airwaves that belong to the public. But in this case the public interest is best served by allowing the free market to determine what stays on the air. Let the people decide for themselves. The First Amendment’s guarantee that “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press” is too important to trifle with, Liberals’ animus toward their nemeses in the “right-wing conspiracy” notwithstanding.
  by: CArnold     06/29/2007 11:58 PM     
"Ideas" and information are not the same thing. As it is, not all ideas are allowed to be expressed on public airwaves. Let's talk about the Free Market. Snake-oil salesmen aren't allowed to peddle their potions any longer as legitimate medicine due to government regulation, so why should pundits be allowed to peddle their snake-oil ideas as legitimate information?

Your rants against Liberals' selfish motives would be a lot more convincing if it weren't simply the pot calling the kettle black. They're horrible for trying to limit right-wing media advantages? And I suppose the right-wingers like yourself are angelic in trying to preserve those advantages to deliver your message? Give me a break.

Try depoliticizing something for once - misinformation is misinformation and always bad. Having ideas to choose from is far different than having completely different sets of facts, which is what these pundits try to establish. Occasionally markets are regulated so as to not be flooded by faulty products. That's in the consumer's best interest, how is this market any different?
  by: MomentOfClarity     06/30/2007 12:44 AM     
I'm with you.
  by: ablindmansees     07/01/2007 01:02 AM     
  FCC does not rule on Constitutionality  
Only the federal courts rule on Constitutionality. The FCC ruling was only a bureaucratic ruling by an administrative body. There is no legal reason it cannot be reversed.

The Fairness Doctrine worked by almost 40 years and was sabotaged to help the Republican Corporate Right take control of political broadcasting especially political talk radio.
  by: Crockett   07/08/2007 09:52 AM     
  Fairness Doctrine applies to all broadcasting  
It applies to TV and radio. Looks like some of you guys are listening to Rush and company. Got your facts wrong but are giving all the normal Republican Right talking points.

Your comments are so full of faulty information that they make a good argument for the return of the Fairness Doctrine in broadcasting. Your facts are wrong because you are not getting balanced programming. You are learning the political spin of only the Republican Right and the large corporations. You need more information and less one-sided opinion.
  by: Crockett   07/08/2007 09:58 AM     
"Your comments are so full of faulty information that they make a good argument for the return of the Fairness Doctrine in broadcasting."

I believe you are in SERIOUS error. I've investigated this thoroughly. This ONLY applies to talk radio. If you've got differing info, then please link us to such.

(Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...... Waiting for that link.....)
  by: CArnold     07/08/2007 10:04 AM     
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