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  • Fairness Doctrine Confusion

    On Wednesday, White House spokesman Ben LaBolt told FoxNews.com: “As the president stated during the campaign, he does not believe the Fairness Doctrine should be reinstated.” However, only three days earlier, President Obama’s Senior Advisor David Axelrod told Fox News Sunday, “I’m going to leave that issue to Julius Genachowski, our new head of the FCC … and the president to discuss. So I don’t have an answer for you now.” Certainly there is some confusion in the current White House. Where else is there confusion? Are former Presidents confused?

    Former President Bill Clinton was on liberal radio host Mario Solis Marich’s program this week and said, “”Well, you either ought to have the Fairness Doctrine or we ought to have more balance on the other side, because essentially there’s always been a lot of big money to support the right wing talk shows and let face it, you know, Rush Limbaugh is fairly entertaining even when he is saying things that I think are ridiculous…”

    Okay, but meanwhile, Former President Carter told a Phoenix radio station last Friday that “…as a matter of fact, when I was president is when we deregulated radio, television, all the communications and relationships. So I have not been in favor of perpetuating the Fairness Doctrine since I’ve been, you know, in politics.” Certainly there is some confusion among past Presidents. Maybe we can get some clarification from Capitol Hill?

    Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) who is married to Tom Athans, a liberal talk radio executive, told liberal radio host Bill Press, “I think it’s absolutely time to pass a standard. Now, whether it’s called the Fairness Standard, whether it’s called something else — I absolutely think it’s time to be bringing accountability to the airwaves.” She went on to say that she expected hearings on the subject based on discussions she has been having with her colleagues.

    Her colleague, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) was on the Bill Press program only a day earlier and said, “we gotta get the Fairness Doctrine back in law again.” Last year, another colleague, Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) said on the radio, “”For many, many years, we operated under a Fairness Doctrine in this country. I think the country was well-served.”

    On the House side, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was asked last year if she supported the revival of the Fairness Doctrine. Her response was “Yes”. She was also asked if Congressman Mike Pence’s (R-IN) bill to permanently outlaw the measure would make it to the floor for an up or down vote. Her response was “No,” adding that “the interest in my caucus is the reverse” and that “Louise Slaughter [D-NY] has been active behind this [revival of the Fairness Doctrine] for a while now.”

    Okay, it seems there is little confusion among liberals on Capitol Hill. What about in the states? California Attorney General Jerry Brown went on the radio last week and said, “Well, a little state control wouldn’t hurt anybody.” He defended his position as “balance”, not censorship.  ACORN, the radical leftist organization we have grown familiar with, states in their principles: “Reinstate the Fairness Doctrine in broadcasting, so that grass roots community groups have equal time to express their views.”

    America is confused as well. In an August 2008 Rasmussen Poll, 47% of Americans actually supported the idea of the government requiring stations to “balance” the political viewpoint expressed over the airwaves. Yet, 71% of those same respondents said it is already possible “for just about any political view to be heard in today’s media.”

    So the question is, why the confusion? It is simple. The confusion is not whether or not they will move to introduce a “new” Fairness Doctrine. The confusion is what they are going to call it. Right now, they are moving forward under the guise of “localism”, where local community boards will decide whether local radio stations are meeting “standards” every two or four years, in order to renew their broadcast license.

    The plan may be to create an army of small regulatory bodies across the nation, made up of liberal activists who use the persuasive efforts of activist groups like ACORN, to bully affiliates into submission, or risk revocation of their license. Basically a ‘play by our rules and we’ll go away’ mantra.

    House Minority Leader John Boehner told Human Events, ““Localism is quickly becoming code for the efforts of liberals to limit free speech and dissent. The American people do not believe the federal government should be in the business of dictating or restricting what’s on the public airwaves…”

    The FCC’s webpage on localism states, “The purpose of Localism Proceedings is to gather information from consumers, industry, civic organizations, and others on broadcasters’ service to their local communities. Along with competition and diversity, promoting localism is a key goal of the Commission’s media ownership rules.” The liberal agenda will be to define what constitutes “service” to the local communities.

    So, while the liberals spend the next few months confusing the American public on whether or not they want the reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, it may be wise to notice what is happening behind that debate. It may be over before the debate really begins.

