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January 17, 2007

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Exactly WHAT Is Fair, About The "Fairness" Doctrine?

Democrats' New 'Fairness' Push May Silence Conservative Radio Hosts, Critics Say

Democrats in Congress are pushing for legislation that they say would bring more balance to the media, but critics say would muzzle conservative voices.

The Fairness Doctrine, a federal regulation requiring broadcasters to present both sides of a controversial issue, was enforced by the Federal Communications Commission from 1949 to 1987, when it was dropped during the Reagan administration.

Many in the broadcast industry credit the dropping of the rule to the rise of conservative talk radio that became a booming industry, featuring personalities like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.

Bringing back the regulation will ensure more even-handed coverage of political issues, said Jeff Lieberson, spokesman for Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), who has proposed the "Media Ownership Reform Act."

"The political interests of media owners can have a direct and indirect effect on the way news is presented to the public, so it's important that all sides are heard," Lieberson told Cybercast News Service Tuesday.

The Fairness Doctrine is a key component of Hinchey's bill, which also sets tighter limits on media ownership. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has proposed a companion bill in the Senate.

"This is not an attempt to muzzle them at all," Lieberson said of conservative talk show hosts who are opposed to the Fairness Doctrine. "They will still be heard. This will ensure that different views that are not theirs will also be heard."

But muzzling is exactly what such a law would do, charged Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in the Media, a conservative media watchdog group.

"Make no bones about it, they want to force the conservative media to hand over air time to liberals," Kincaid said in an interview. "When federal bureaucrats dictate the content of radio and TV shows, it's muzzling to tell them what to say and how to say it."

Many conservatives have long argued that the bulk of major newspapers, news magazines and network news programs tilt left and regard talk radio as an antidote.

"Liberals used to dominate the media, and they are irritated there are competing voices, so now they want to reign in the conservative media using the federal government," Kincaid continued. "There is no prohibition against liberal talk radio. Liberals tried talk radio and it was not successful in the market place."

Kincaid pointed to Air America, the liberal talk radio network started in 2004 that is now in bankruptcy but still operating with a limited audience.

The Fairness Doctrine was adopted by the FCC in 1949 as a regulation, never a law enacted by Congress. The effort now by Democrats in Congress is to codify the doctrine into law.

When the rule was in place, radio and TV stations could face hefty fines if their stations aired controversial statements on public affairs without providing equal time to opposing viewpoints. Critics said the result was self-censorship by timid broadcasters who avoided politics to escape any potential government retaliation.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1969 that the doctrine did not violate the First Amendment, because the airwaves belonged to the public and thus could face government regulation to which print media were not subjected.

After the FCC ditched the rule in 1987, Democratic lawmakers made several attempts to bring it back in statute. Those attempts were unsuccessful even when Democrats controlled both the White House and Congress in 1993 and 1994.

Despite the 1969 court ruling, Dennis Wharton, spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters, told Cybercast News Service Tuesday it was fundamentally a First Amendment question.

"It was not appropriately named," Wharton said of the doctrine. "It was unfair in inhibiting broadcasters' free speech rights.

"There has been an explosion of viewpoints and coverage of issues since the elimination of the Fairness Doctrine," Wharton said. "It's been a boon for free expression."

Hinchey, chairman of the "Future of Media Caucus" in the House, is among several
Democratic lawmakers who spoke at the National Conference on Media Reform in Memphis, Tenn., this past weekend.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), chairman of the House subcommittee on domestic policy, announced he would hold hearings on the media, which would include looking at restoring the Fairness Doctrine.

"We know the media has become the servant of a very narrow corporate agenda," Kucinich, a candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, reportedly told the Memphis event.

"We are now in a position to move a progressive agenda to where it is visible," he said.

