Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Fred Thompson On The So-Called Fairness Doctrine

The man is correct.

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?


Ellen K said...

I noticed Michael Savage has come out in support of him. I don't know if that will help or hurt. I hope it isn't too late. I think he's the only true conservative in there.

Anonymous said...

Fred 08.......

Anonymous said...

I do some consulting work with the NAB, and as Sen. Thompson notes, the public has more choices than ever when it comes to where and how we get our information, and with those countless outlets comes a diversity of voice and opinion greater than any other time in history. At this point, reinstating the so-called Fairness Doctrine would be a giant step backwards. In its original incarnation, the Fairness Doctrine only served to limit discussion and debate, as broadcasters shunned issue based programming due to the threat of fines and penalties. Instead of hearing both sides of an issue, the public heard no sides of an issue and were generally less informed because of it.