Finally, in 1987, the Federal Communications Commission ended the antiquated policy. Today, with more cable, satellite, and local access TV channels than anybody can keep track of — the equal time rule makes even less sense. Throw in the Internet, podcasts, and satellite radio, and it’s absurd.
The real issue here is not what you “can” see or hear — which is what the Fairness Doctrine was about originally. It’s what you’re “choosing” to see or hear.
Insiders say it was the collapse of the radio station “Air America” that led to this attempt to retool the Fairness Doctrine as a form of de facto censorship. I guess the idea is that, if you can’t compete in the world of ideas, you pass a law that forces radio stations to air your views. In effect, it would force a lot of radio stations to drop some talk show hosts — because they would lose money providing equal airtime to people who can’t attract a market or advertisers.
How can this not clearly be a 1st Amendment violation?