October 27, 2011

Obama and the stealth Fairness Doctrine

Doug Ross has the details.


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December 06, 2010

What you do when you lose the battle of ideas:

Muzzle the opposition:

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) pushed back on Monday against a contention by a Democratic FCC commissioner that the government should create new regulations to promote diversity in news programming.

Barton was reacting to a proposal made last week by FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, who in a speech suggested that broadcasters be subject to a new "public values test" every four years.

"I hope … that you do not mean to suggest that it is the job of the federal government, through the [FCC], to determine the content that is available for Americans to consume,” Barton wrote Monday in a letter to Copps.

Copps had suggested that the test would make a broadcaster's license renewal contingent upon proof that they meet a prospective set of federal criteria.

He said outlets should be mandated to do the following: prove they have made a meaningful commitment to public affairs and news programming, prove they are committed to diversity programming (for instance, by showing that they depict women and minorities), report more to the government about which shows they plan to air, require greater disclosure about who funds political ads and devote 25 percent of their prime-time coverage to local news.

You can just imagine the subjectivity involved with government bureaucrats "determining" just the "right" amount of "public interest" and "diversity" a station should have/report. It's pure nonsense, and still more proof that the Democrat Party (and "progressives" in general) still don't get why they got pasted a month ago.

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June 02, 2010

The college model for speech has made it to a FCC complaint

Looks as if being against illegal immigration is the newest form of "hate speech":

Over thirty organizations want the Federal Communications Commission to open up a probe on "hate speech" and "misinformation" in media. "Hate has developed as a profit-model for syndicated radio and cable television programs masquerading as 'news'," they wrote to the FCC earlier this month.

As for the Internet, it "gives the illusion that news sources have increased, but in fact there are fewer journalists employed now than before," they charge. "Moreover, on the Internet, speakers can hide in the cloak of anonymity, emboldened to say things that they may not say in the public eye."

The groups who want this new proceeding include Free Press, the Media Access Project, Common Cause, the Prometheus Radio Project, and the League of United Latin American Citizens. Their statement, filed in the Commission's Future of Media proceeding, comes in support of a petition to the agency submitted over a year ago by the National Hispanic Media Coalition.

Let's not be fooled -- what these groups want is NO discussion about illegal immigration, or, if there is to be a discussion, it should be solely empathetic to the immigrants.

But to be sure, however, some folks in the media do cross the line. This nut, John Stokes on KGEZ-AM in Montana, advocated that those who do not speak English should have their hands chopped off. But on the other hand, is an instance where talk radio guy Michael Savage asks "Is it racist to protect your nation against an invading horde, from another nation that wants to sweep you off the map?" even close to that sort of [violent] hate? The NHMC thinks so.

And of course they do. This is what "progressives" do -- they cloak their lust for power and disdain for opposition in good deeds ... in this case, the feelings and "rights" of minorities. American universities do this all the time (just check out the website FIRE), not to mention faddish academic hypotheses like Critical Race Theory. Free speech is anything but if a member of an "aggrieved group" objects. He/she alone has veto power; if he in any way takes offense at something, however innocuous, in a 180 of American justice the "offending" party is presumed guilty and must prove his innocence (again, merely peruse FIRE's archives). Favorite "sentences" include "diversity training," "sensitivity training," and the like.

But back to the FCC inquiry, the NHMC offers up the typical "progressive" "world ends, women, minorities hardest hit" complaint:

The lack of hard-hitting, fair news is felt deeply in communities of color. Traditional media have never been particularly diverse, and rapid deregulation over the last two decades has significantly reduced opportunities for people of color to own and control such media...

Who cares about the traditional media anyway? It's a dying institution! With the Internet -- the New Media -- minorities ... everybody ... has more of a voice than ever before! Never mind the nonsense NHMC says about it near this post's top quote. Citizens have become journalists. Where has the NHMC been the last fifteen years??