    The irony of the whole argument? Six of the liberal elected leaders we just mentioned were quoted from appearances…on the radio. It seems there may not be as big of a problem as some liberals might think.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    39 Responses to Fairness Doctrine Confusion

    1. Pingback: Fairness Doctrine Confusion » The Foundry - ezineaerticles

    2. Winston Smith, Holly says:

      Probably the best post I've seen so far on the hypocrisy of the argument from the Left on "The Fairness Doctrine."

      Good analysis.

      I am,

      The Hollywood Republican

    3. Rob, Maryland says:

      I must be one of the really confused, because I thought we already had a "Fairness Doctrine" titled THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! I'm pretty sure the Constitution does not limit the liberals from having any speech medium in any community at any time – Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      I'm pretty sure it's the second part there … you know, the part that says "or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press".

      But that's just me, a Public School educated American Citizen.

    4. Hammerman, Pinedale says:

      Wow , I've never seen the Constitution under such seige, regulating talk radio? Silencing the voices of the folks?

      Buckle up, it's going to get a bit bumpy when we, the people, take our talk radio back.

    5. Pingback: painfultruth.org » Fairness Doctrine Confusion

    6. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      The Left does not need any Fairness Doctrine. Liberal Radio simply STINKS! Liberal Radio gets little to no advertising dollars BUT is subsidized by the Democratic, back-door funds (and they STILL can't make a go of it). Lastly, Liberal Radio is jealous of Conservative Radio because CR has a bigger audience. That's free enterprise – a thorn in the sides of Liberals!

    7. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Fairness Doctirne sounds exactly like Socialism to me!


    8. Don Richmond Va. says:

      This looks like just the beginning of the rights we may loose, whats next and where will end ?

    9. Susan Young, Roanoke says:

      Most of us understand that there is nothing Fair about the Fairness Doctrine.

      So let's all take action and get a writing campaign going about this issue.

      Can't the Heritage Foundation start this off? Perhaps links and a form to fill out?

    10. richard champey-Smyr says:

      How about a Fairness Doctrine for the print media/TV media that the liberals control? Maybe we could restrict their presses from printing questionable data that has not been varified by closing down papers/magazines for a specified period if found in violation!!!

    11. JD HAYS, KS says:

      Liberals can't find an audience or ADVERTISERS that will support their programming. The public interest is not what they're REALLY concerned with. Radio "affirmative action" is not market based and the idea of forcing this upon us is totally unconstitutional and morally wrong.

    12. Tim says:

      The old media is desperate for localism (socialism) they believe this is their only salvation. The old media are constantly being discredited by new Media. The old media is constantly having to report the truth after it has been reported by the new media. Often days or even weeks later in an attempt to avoid being discredited. The result is a dying old media. Americans simply will not pay the old media to lie to them on a daily basis.

    13. Chris, IA says:

      Wait a second, wouldn't we rather have liberals on the radio? I mean, nobody listens to them when they're on the radio. I'd rather have the Libs on the radio than holding public office.

      Case and point… Al Frankin.

    14. Steve, Florida says:

      Excellent article: The next big issue ….."localism" is the trojan horse to carry forward the tenant's of the so called Fairness Doctrine. Only conservative and religious talk radio will be destroyed by this. It does not affect television, cable or other media……yet. By intimidating local radio station owners through local review of their licenses, a biased local board as presented in the article can control the radio broadcaster's commentary and content.This is directly aimed at silencing conservative and religious viewpoints that are offered with a set of values by the providers that do not align with the values of the opposition.

      The opposition has numerous outlets already biased in their coverage, and as the author of this article points out……has their cake and eats it too on the radio!

      I for one, am sick of equal time viewpoints on TV and radio where the two sides simply squabble over an issue…..and the clear reasoning of either is never displayed. It's absurd to think a singular point of view cannot be viewed or aired in it's entirety without rebuttal……..too bad…..get your own show and spout whatever you choose, but don't impose your view during my airtime listening.