Story Here
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Do the Democrats want to control ALL forms of media? Will this affect bloggers? Will Air America (Or what's left of it) be forced to air "Opposing" points of view? Will this affect the print press like the New York Times? And if not why? This is total insanity! It's not Hannity or Rush's fault that more people listen to them than listen to all the Liberal radio show's combined! It's not enough that all the Main Stream Media and most of the print press are in the Liberals pocket, but all we have is Talk Radio and Fox News! And they want to take that away next? Where is the outrage?

24 Comments:

Blogger Uncle Pavian said...

Do the Democrats want to control ALL forms of media?
Um, Marie? Of course the Democrats want to control all forms of media. Did you just get here?

January 17, 2007 4:30 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Uncle P,

Well you know me Uncle P, I had to ask even if I already know the answer!

January 17, 2007 8:57 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

It seems odd to me that Liberal radio has been such a disaster, ratings wise. I wonder why? There are plenty of Liberals around, I would think, to keep it going.

Personally I think it's because the majority of people who might listen to Liberal radio would rather listen to music on their radios than politics. Thus, they are uninformed, which explains why most Libs cannot carry on an intelligent argument and can only regurgitate Liberal talking points and bumper stickers.

I think I will create a blog entry exploring this subject.

January 18, 2007 6:17 AM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Mark,

This would also explain why 80% of the American people didnt even know who Nancy Pelosi was!! YET THEY VOTED FOR HER ANYWAY!!!

You do that Mark, you are better at investigating, and wording your stories better than I am. Yes delve into this, after all they are going after "Laura Ingraham" too. lol

January 18, 2007 8:25 AM  
Blogger The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

Have you noticed that the one exception to the controls of the Fairness Doctrine are news related programs. Now lets sees those that aren't liberal. Hmmmm there's Fox News and ah Fox News and Ah, Oh yeah Fox News.

Glad to see you back!

January 18, 2007 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Mrs. Green said...

This would also explain why 80% of the American people didnt even know who Nancy Pelosi was!! YET THEY VOTED FOR HER ANYWAY!!!

Um, Marie. The people in Pelosi's district in San Francisco voted her in. But I get what you mean.

Do you honestly think a majority of Americans knew who Dennis Hastert was when he became speaker in 1999?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Hastert

Despite his role as one of the most powerful members of the House, Hastert was virtually unknown outside Washington and Illinois until the aftermath of the 1998 midterm elections. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia had predicted that the Lewinsky scandal and the impeachment of Bill Clinton would result in huge gains for the Republicans, but they actually lost five seats--the worst result in 30 years for a majority party in the House. Facing a rebellion within the Republican caucus, Gingrich stood down for the Speakership and declined to take his seat for an 11th term. Appropriations Committee chairman Bob Livingston of Louisiana quickly gathered enough support within the Republican caucus to become de facto Speaker-elect, but announced that he would resign his seat as well after admitting to an extramarital affair.

With the departures of Gingrich and Livingston, the likely candidates for the Speakership seemed to be Majority Leader Dick Armey and DeLay, both from Texas. However, both were seen as vulnerable. Armey had only recently fended off a challenge from Oklahoma's Steve Largent to unseat him as majority leader. DeLay, already a lightning rod for controversy, was well aware that with a sharply reduced majority (indeed, it was at least in part Gingrich's prediction of a 30-seat win, and subsequent 5-seat loss, that had forced Gingrich out of the House), he would be too controversial and polarizing for the Republicans to reliably transact business in such a closely divided Congress. The leadership then turned to Hastert as a compromise candidate. He was unanimously elected as the Republican candidate for Speaker, which effectively made him Speaker-elect.

January 18, 2007 10:58 AM  
Blogger J_G said...

They made Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) a committee chair? Oh my gosh, we're in big trouble now.

I don't know if any of you follow his presidential bid but this guy makes Lenin look like Rush Limbaugh.

Progressive agenda? What do mean by progressive? If you mean they want control everything from cradle to grave. That is progress to Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) as a committee chair. This guy has never seen a government control that he wouldn't vote for.

Start counting the days Mrs. Green, these are not the people that the average American wanted in those committee chairs. Most people pay no attetion to such details but they will be paying attention as soon as some of the new edicts start coming out of this "Progressive" Congress.