The real agenda of the NHMC (noted above, natch) is encapsulated here:

Hate speech against vulnerable groups is pervasive in our media—it is not limited to a few isolated instances or any one media platform... Indeed, many large mainstream media corporations regularly air hate speech, and it is prolific on the Internet. Hate speech takes various forms, from words advocating violence to those creating a climate of hate towards vulnerable groups. Cumulatively, hate speech creates an environment of hate and prejudice that legitimizes violence against its targets.

And there you have it. This is how perfectly legitimate political speech will be deemed "hate speech" -- stances like being against illegal immigration will be "creating a climate of hate towards Hispanics." Opposing affirmative action will be "creating a climate of hate towards blacks." Opposing gay "marriage" will be "creating a climate of hate towards homosexuals." And so on.

Thankfully, to date, American courts haven't taken a very friendly view of such an extension of "hate speech." Even judiciaries as liberal as the Ninth Circuit have maintained a quite [classically] liberal view of the First Amendment. Hopefully, the addition of Elena Kagan to the US Supreme Court won't change this situation.

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May 18, 2010

Phoenix mayor gets deperate -- blames lack of Fairness Doctrine for new Arizona law

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, a Democrat (of course), laments the lack of a Fairness Doctrine so that those who oppose the new Arizona immigration law would get a, well, "fair" hearing:

"I think it goes back to the Reagan era when the fairness doctrine was dropped, and instead of requiring both sides of a debate to be aired, only one side was given the chance depending on who was providing that."

"But more importantly, language that was never acceptable became maintstream. Those that were deemed to be in disagreement with those on television or radio were demonized as traitors and extremists and hateful and language that we have never heard or seen.

"So it became acceptable in the mainstream media, it became acceptable in debates. And as a result the wedge issue that came about as a result of the economy over the last four years immigration became front and center."

Dude, wake up and smell the reality. The MSM reported negatively on the new law by a 12 to 1 margin. Is that "fair" enough for 'ya, Mayor?

Second, who's being demonized in this debate? It certainly isn't those in favor of the law -- they're being labeled "racists," "Nazis" and "fascists."

Once again, all this is is yet another liberal who hates the fact that opposing voices actually have an outlet for their views -- and that he can't control those outlets. (Which are, mainly, talk radio and the Internet.)

70%, Mr. Mayor. That's the figure you're dealing with who oppose your opinion on this subject in your home state. No amount of favorable MSM coverage has changed it, and no Fairness Doctrine will. Your only hope may be to adopt an Hugo Chávez-style censorship program. Good luck with that.

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October 21, 2009

Bad, bad Fox News ...

... but two of MSNBC's most partisan -- and vile -- mouthpieces get invited to the "off-the-record briefing" with The Messiah. The funny thing about it? The vilest of MSDNC's pundits, Keith Olbermann, once tore into George W. Bush for supposedly doing the same thing:

“The born again and the born talkers: The President takes 90 minutes worth of your taxpayer dollars to entertain right-wing radio yackers in the Oval Office, and will set up a radio row for them on the White House grounds next week”…

“I’ve got a question for you about the Military Commissions Act, too, but let’s finish off this episode first. In January, the President consulted with 13 former Secretaries of State and Defense about Iraq, spoke for 40 minutes, allowed discussion for 5 to 10 minutes. The figures for the 5 conservative radio show people is double that. is there an explanation of that that does not include the President using the Oval Office for purely political purposes and even indirectly for political fund-raising?”

But the difference between Bush and Obama is that Bush and his henchmen weren't out there actively castigating a particular network and trying to delegitimize it at every opportunity. While, at the very same time, courting those who have viciously attacked that network at every opportunity ... with even more venom than what the president feels has been directed at him (by said network).

Call me silly, but this all seems vaguely familiar.

UPDATE: Look what The Messiah said back in February:

I think it's fair to say that I don't always get my most favorable coverage on Fox, but I think that's part of how democracy is supposed to work. You know, we're not supposed to all be in lock step here, and you've always been very gracious to me and...