    15. George rizona says:

      TALK TALK TALK!!!!! How much more do we have to lose before something is actually DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    16. Roanoke Va. says:

      I live in the USA not the USSA. We need to have the viewpoints. I have two boys 10 and 7 thay have to have job and schooling. Thay need to have the constitution to help keep the rigths of all Americans USA USA not ussa

    17. Charles Stefan, Kear says:

      The Fairness Doctrine or Localism isn't about getting liberals on talk radio, its all about silencing conservative or libertarians on talk radio.

    18. ra,ohio says:

      Steve,Florida, you are right on the mark.

      Nothing turns me off faster than two people talking at the same time. I have a button on my remote that fixes that.

      There is a groundswell in this country as we speak, and the "fairness doctrine" and the people in congress that aspire to it are going to have to find another job, unless they adopt mob tactics.

      Wait, they already have!!!!!!!!!!!!

    19. Pingback: Who Needs Fairness, We Have a “Doctrine” « The KBook Report

    20. chuck k. says:

      this doctrine is nothing but a dupe for socialistic/communist suppression of our constitutional rights.

    21. Tammie M says:

      I really think that we the conservative voice does not have enough air time as it is. The only thing sometimes that we have as a tool to use to fight the leftist viewpoints in this life is our voice. We cannot let anyone take that away from us. That is why the Founding Fathers gave us "Freedom of Speech." Many people think that the conservative voice is just "our opinion" but, my friend it that opinion that has held mankind from utterly destroying themselves. There is a big difference between opinion and fact. Morals are a good thing, get some……

    22. Dave McDuffie says:

      Hello ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC have you not noticed? No one watches you any more! You are simply broadcasting to each other and you all sound exactly the same…socialist rant day in day out. What happened to "objective" journalism? Why is it all "socialist imprematuers" now? Do you clowns even know what is coming out of your mouth or are you just braindead and reading a teleprompter, without a clue? Katie is a cutie but a total airhead lib! What a waste.

    23. H L PUCKETT AV, says:


    24. P.Helinski Addison, says:

      The Libs already have their own radio, NPR.

    25. Cat mitch nm says:

      The liberals will never stop freedom of speech, they may stop a radio or tv station, but there is always the underground newspapers, phamplets, etc, that were so vital during the Russian and German reign of terror. We have personal radios, e mails, cell phones, computers, sky writing,just a joke, and magazines, books, letters, etc. The voice of the American people will never be stopped. We need a writing and calling campaign to every one of our senators and reps. We need to remind them there will be another election and we will be ready for them. We must join our local, state and national organizations, start our own voter registrations, elect local people to office that are honest, and conduct instructions on voter fraud, and be busy taking control of American back.

    26. Mike Sheahen, Hickor says:

      Ok, let’s make what the “Fairness Doctrine” is very clear, and so eliminate “confusion”.

      Question: What is both the ultimate law of the land and test of legality and legitimacy of any law and regulation in the United States of America?

      Answer: The Constitution of the United States, and, in this case, the 1st Amendment.

      Question: What does Amendment 1 have to say about such efforts for government/bureaucratic control of speech and any part of the press?

      Answer: "Amendment 1: Congress shall make no law…abridging (i.e. controlling) the freedom of speech, or of the press".

      In other words: Congress shall make no law to control speech or any part of the press which includes radio.

      Question: What does make the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" and other such efforts for government/bureaucratic control of speech and any part of the press?

      Answer: That makes the so-called "Fairness Doctrine", and any other such efforts for government/bureaucratic control of speech and of any part of the press, a direct violation of the Amendment 1 prohibition against any such government/bureaucratic control.

      Therefore, as for any Leftist government elitist politicians and bureaucrats making any claims that any such efforts for government/bureaucratic control of speech and of any part of the press is not any violation of the 1st Amendment, well at best that only goes to show how, as Thomas Jefferson said, "even under the best forms [of government] those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny".

      In fact, that is why both the one (1) basic principle of the Constitution of the United States and the purpose of the first ten (10) Amendments (known as our "Bill of Rights" which begins with the 1st Amendment) is to limit government thereby protect us and our freedoms against encroachment and violation by government, including any such efforts and schemes for government/bureaucratic control of speech and any part of the press through such as the so-called "Fairness Doctrine", and any other such things.

      So, as you should see by now, the verifiably misleadingly so-called "Fairness Doctrine", and any other such things, would be a direct violation of our 1st Amendment protection against government control of our freedom of speech and any part of the press, which makes both the so-called “Fairness Doctrine” and any other such things Unconstitutional.