January 18, 2007 11:25 AM  
Blogger RoxieAmerica said...

So, blogs are going to have present BOTH sides of issues too before this over?

Why does it sound like they are going to run Hugo Chavez for President in 2008?

When I say, as I posted today, "White-flag-waving American leaders proposing retreating in defeat from Iraq are sending this message to the Kurdistan, Iraqi people: “Go to__" do I have to present another side to the issue?

The other side, "Democratic leaders deny it is a white flag they are waving -- you see, it's really yellow....

Perhaps that isn't what they have in mind. Oh the retreat in defeat article is on my blog for real.

January 18, 2007 11:57 AM  
Blogger Uncle Pavian said...

Curious, isn't it, that not even Mrs. Green can come up with a defense of the Fairness Doctrine?

January 18, 2007 1:20 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

OK, Marie, I made my post. You flatter me. I am not any better than you. But I made the post nevertheless.

January 19, 2007 4:10 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Ken,

Have you noticed that the one exception to the controls of the Fairness Doctrine are news related programs. Now lets sees those that aren't liberal. Hmmmm there's Fox News and ah Fox News and Ah, Oh yeah Fox News.

Glad to see you back!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Yes I have Ken, and I have been harping about this for months. How are we suppose to win any elections with our schools being run by Liberals where they are molding the young minds of our children and the next generation of the voting public with almost no opposing point's of view (Now that's what I call a "New World Order"), and almost all the print press and ALL the MSM pounding and pounding and raming down our throats the Liberal agenda!!

Yes that's all we have is Fox news and talk radio! And they want to take that away from us too.

This is insanity.

Glad to be back, going to snow a good one tomorrow so I dont know for sure how long I will be back but thank's :-)

January 19, 2007 5:34 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Mrs Green,

Um, Marie. The people in Pelosi's district in San Francisco voted her in. But I get what you mean.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I hardly call 80% of the voting public as living in San Francisco.

And with the huge amount of publicity drawn to this last election, and Pelosi's name being bantied about, I saw reporters on the street asking the very question "Who is Nancy Pelosi"?

Most of the people interviewed (Most of them kids) didnt have a clue but said they were voting Democrat all the way down the ticket because they were influenced by thier Teachers, and the News!

Tell me that isnt insanity! Tell me that isnt Liberal bias!

January 19, 2007 5:45 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

JG,

Kucinich could even screw up a woman's wet dream!

Yes Lord have Mercy we are in trouble.

January 19, 2007 5:49 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Roxie,

That yellow flag matches quite nicely with that yellow stripe that seems to be apearing down the middle of the Lunatic left's spinal column!

You know I bet if the Liberals could, they would run Chavez for President! And probably put Cindy Sheehan in for VP.

January 19, 2007 5:54 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Uncle P,

Curious, isn't it, that not even Mrs. Green can come up with a defense of the Fairness Doctrine?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I would think allowing dessenting points of view on one's blog would qualify as fairness dont you think?

January 19, 2007 5:58 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Mark,

OK, Marie, I made my post. You flatter me. I am not any better than you. But I made the post nevertheless.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You do have a way with words Mark, you could write a book as far as I'm concerned.

I will be heading over there shortly.

January 19, 2007 6:01 PM  
Blogger TrekMedic251 said...

We'll see "fairness" when we see ABC, NBC, SeeBS, CNN, etc report a new school built, more infrastructure created, more jobs and a better standard of living in Iraq for every IED and Shia attack story (with appropriate body count numbers, BTW).

January 19, 2007 6:48 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Hah! Good job. You and Mark and Rob at Flopping Aces all beat me to posting on this. I listened to Laura Ingraham the past couple of days tackling this, and she did a good job. Medved and Prager also touched upon it.

The national conference for media reform is nothing more than affirmative action for liberalism, as Ingraham put it.

I think I'll still do my post, and see what I can add to this.