So, what's changed? Oh yeah, that's right -- Obama has no plan for Afghanistan, no plan for the economy, has just verbal "promises" for taking over 1/6 of the American economy (healthcare), so ... it's "let's distract the public by attacking our most consistent critic."

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September 23, 2009

Once is a mistake; two, three times is a trend

Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Bill Ayers. Father Pfleger. John Holdren. Van Jones. And now (again) ... Mark Lloyd.

Lloyd has already been discussed here, notably for his ... "perspective" on the 1st Amendment. Now, Seton Motley has written about Lloyd's rather controversial racial comments (gee, a surprise coming from this administration -- again, see Wright, Pfleger, Jones) regarding media reform:

This ... there's nothing more difficult than this. Because we have really, truly good white people in important positions. And the fact of the matter is that there are a limited number of those positions. And unless we are conscious of the need to have more people of color, gays, other people in those positions we will not change the problem.

We're in a position where you have to say who is going to step down so someone else can have power.

At least it's ... "comforting" to know that Lloyd thinks there are "truly good white people" out there. Then again, despite this belief, these "good people" in important positions remain "a problem." And since, in Lloyd's [warped] mind it is a problem, he's gonna tell who's gotta check out.

The funny thing is, white liberals who will essentially automatically go to bat for a nitwit like this won't know how to answer someone who asks them "Why don't you give up your position so that an 'underrepresented' person can have it?" Just try it. It's quite hilarious to watch their reaction.

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February 16, 2009

Get "too many" hits on your politically one-sided blog? Watch out

A Fairness Doctrine reimposition for the airwaves may be the least of our worries. If [some] Democrats get their way, the Internet could be next:

Senior FCC staff working for acting Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps held meetings last week with policy and legislative advisers to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman to discuss ways the committee can create openings for the FCC to put in place a form of the “Fairness Doctrine” without actually calling it such.

Waxman is also interested, say sources, in looking at how the Internet is being used for content and free speech purposes. “It’s all about diversity in media,” says a House Energy staffer, familiar with the meetings. “Does one radio station or one station group control four of the five most powerful outlets in one community? Do four stations in one region carry Rush Limbaugh, and nothing else during the same time slot? Does one heavily trafficked Internet site present one side of an issue and not link to sites that present alternative views? These are some of the questions the chairman is thinking about right now, and we are going to have an FCC that will finally have the people in place to answer them.”

“This isn’t just about Limbaugh or a local radio host most of us haven’t heard about,” says a Democrat committee member. “The FCC and state and local governments also have oversight over the Internet lines and the cable and telecom companies that operate them. We want to get alternative views on radio and TV, but we also want to makes sure those alternative views are read, heard and seen online, which is becoming increasingly video and audio driven. Thanks to the stimulus package, we’ve established that broadband networks — the Internet — are critical, national infrastructure. We think that gives us an opening to look at what runs over that critical infrastructure."

Read that again. If you have a heavily trafficked blog, and you don't link to other points of view, you might soon be required to. It isn't enough that there are THOUSANDS of different points of view out on the 'net; no, our nanny state-minded Democrats don't trust YOU to know how to find 'em. Apparently moving your mouse a little and/or using Google to type in "[political view] blogs" is too CUMBERSOME for the average American. It's an unnecessary HINDRANCE.

Democrats are going to "make sure" the views they want you to know about ARE seen and heard. They say so right there above. And I -- and many others -- may just HAVE TO link to them. Whether we want to or not.

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February 15, 2009

Obama now "unsure" about Fairness Doctrine?

This isn't good:

[FOX NEWS'S CHRIS] WALLACE: Will you rule out reimposing the Fairness Doctrine?

[OBAMA ADVISER DAVID] AXELROD: I’m going to leave that issue to Julius Genachowski, our new head of the FCC, to, and the president, to discuss. So I don’t have an answer for you now.

