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Saturday November 15, 2008 3:51 pm

Can We Expect a Return of the Fairness Doctrine?




Posted by Cynthia Guenthner Categories: Media

Radio Tower

Following the Democrats’ capturing the White House and gaining 6 seats in the Senate and 19 in the House, there’s a good possibility we’ll see a revival of the so-called “Fairness Doctrine.” Sal alluded to this in one of his blogs, and I’d like to further elaborate.

From 1949-1987, the Fairness Doctrine ruled the broadcast industry. It was originally designed to ensure a “balance” of opinions over the airwaves when only three or four major networks dominated radio and the medium of television was still in its infancy. By the time the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), during the Reagan administration, abolished the Doctrine, cable and satellite TV had offered competitive alternatives to the big broadcast networks.

Conservatives see the return of the Fairness Doctrine as a threat to talk radio, an area in which they’ve been extremely successful. For some reason or other, liberals just haven’t been able to get a grip on successfully using talk radio as a tool to get their message out to the public. And that’s no doubt why left-wing members of Congress, headed by Fairness Doctrine proponent House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), are seriously considering introducing legislation to reinstate the Doctrine. Also voicing their support of the Doctrine’s return are Pelosi’s Democratic friends in the Senate, California’s Dianne Feinstein, New York’s Chuck Schumer, and Majority Whip Dick Durbin, a fellow Illinois colleague of the President-elect.

Barack Obama has stated that he does not support reinstating the Fairness Doctrine. But given Obama’s past Senate history of virtually never going against his party’s wishes, it’s highly unlikely he would veto any Democratic-sponsored legislation to re-enact the Doctrine in some form or other.

What could a new Fairness Doctrine mean? Conservative talk radio programs like those hosted by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Back could be required to allow liberals a portion of their air time to voice opposing views. But could it also mean religious radio and TV stations must allow atheists like Michael Newdow to proseletyze their anti-God bigotry? And don’t be so confident that the Internet will go untouched by the Doctrine. The World-Wide-Web was a generation away when the original Doctrine was introduced. Little did its creators then envision the proliferation of information that would characterize the twenty-first century.

The FCC Chairman is a presidential appointee, and there’s no reason to believe an Obama-appointed chair and board won’t be tempted to restore the Fairness Doctrine. And if it is reinstated and applied to the Internet as well as to radio and TV, will left-wing sites like KOS and the Huffington Post be as highly policed and regulated as Michelle Malkin’s?

A Democratic White House and Congress and eventually (with Presidential appointments) a liberal Supreme Court will allow little room for checks and balances. Enjoy your First Amendment rights while you can.

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Comments:

It’s such ########. Why is radio the only media the dems want to control? They have a monopoly in tv, newspapers, and magazines. They just want to control radio, so they have full control over everything. They want to silence the opposition. That’s not fair at all. Add that on top of the filibuster proof congress they’re attempting to get by stealing the senate seats in Minnesota, Georgia, and Alaska, and checks and balances will be history.

If you look in your dictionary, you will find that bigotry is defined as intolerant of others’ beliefs. If you don’t think Newdow is intolerant of religious views other than his secularism, there’s something wrong with your so-called “intellectual” thinking. He wants to do away with all references to God in this society. So what, maybe I wrote Glenn Back instead of Beck, but you know what I meant (you’re so brilliant and perfect). And since when do you have to be an atheist or radical left-wing to be considered “intellectual”? I guess you liberals think it’s o.k. to be intolerant of only conservative Christianity.

First off, my dictionary defines “bigot” as “A person who is rigidly devoted to his own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.” The word “religion” means “belief,” so I think I used the word in the proper context.

Second, Michael Newdow was never even MARRIED to his “daughter’s” mother. So he never has had legal custody of her. Seems like he just wants to get even with the girl and her mother because they are Christians. He wants to dictate to his “daughter” even though he doesn’t want to assume the legal obligations of parenthood. Why does he want “In God We Trust” removed from money? Because he doesn’t want it to offend his “daughter”?  I don’t have any children, so that’s a moot question. But come to think of it, I had to endure the preaching of “evolution” in science class. And secularism (a beliefe) is disguised as “science”.

What about the Constitutional idea (paraphrased) that states the government should not “prohibit the free exercise of” religion? And apparently the writers of the Declaration of Independence didn’t agree with your definition of “fairness”, as they often referred to “Providence” or a Supreme Being.

If you despise the conservative talk show hosts and claim you’re not a liberal, then what are you? Probably more radical—like a Marxist who would feel more at home in a country where God is out of the government and the citizens are afraid to even practice their religion.

By the way, what’s NEURALITY?

Sorry, I mistyped “belief” as “beliefe”. Thought I’d get to that before some wise guy caught it.

Angry person? Have you ever seen the look in Newdow’s eyes? He’s filled with hatred toward God, whom he refuses to acknowledge exists. Why are people atheists? I believe they don’t want to live up to moral standards, so they refuse to admit there might be something other than only the material world.

Evolution (macro-evolution, if you know what that means), is a THEORY. There is no way possible to PROVE it to be factual. The scientists who test the hypothesis would have to have been there millions of years ago to witness it. Impossible. No one disputes micro-evolution (changes within the species.) You analogy to algebra simply is not accurate.

Who spreads lies about the Founding Fathers? Read the Declaration of Independence.

Sorry, I should have said YOUR analogy to algebra. Picky readers around here.


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