June 25, 2007

Think revival of the Fairness Doctrine is a fairy tale?

Despite a several year-old anecdote from James Inhofe, yet another reason to believe that Democrats want to revive the silly Fairness Doctrine came through yesterday in the form of California Senator Diane Feinstein (from yesterday):

[Fox News's Chris] WALLACE: So would you revive the Fairness Doctrine?

FEINSTEIN: Well, I'm looking at it, as a matter of fact, Chris, because I think there ought to be an opportunity to present the other side. And unfortunately, talk radio is overwhelmingly one way.

WALLACE: But the argument would be it's the marketplace, and if liberals want to put on their own talk radio, they can put it on. At this point, they don't seem to be able to find much of a market.

FEINSTEIN: Well, apparently, there have been problems. It is growing. But I do believe in fairness. I remember when there was a Fairness Doctrine, and I think there was much more serious correct reporting to people.

My emphasis. "Serious correct reporting." Mm-hmm. Elsewhere, the liberal Center for American Progress believes the "imbalance" in talk radio programming (meaning, the medium is overwhelmingly conservative) is due to "multiple structural problems in the U.S. regulatory system." The recent CAP report on talk radio recommends the following (my emphasis):

First, the report proposes new national and local limits on the number of radio stations one company can own. Second, it recommends a de facto quota system to ensure that more women and minorities own radio stations. And finally, it says the government should “require commercial owners who fail to abide by enforceable public interest obligations to pay a fee to support public broadcasting.”

I do not recall any calls from conservatives when they had power in Congress (like in 1994-on) for "regulatory solutions" to the "problem" of mainstream media [liberal] bias. Liberal viewpoints then, as now, dominate the major TV networks and newspapers, not to mention popular culture-oriented Hollywood and the music industry. Yet, as conservative talk radio has thrived since the early 90s, and as Fox News continues to grow incredibly, many liberals are apoplectic. They boycott and/or refuse to talk to Fox News. Talk radio must be "regulated." Why is this? Why are liberals so afraid of their own ideas?

Posted by Hube at June 25, 2007 11:30 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

The Fairness Doctrine had its place prior to the internet. Howard Dean changed that, but then ended up inept at handling the "scream" incident, as Kerry also proved inept in handling the swift boaters. So it works both ways, which is what the public forum is all about with the internet venue now present. Interestingly, Limbaugh and Fox were not able to successfully counter the anti-Bush 2006 election surge which caused Bush to say: "We got thumped". Therefore, I don't think the Fairness Doctrine is needed nowadays.

Posted by: Perry Hood at June 26, 2007 12:07 PM

You may notice a growing addiction to your blog.

I disagree that there needs to be some sort of regulation that would force talk radio to have equal amounts of liberal and conservatives hosts... the problem isn't (and this is just my opinion, I don't actually know if it's the case) really so much that the liberals aren't getting a chance to get onto talk radio (unless we're referring to foul play from conservative organizations like Clear Channel), but rather that there isn't a big enough receptive liberal audience to make it a big thing.

And my understanding is that, as far as print is concerned, while reporters tend to be more liberal, the editors are often conservative... so what's ultimately put out there tends to lean to the conservative side of the spectrum. You'll always find a bias one way or the other when it comes to the media. TV, I'll admit, tends to be liberal (although not as radically as FNC makes it out to be, and certainlt not as strongly biased as FNC). Radio tends to be more conservative. Print tends to be balanced, generally speaking, and I can only imagine that blogs tend to be more liberal.

But then, that's just a crude, ramshackle analysis.

Posted by: Mat Marshall at June 30, 2007 10:26 AM