During the campaign, The Messiah stated flat-out that he was against reinstating the so-called Fairness Doctrine.

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February 12, 2009

Dopey Philly Daily News Letter of the Week

Simon Dicker of Philly must suffer from hallucinations:

Flipping the TV channels, I decided it was time to call the Republicans' bluff.

My GOP relatives complain about biased liberal media, yet all I see is bias in favor of Republicans. The new administration and Congress should reinstate the fairness doctrine. I'd love to see Republicans vote against a bill designed to bring true balance to our airwaves, which, after all, are owned by all of us.

Clearly, we couldn't have government administrating the program, so an independent body would have to be set up - maybe a press-complaints authority with real power along the lines of what exists in England.

Aside from the delusional "bias in favor of Republicans" nonsense, you can BET your bottom dollar that the GOP will vote against the so-called Fairness Doctrine. I've always liked the "the airwaves are owned by all of us" complaint. Since ownership in the United States is based on capitalist free enterprise (well, that is rapidly changing!), what exactly is wrong with how the market works with the airwaves now? Answer: Nothing! And that's the rub to liberals and "progressives." Conservatives dominate the radio market. Free enterprise has worked. Period.

Hell, if you want to make even freer, get rid of the FCC. Let small companies and even individuals broadcast as they wish.

Don't be fooled. The so-called Fairness Doctrine is just a leftist power grab -- an attempt to stifle voices with which they disagree. It's straight out of the Left's playbook, people: Campus speech codes. Expansion of "hate speech" criminality. Mandatory "sensitivity" training where you're forced to "re-evaluate" your beliefs. Etc.

And don't think for a minute that the F.D. will be applied anywhere BUT radio. Because that's the only place conservatives dominate. Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews won't be forced to have a conservative "balance" their opinions. Nor will the New York or L.A. Times. And that's just dealing with opinion. Apparent "objective" news reporting certainly will be exempt from the F.D., but that's possibly even a bigger joke. Outfits like the Associated Press and others can keep labeling "Republican" to every negative aspect of a story, but omit the "Democrat" from same (see most recently here). Conservative views on policy matters can be scratched from articles. GOP politicians can be excluded from interviews and/or quotes. And so on.

And do we really want an "independent body" akin to that of England? A country afflicted with government-sanctioned political correctness magnitudes worse than our own?

No thanks.

UPDATE: Bill Clinton thinks the F.D. should come back.

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February 09, 2009

Press has his head pressed

Liberal gabber and former “Crossfire” co-host Bill Press just doesn’t get it about talk radio – like way too many other lefties. To Press, it’s a “conspiracy” that liberal talk radio doesn’t really succeed all that much:

Station owners complain they can't get good ratings or make any money with progressive talk, but that's nonsense. In Minnesota, independent owner Janet Robert has operated KTNF (950 AM) profitably for five years. In Madison, Wis., WXXM, 92.1 FM, just scored its highest ratings ever. And KPOJ in Portland, Ore., soared with progressive talk from No. 23 in market ratings to No. 1. Nationwide, progressive talkers Randi Rhodes, Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller have proven that, given a level playing field, they can more than hold their own in ratings — and make money for their stations.

As Mark Hemingway notes, is it really a surprise that lib talk radio is successful in those markets – some of the most “progressive” in the country? And precisely what wasn’t “level” in the markets that Air America floundered in?

Press is another lefty that just doesn’t get it about liberal talk radio (sort of like Randy Nelson!). It doesn’t succeed as a whole because most folks already view the mainstream press as left-leaning, and much of the popular culture (ie Hollywood and music) too. Talk radio is the bastion which conservatives dominate, largely out of necessity. But that has been changing over the years, as Fox News has now come to dominate cable news and the proliferation of Internet news sites.

