The noise continues on bringing back the Fairness Doctrine

Posted on February 14, 2009

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Bill Clinton has now given his two cents in the push for media censorship (or “Fairness Doctrine” as some misname it). He told a liberal talk show host on Thursday that we need the Fairness Doctrine or some other form of balance on the airwaves. He joins Sen. Tom Harkin and Rep. Maurice Hinchey to echo Sen. Mary Stabenow – you know, the Senator married to liberal talk radio executive Tom Athans – in pining for the abridgement of conservative speech on AM/FM radio.

Can you guess the party of those above? It’s amazing to me that Clinton and Stabenow, complaining about the lack of liberal opinion on the airwaves, both made their comments on liberal talk shows – they exist, they’re just not as popular, and for a reason. Someone is going to have to explain to me again how exactly it’s fair to demand equal apportionment of political views exclusively on the one medium that conservatives seem to dominate. Why not apply the same standard to broadcast TV, making the networks of ABC, CBS, NBC, and – gasp! – even PBS in some markets subject to apportionment? Why not try it first on taxpayer-funded NPR instead of busting through to the commercial markets?

The clear answer is that it isn’t about ensuring equal time for opinions, it’s about shutting down an avenue of discourse for those that disagree with you. And the “we regulate porn, why not talk radio?” argument advanced by Sen. Charles Schumer is the most shameful of all – the Founding Fathers saw political speech as something important to democracy and something to be preserved, not a gutter pursuit that threatens kids, as the argument is made for pornography regulation. Government, whether conservative or liberal, has no business dictating to any media company what they ought to be publishing in the public realm – let the marketplace decide that. Politicians may disagree publicly with the content and opinions of those programs, but enacting laws that regulate those opinions is a major threat to the First Amendment.

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Posted in: News, Politics