Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fairness Doctrine: Not Just For Radio Anymore?

First it was Clinton and Boxer, then Feinstein, now Democratic Whip Dick Durbin has climbed on board the Fairness Doctrine Express.

According to The Hill

But Democratic leaders say that government has a compelling interest to ensure that listeners are properly informed.

“It’s time to reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine,” said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). “I have this old-fashioned attitude that when Americans hear both sides of the story, they’re in a better position to make a decision.”

The Fairness Doctrine, which the FCC discarded in 1985, required broadcasters to present opposing viewpoints on controversial political issues. Prior to 1985, government regulations called for broadcasters to “make reasonable judgments in good faith” on how to present multiple viewpoints on controversial issues.

Senate Rules Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she planned to “look at the legal and constitutional aspects of” reviving the Fairness Doctrine.

“I believe very strongly that the airwaves are public and people use these airwaves for profit,” she said. “But there is a responsibility to see that both sides and not just one side of the big public questions of debate of the day are aired and are aired with some modicum of fairness.”
Me thinks Durbin is really expressing his old-fashioned attitude, "If I don't like what's happening, it needs control." But really, why stop there? If it's good enough for radio, why not TV? Better yet, add newspapers, too, with their declining circulation they'll hardly notice. Magazines, the same.

This can work. Because the American people will be better served if each and every outlet carries at least both sides of every argument, we can get by with fewer sources, thereby saving energy! Reduce greenhouse gasses!

Even John Kerry is on board. Can an argument get any more convincing than that? All we need now is Al Franken, who's busy running for the Senate...

Related Links: Senators Clinton and Boxer to Rush: Hush up!

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