      Therefore also, any "confusion" about the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" should be gone now.

    27. Rob Allen, Kennedale says:

      If I remember correctly Hitler not only dearmed the citicens but also silenced the opposition.

      Wondering how safe our 2nd amendment is as well.

    28. Jan from Utah, says:

      I have a vivid imagination but I thought it best to share this, just in case. I was thinking

      about the fairness doctrine. What if someone from the Obama administration sets up a

      bogus assassination attempt against him or someone who is close to him, and that nut

      case claims or has evidence saying he is a big fan of Rush or someone on talk radio that

      speaks against the white house administration influenced him. They could even fabricate

      a statement like they did to Rush; one that was totally taken out of context about his view

      on Mexicans. They then would say; we have to stop the hate mongering. Then they

      make up a new bill, basically the fairness doctrine with a new name. I hope this is just

      my imagination but you never know. Wild imagination, maybe.

    29. ra,ohio says:

      Well, if we're going to be fair then shouldn't half of the money that we pay in taxes to NPR go to CONSERVATIVE talk radio…?

      I don't know, I'm just thinking here,..Oh am I allowed to think ?

    30. Glashoppah, Californ says:

      Have no doubt, the goal is not "fairness," the goal is censorship of the Conservative view, period. Like gun control, it's required for them to create a totalitarian Socialist state.

    31. Pingback: Morning Bell: The Chicago Tea Party : “7.62mm Justice” ™

    32. nancy farrington, oa says:

      Good imagination, Jan, and not too far-fetched. This isn't about fairness, its about silencing our talk radio. They know that if they REQUIRE talk radio to have an opposing side for the conservative shows, that no one will listen to said show, which is highly unprofitable. End of Rush, Hannity, Curtis Wright, Glenn Beck, etc. We can't let it happen!!

    33. John Clancy, Wyandot says:

      The hubris of liberals today reflects the failure of our government schools (should we even have government schools in a free society?) over the last 40 years to teach the principles of the founding fathers, the constitution, and the federalist papers to those who are now in positions of leadership. They are taking their lead from the philosophy that has replaced what was once taught in our schools, one based on relativism, socialism, and those "isms" that if unchecked will destroy a free society.

    34. Doug says:

      In the spirit of "Fairness" I think that Katie Couric and Rush Limbaugh should alternate as Anchor of the CBS Evening News. Then, I would watch it every other day.

    35. william pwlak says:

      My mother grew up under the Nazi propaganda machine which eliminated all opposition to its leaders political idea's. A cultist regime that controlled all aspects of public communication. Now I fear that Localism under the guise of fairness will ebb its way into our long established freedoms of speech, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Our we repeating the past?

    36. Michael , Alpharetta says:

      With all of the political in-roads made by the Democrats since 1996, why are they so threatened by talk radio? Could it be they are Stalinist and want to eliminate any and all dissent?

      If the left wants their ideas out there they need only to find a market for those ideas. The people must be out there…. Or maybe liberals simply do not want to tune into talk radio. They would rather listen to FM or NPR. Besides the liberal point of view is well documented over the television networks and cable.

    37. PW, Waukesha, WI says:

      I've read a few references to the Constitution in these comments. Did not our elected Congress and President affirm to uphold and defend our CONSTITUTION? Maybe we can through them all out. Problem is one of the Houses would have try them??

    38. Eugene Hoffman, Hous says:

      We are becoming more like Ancient Rome, we now sit on the edge of our decline; the fat cats in the senate and the house care nothing about their constituents: they only want power and to take care of their "aristocracy". The voice of conservatism is in jeopardy, and targeted and specific censorship will be applied toward any opposition to the new "Caesar". Our only hope will lie in the courts: I however fear that they have also been compromised beyond repair. Radio stations and newspapers are free enterprises and if they are not harming the Nation, or the constitution, then the government has no business in their business.

    39. Rocky Nester says:

      When it comes to fairness, is not freedom of speech already fair? Are they saying, they are making free speech more free? It is absurd to make free speech more free. But to make speech not free is possible. In course, it is what the left is attempting to do.

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