Another reason lefty talk radio has been a bust is because, unlike [most] conservative talk radio, it is usually totally devoid of humor, takes itself way too seriously, and is downright vicious. If anyone actually takes the time to listen to, say, Rush Limbaugh, the “king” of conservative talk radio, you’ll notice 1) he doesn’t take himself all that seriously, 2) he (and his bits) are actually pretty funny*, and 3) you won’t hear from him (towards Barack Obama and liberals) the outright hateful epithets that the Left continually tossed towards George Bush and conservatives. Rush can get, and has gotten, close to the line, sure, but I’ve never heard him wish death upon anyone, or call Democrats Nazis or Hitleresque ... unlike lib talk show hosts. (By the way, I personally recommend Limbaugh’s show pretty much only for the entertainment value. I wouldn’t recommend listening to him for policy ideas, though admittedly I do agree with some of what he says.)

Granted, keep in mind I am speaking generally about the industry as a whole. There are certainly exceptions to what I stated above.

*(One of the funnier moments I always recall from Limbaugh’s show was during the middle of a serious discussion of some policy matter, he played some soundbites from various politicians. One of them was from Rep. Tom Lantos, now deceased, who had a rather thick Eastern European accent. Rush suddenly began yelling to his producer to “stop the tape!” and to rewind it so he could hear Lantos again. In the middle of what was a lengthy policy soliloquy, Rush asked, “Is it me or does Tom Lantos sound exactly like a James Bond villain?” Any James Bond fan worth his/her salt had to be laughing, because Lantos did indeed sound precisely like your stereotypical Bond baddie!)

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February 07, 2009

I thought Democrats believed in fundamental fairness

... but apparently not those who are very outspoken for the so-called Fairness Doctrine!

In tears, the Westland woman accused of accepting money for sex from the husband of U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., began serving five days in jail today for violating the terms of her probation.

It’s been a long ride for the 21-year-old Alycia Martin, who is now eight months pregnant and engaged, said her pro bono attorney Frank Cusumano Jr. Martin, who dropped out of high school in the ninth grade and has been on her own since she was in her late teens, is working at a fast food restaurant, has a driver’s license and is working to get her GED. She also voted for the first time in November. But her gas and electric has been shut off and she struggles to buy necessities like food, clothing and baby supplies.

Tom Athans, Stabenow’s husband since 2003, was not charged in exchange for his assistance in the case. He never testified because Martin pleaded guilty.

“Alycia will get through this,” Cusumano said. “She’ll serve her time. I don’t know why he’d throw her in jail, but it underscores the whole thing. There is a disparity between wealth and poverty.

“What does this say about the city of Troy?” (Source.)

Or, more aptly, what does it say about "Change You Can Believe In" Democrats?

Stabenow has been out in front of the battle to reinstate the misnamed Fairness Doctrine. Which is interesting 'cuz her let-off-the-hook john of a husband is a liberal talk radio exec.

Change Hypocrisy you can believe in.

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February 05, 2009

Fairness Doctrine update

Oh brother. Oh, and nice conflict of interest there, Deb.

Just more change hypocrisy you can believe in.

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December 13, 2008

"Fairness" Doctrine update

The F-bomb dropping mayor of Toldeo, OH has come out and made it plain he wants the "Fairness" Doctrine back. Carty Finkbeiner met with the staff of CA Democratic Congressman Henry Waxman where

... he said he met with Patricia Delgado, Mr. Waxman's chief of staff, and offered his help if Mr. Waxman wishes to revive the Fairness Doctrine. Mr. Waxman is the new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has oversight of the Federal Communications Commission.

The mayor on Monday accused WSPD of violating the principles of the now-defunct rule by not giving him equal time to respond to its "daily diatribes" against him, and said he would take it up with Mr. Waxman. The doctrine, which was eliminated by President Reagan in 1987, required radio and TV stations to give equal time to issues and candidates.

How DARE a media outlet criticize a politician? This sounds a lot like what Barack Obama's surrogates did during the 2008 campaign: You broadcast criticisms of those in power, and those in power (whose job it is to protect the population's Bill of Rights freedoms) use their power to shut you up. That's precisely what it is! Period!