January 19, 2007 10:05 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Trek,

We'll see "fairness" when we see ABC, NBC, SeeBS, CNN, etc report a new school built, more infrastructure created, more jobs and a better standard of living in Iraq for every IED and Shia attack story (with appropriate body count numbers, BTW).
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sad but so true Trek.

They arent going to report it so we have to.

The MSM doesnt understand the meaning of the word "Fairness"

I'm not holding my breath!

January 19, 2007 10:39 PM  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Word,

Hah! Good job. You and Mark and Rob at Flopping Aces all beat me to posting on this. I listened to Laura Ingraham the past couple of days tackling this, and she did a good job. Medved and Prager also touched upon it.

The national conference for media reform is nothing more than affirmative action for liberalism, as Ingraham put it.

I think I'll still do my post, and see what I can add to this.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thank You,

I dont believe this, "Forcing" the Talk Radio stations to present both sides? They already do that with phone calls and guests to thier programs and such.

It's like me for instance, I am very light on people that post opposing points of view, however when they go nutball on me they should know what to expect. But I allow it because I believe in free speech. But should I be "Forced" to do so? I think NOT!

This really gets me, who the hell do they think they are forcing someone to add anything whatsoever to THIER broadcast?

Is this going to be enforced on the print press? Hell NO!

What next? Bloggers? I think allowing opposing points of view is sufficient.

This is pure insanity.

These Liberal Morons must be stopped. And President Bush better start breaking out that Veto pen damn quick!

We should just link all our posts about this together so we can send a strong message. I still believe in strength in numbers.

This is such a crock it's unreal.

January 19, 2007 11:03 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. Green said...

We'll see "fairness" when we see ABC, NBC, SeeBS, CNN, etc report a new school built, more infrastructure created, more jobs and a better standard of living in Iraq for every IED and Shia attack story (with appropriate body count numbers, BTW).

Wow! What kind of mind-altering substances are you taking?

Do you know what the numbers are for Iraqis leaving their country every day? How many millions have left?

Nearly 100,000 Iraqis are fleeing each month to Syria and Jordan, forcing the United Nations to set aside its goal of helping refugees return home after the U.S.-led invasion, officials said Friday.

Instead, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has drawn up plans to deal with the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who are desperate to escape the violence, chief spokesman Ron Redmond said.

It has been impossible to obtain accurate totals on the numbers of refugees because few Iraqis are registering with UNHCR, and most are being cared for by host families or charitable organizations.

The U.N. agency has been counting those entering Syria in recent months, however, and has found an average of 2,000 a day leaving Iraq by that route.

The outflow of refugees caught the agency by surprise because it was hard to detect.

‘‘If people flee to camps, it’s quite visible,’’ Redmond said. ‘‘This is a steady stream of people now who are leaving.’’


http://tinyurl.com/2s45ct

Let me ask you. If the standard of living is so wonderful, why have 2 million left Iraq--mostly the upper and middle classes, since they are the ones who have the means to be able to leave. Why have they left the paradise we've created?

January 20, 2007 12:26 AM  
Blogger Uncle Pavian said...

Two comments from Mrs. Green, both of them off-topic. We're still waiting for a reasoned defense of the Fairness Doctrine, and it's looking like it's going to be a long wait.

January 22, 2007 6:57 AM  
Blogger TrekMedic251 said...

Wow! What kind of mind-altering substances are you taking?

The same ones you should be taking, you delusional, self-centered bitch!

Show some balls and come over to my page and say that!

January 22, 2007 5:52 PM  
Anonymous Mrs. Green said...

Dear TrekMedic251,

Your hysterical name-calling is quite symptomatic of many people who find themselves backing a deeply unpopular president.

The lower Mr. Bush falls in the American people's estimation, the louder you scream and the more you use epithets to soothe your injured vanity.

Scream away, my friend, throw your name-callin tantrums. It doesn't change reality.

I understand where your frustration and puerile actions come from.

You have my deepest sympathy.

January 23, 2007 6:30 AM  

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