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The Fairness Doctrine

A policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

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The return of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" is a very bad idea indeed.

  • Jun 28, 2010
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Make no mistake about it.  If  President Obama and his minions in the Administration and the Congress have their way in the future the Federal government will have an awful lot to say about the types of programming you will be able to hear on the radio.  That thought makes me cringe!  Quoting President Obama's "Chief Diversity Czar" at the FCC Mark Lloyd the administration is calling  for ownership rules that "we think will create greater local diversity of programming, news, and commentary."   Keep in mind that the American taxpayer is already underwriting such diversity by appropriating hundreds of millions of dollars each year to subsidize the clearly left-wing programming on National Public RadioMr. Lloyd favors the return of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" and stifling tax policies designed to "encourage" broadcasters to air the kinds of programming that he approves of.   Mr. Lloyd goes on to say that  "Only the most misinformed still believe that radio group owners such as Citadel Broadcasting Corp., which refuses to air popular progressive hosts like Ed Shultz, are only concerned about the bottom line."   This is pure hogwash Mr. Lloyd!   It is all about the bottom line.  If Ed Shultz or Randi Rhodes could attract a decent audience then they would be on the air in a lot more cities than they are.  The simple fact of the matter is that for decades the American people have clearly preferred conservative talk radio by an overwhelming margin.  This is largely true on both the national and local levels.  In fact, it was Rush Limbaugh and other conservative talk shows that saved the AM dial back in the 1980's.  Liberals have tried for years to engender their own version of Rush Limbaugh.  Time and again they have failed.  The simple fact of the matter is that in most markets nobody listened and radio stations lost money.  Consider the liberal talk network "Air America" that featured Al Franken and Randi Rhodes among others. The ratings were dismal and the network quickly fell into bankruptcy.  They even stiffed their flagship radio station WLIB in New York City of a substantial amount of money.  The majority of people in this country simply did not find that brand of talk to be very compelling.   Which brings us back to you Mr. Lloyd.  What is your real motivation in trying to stifle conservative talk radio?   The answer is quite obvious.  Your proposed assault on the radio industry is a backhanded attempt to stifle any criticism of the people and the policies that you support.  The American people will not stand for it!

Now if Mark Lloyd's true motivation is to achieve some sort of "fairness" and "ideological balance" then his proposed rules might also apply to cable news where liberals tend to rule the day.  But as you might expect they do not.  While I have no use for the likes of Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews or even Lou Dobbs,  I would never advocate silencing these voices.  I say let the marketplace determine the winners and losers as it always has. It seems to me that bureaucrats like Mark Lloyd and others should have better things to do with their valuable time than to conspire against freedom of  speech and free enterprise.  And if this were not enough this morning I read that President Obama will be handed the power to shut down the Internet for at least four months without Congressional oversight if the Senate votes for the infamous Internet ‘kill switch’ bill.  Better keep your eye on that one.  It seems to me that every time I pick up a newspaper or hear a newscast our freedoms are under attack by those on the left.  This is all a very bad idea and extremely poor public policyNot recommended!
The return of the so-called The return of the so-called

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Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #2
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, that required the holders of broadcast licenses both to present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was, in the Commission's view, honest, equitable and balanced. The 1949 Commission Report served as the foundation for the Fairness Doctrine since it had previously established two more forms of regulation onto broadcasters. These two duties were to provide adequate coverage to public issues and that coverage must be fair in reflecting opposing views.[1] This doctrine was officially introduced in 1981 under the FCC chairman, Mark S. Fowler.

The Fairness Doctrine should not be confused with the Equal Time rule. The Fairness Doctrine deals with discussion of controversial issues, while the Equal Time rule deals only with political candidates.

In 1969, the United States Supreme Court upheld the Commission's general right to enforce the Fairness Doctrine where channels were limited, but the courts have not, in general, ruled that the FCC is obliged to do so.[2] In 1987, the FCC abolished the Fairness Doctrine, prompting some to urge its reintroduction through either Commission policy or Congressional legislation.[3] Following the 1969 Red Lion Broadcasting decision, which provided the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with more regulatory power, the main agenda for this doctrine was to ensure that the viewers were ...

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