As if this moron Finkbeiner doesn't have his own bully pulpit to address any of this radio station's commentaries. He's the freakin' mayor, after all.

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November 06, 2008

Fairness Doctrine update

From former Philly Channel 10 newsguy Herb Denenberg, now at The Bulletin (all emphases mine):

************

Whenever the title of legislation contains such high-sounding terms as fairness or reform, there's a good chance that is just a fraudulent label to disguise unfairness as fairness or failure to reform as reform. That is perfectly exemplified by the Fairness Doctrine, which ruled the airwaves from 1949 to 1987.

The doctrine, which now should be viewed as an unconstitutional limit on free speech, has had supporters over the years and is now one of the top priorities of the radicalized, extremist, far-left, undemocratic Democratic Party. It is a sad and sorry symbol of what we can expect from the most radical and extreme Democratic Party in history.

Even on Election Day, Sen. Charles Schumer,D-N.Y. , an influential Democratic senator, was pushing the Fairness Doctrine. Other Democratic senators pushing it include Majority Whip Dick Durbin., D-Ill., a close ally of President-elect Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Senate Rules Committee Chairwoman Diane Feinstein, D-Calif.

The Fairness Doctrine was formulated in 1949 in a regulation by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under authority granted to it by the Communications Act and required broadcasters to "afford reasonable opportunity for discussion of contrasting points of view on controversial matters of public importance." On its face, the doctrine sounds innocuous and fair, until subjected to the crucible of experience, to the law of unintended consequences, to the devil in the details and to the abuses to which it could and would be subjected.

This is the kind of regulations and laws you get from sophomores at Ivy League schools, from inexperienced and arrogant politicians such as Sen. Obama, and from proponents who are unable to temper theory with practice and superficial sounds with deep-rooted experience.

Under the rule, the FCC required broadcasters to air all sides of controversial issues. Sounds good, and as the Heritage Foundation has pointed out, "Fairness is, after all, a basic American value." But in practice, it had the opposite effect. Instead of airing both sides of controversial issues, broadcasters simply avoided controversial issues. Why so?

First, broadcasters weren't sure where the line would be drawn and didn't want the expense and other problems associated with interpreting often-ambiguous rulings and doing battle with bureaucrats and government litigators.

Second, politicians and others used the Fairness Doctrine to harass and intimidate broadcasters from covering certain issues. For example, Bill Ruder, Democratic campaign consultant and assistant secretary of commerce in the Kennedy Administration, admitted the Kennedy Administration used the doctrine to silence criticism: "Our massive strategy was to use the Fairness Doctrine to challenge and harass right-wing broadcasters and hope the challenges would be so costly to them that they would be inhibited and decide it was too expensive."

The Nixon Administration extended the doctrine to new heights and one published report concluded "private activists directed by the Republican National Committee regularly filed Fairness Doctrine challenges against stations whose reporting angered the White House." So it's nice to see bipartisan abuse.

The nature of FCC enforcement of the doctrine also made these abuses more common and more likely. The FCC could not monitor all broadcasters, so there was selective monitoring and selective enforcement. The Heritage Foundation found, "This, of course, puts immense power into the hands of federal regulators." And that was promptly abused, as already indicated.

Third, the Fairness Doctrine made it impossible for talk radio to develop the kind of hugely successful programming that brings listeners and viewers valuable discussions of all issue with the give-and-take that is one of the great strengths of talk radio. Under the Fairness Doctrine, talk radio as it now exists would be considered too controversial and too problematic to be practical. You'd need an army of Philadelphia lawyers to strike the right balance on each issue and keep the regulators at bay. When the doctrine was abolished, talk radio started to boom. In 1990, there were only 400 stations with talk radio formats. That had grown to more than 1,400 by 2006.

