Sunday, March 25, 2007

Fairness Doctrine

If you don’t like the speech you are hearing, it’s easier to ban it, than respond to it. This seems to be behind the attempt to bring back the "Fairness Doctrine," by the Democratic controlled Congress.

Liberals have failed dismally in the battle of ideas in the media. "Air America," (which ironically was the name of the CIA-Operated airline during the Vietnam War), has filed for bankruptcy. Generally, Liberal Commentators have lower ratings than their Conservative opponents. They can’t seem to figure out why, so they blame it on the gullibility of the American public, instead of their bankrupt policies and lack of humor. You may not agree with Rush Limbaugh, but you have to admit he can be hilarious.

When the only sources of over the air News were the three Television networks you might argue the Constitutionality of "The Fairness Doctrine," now with a plethora of information outlets, it is an obvious violation of the freedom of speech guaranteed by the 1st amendment.


dagNABbit said...

Well said. I work for the NAB so I hear about efforts to resurrect the "fairness" doctrine all the time.

Let me go you one further -- I think it's well past time the FCC loosen its ownership requirements. The old rules were written when there was just one cable news network and the Internet wasn't as obviously democratizing a media force as it is today (hello, blogosphere). Not only that but with online media competing for ad revenue, if local papers and stations want to stay alive, consolidation is a way to do that.

It's an interesting new media world. I wonder what happens next...

Scott Erb said...

The fairness doctrine is logically flawed. There are not just two or even three perspectives, there are multiple ideas about how politics and the world should operate. You can't mandate that a few be "balanced" and the rest ignored. The "market place of ideas" does that, and people can choose what to listen to. I disagree with most talk radio, but sometimes listen because it can be entertaining. There are alternatives. I'm now listening to a great "lectures on CD" course about particle physics for non-physicists, and that's even better :-)

dagNABbit said...

Completely agree. The irony is how unfair the fairness doctrine really was -- not just in shutting out viewpoints, but it was only applied to broadcast, all the way up to its deserved demise. It may be a fringe Kucinich idea now, but I think it's important to keep a vigilant eye and point out how terrible it would be to bring back, at every opportunity. It would make McCain-Feingold look like a network standards & practices bleep.