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Bloviating Zeppelin: The Fairness Doctrine: Coming Back To A Licensee Near You

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Friday, January 19, 2007

The Fairness Doctrine: Coming Back To A Licensee Near You

Those who read my blog know how certain factions operate:

Kids know: if Dad will say no, ask Mom.

Democrats know: if we can't pass our social agendas via the lawful vote, then we'll stack the courts with liberal judges and have the judicial branch invert the law.

Democrats know: now that the Right and Conservatives have found their voices by way of the new media, to include television news (Fox), blogs (too numerous to count), internet sites (too numerous to count), magazines, the occasional newspaper and, moreover, radio, now it's time to re-take absolute control of radio once again via the "Fairness Doctrine," and it's time to be punitive and take their pound of flesh because they can.

The Fairness Doctrine:

From 1949 until 1987 (when it was discontinued by the Federal Communications Commission) broadcasters, as a condition of getting their licenses from the FCC, were required to cover controversial issues in their community, and to do so by offering "balancing views."

Following a 1974 US Supreme Court ruling (Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo (418 U.S. 241) where the Court wrote that the doctrine "inescapably dampens the vigor and limits the variety of public debate," a second ruling, the 1984 SCOTUS case FCC v. League of Women Voters, 468 U.S. 364, concluded that the scarcity rationale underlying the doctrine was "flawed" and that the doctrine was "limiting the breadth of public debate" once again.

The FCC then, in 1987, discontinued the Fairness Doctrine and wrote:

We no longer believe that the Fairness Doctrine, as a matter of policy, serves the public interests. In making this determination, we do not question the interest of the listening and viewing public in obtaining access to diverse and antagonistic sources of information. Rather, we conclude that the Fairness Doctrine is no longer a necessary or appropriate means by which to effectuate this interest. We believe that the interest of the public in viewpoint diversity is fully served by the multiplicity of voices in the marketplace today and that the intrusion by government into the content of programming occasioned by the enforcement of the doctrine unnecessarily restricts the journalistic freedom of broadcasters. Furthermore, we find that the Fairness Doctrine, in operation actually inhibits the presentation of controversial issues of public importance to the detriment of the public and in degradation of the editorial prerogative of broadcast journalists."

In 1987 President Ronald Reagan vetoed another FD bill and, in 1991, President GHW Bush vetoed as well.

Opponents of the Fairness Doctrine have included New York Governor Mario Cuomo, and broadcaster Rush Limbaugh. Cuomo argued that, "Precisely because radio and TV have become our principal sources of news and information, we should accord broadcasters the utmost freedom in order to insure a truly free press." Limbaugh argued that there should be no government fairness standards on broadcasters, since there are none on the print press.

But now that the Democrats are in majority, the sterling Dennis Kucinich has reintroduced a bill to bring back the Fairness Doctrine because, you see, it's all about control and what you can't have via the fair marketplace or by the fair vote, one must acquire by the unfair ruling or unfair bill.

It's a means of turning commentary into news. The Left cannot stand free market ideas. I doubt the idea would be surfacing now if, for example, Air America were making millions and millions of dollars.

This has absolutely nothing, particularly being sponsored by Kucinich (an out-and-out Ohio nutjob), to do with "fairness" or "equinimity." It has to do with power, control, and an attempt to smash a voice of the Conservatives now that, only after a few years, we have found our voice.

From the Radio Equalizer:

At the "Conference for Media Reform" in MEMPHIS FRIDAY, Rep. DENNIS KUCINICH (D-OH), making a surprise appearance, said that in his new capacity as Chairman of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, he would hold hearings on media ownership and the restoration of the Fairness Doctrine.

"We know the media has become the servant of a very narrow corporate agenda," KUCINICH said, adding that "the entire domestic agenda has been ignored while the focus has been on the acceleration of wealth upwards." "We are now in a position to move a progressive agenda to where it is visible," the OHIO Congressman and Presidential candidate said.

Very narrow corporate agenda? How many massive conglomerates own newspapers? How many massive conglomerates own TV broadcast stations? How many conglomerates own strings of magazines -- to include off-shore interests (Hachette-Fillipacci)?

If this goes down again, moreover, how will this affect blogs? We've already had the issue with the potential licensing of blogs which tend to express one view over another.

This is another shadowed Left/Democratic idea that attempts to make everyone and everything equal. Life isn't equal. Life isn't fair. The market determines to a great degree what will succeed. And of course, an equal application of the FD -- will it apply equally to Air America and to individual Left/Liberal broadcasters? What about blogs? Absent that, if the FD comes back to life broadcaster Michael Savage has already publically stated he has acquired a First Amendment attorney who will sue to ensure that he will have equal time on ABC, CBS or NBC.

What about e-mails?

Another stupid Democratic, whining idea -- an idea applied to one area and not another. Huh. Maybe like Starkist and the federal minimum wage not being applied EQUALLY in American Samoa because -- imagine this -- Pelosi's husband owns a ton of stock in Starkist?



Blogger Dionne said...

I need to do a post on this also. This scares the hell out of me.

Sat Jan 20, 07:36:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

LMC: I fear it's coming -- Google "Conference For Media Reform" and read the accompanying speeches.

Free speech? Democrats want anything and everything BUT free speech and will accept only THEIRS.


Sun Jan 21, 08:32:00 AM PST  

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