Fourth, the doctrine could be used to silence critics on an industry-wide basis by one political party or another. Right now, the one segment of the media that gives conservatives as well as liberal sand Republicans as well as Democrats a fair shot, is talk radio. The best known voice on talk radio is Rush Limbaugh followed by other conservative voices such as Sean Hannity, Bill Bennett, Laura Ingraham, Michael Medved, Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt, Michael Savage and Mike Gallagher. The Republicans, headed by Rep. Nancy "San Francisco Values" Pelosi, with the support of Sen. Obama and the Democratic Party, wants to shut down talk radio as we know it by reinstituting the fairness doctrine.

If reinstituted, the stations airing conservatives would have to balance them with liberals. That would create all kinds of complications, and also all kinds of financial losses, as liberal talk show hosts do not draw as large an audience as conservatives.

For example, I think Sean Hannity has one of the best programs on radio and television, but I would consider it torture to have to list to 10 minutes of radio hosted by his liberal partner, Alan Colmes.

Cutting through all the rhetoric, the Fairness Doctrine would simply mean the end of talk radio as we know it, and the one segment of the media that is not all liberal and all Democratic all the time would cease to exist. Whatever the reason, liberals have tried to mount countervailing networks and broadcasts and have failed. They can't beat the conservatives in the marketplace of ideas, so they want to exterminate them in the legislative arena.

It should also be noted the media environment that was the foundation for the Fairness Doctrine no longer exists. At the time the doctrine was first promulgated, it could be argued that there was such a scarcity of broadcast spectrums that government regulation was necessary. That was the basis for the doctrine and for its constitutional validity. But since then there has been an explosion of broadcast outlets and other media alternatives.

Here are the statistics on that explosion from a Heritage Foundation Report: When the doctrine was first conceived there were 2,881 radio stations and 98 television stations. By 1960, there were 4,309 radio stations and 560 television stations. By 1989, there were 10,000 radio stations and close to 1,000 television stations. By like token, the number of radios in use jumped from 85.2 million in 1950 to 527.4 million in 1988. During the same period television sets in use went from 4 million to 175.5 million. And there has been growth since those time periods.

The growth of other media outlets now make it impossible to monopolize the airwaves. Since the initiation of the doctrine, we've also seen FM radio, UHF television, cable television, cable radio, satellite television, satellite radio and the Internet, which is capable of reaching broadcasters all around the world. The media has undergone an explosive expansion and will probably continue to experience dramatic growth in the number and kinds of outlets and the opportunities for all views to be presented. The scarcity argument is dead and so is the constitution underpinning of the Fairness Doctrine, which by the advance of technology has been rendered an improper restriction of free speech.

The FCC was right in 1987 when it rescinded the Fairness Doctrine, with an opinion that included this:

"We believe that the role of the electronic press in our society is the same as that of the printed press. Both are sources of information and viewpoint. Accordingly, the reasons for proscribing government intrusion into the editorial discretion of print journalists provide the same basis for proscribing such interference into the editorial discretion of broadcast journalists."

But this constitutional argument may soon be weakened by an Obama presidency. He is likely to appoint two or three new justices, tipping the balance of power in favor of those who believe in the constitution as a "living document" (a euphemism for judges doing anything they want and legislating their left-wing views from the bench) and who are willing to ignore the Founder's intent. This means we will have a Supreme Court that is likely to approve the flood of far-out liberal proposals that are almost certainly to come forth from a Democratic Party in control of Congress.

The Democratic Party will be pressing for the reinstitution of the Fairness Doctrine in the months ahead in order to silence their critics on talk radio. If this undemocratic proposal of the Democratic Party is to be defeated, it will require a grassroots uprising, with e-mails, letters and calls to Congressman and other elected officials, as well as letters to the editor and every other kind of communication called forth in defense of freedom of speech, in defense of the First Amendment and in criticism of the Democratic Party, which seems intent on destroying the framework of liberty and freedom that has made America great and that is our central national value.

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