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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

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The Unfairness Doctrine

The extreme Left is resurrecting policy that Ronald Reagan abated roughly a quarter-century ago, when he vetoed Congressional attempts to force the FCC to reinstate it after the Commission repealed it.  The policy is deceptively named the "Fairness Doctrine."  These "progressives" (read: Stalinist haters of all speech that disagrees with their own) cite an "imbalance" in talk radio, which is dominated by conservatives such as Rush, Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Michael Medved; they cite the resurrection of this evil doctrine as the "cure" to the putative "imbalance."  It is no such cure.  Instead the "Fairness Doctrine" represents an unfair attempt to silence conservative voices by imposing government regulations that make it commercially impossible to air conservative opinion shows.

The Fairness Doctrine, specifically the equal time portion thereof, stated that, if a broadcaster (radio or TV) airs a political message of X minutes, the broadcaster must provide X minutes of rebuttal time to those with an opposing viewpoint, generally without charge.  If you remember the 1970s, you may have seen short one-minute editorials on a TV station; then a few weeks later, someone would have a one-minute rebuttal aired in the same relative time slot (another Fairness Doctrine requirement).  There is also the core Fairness Doctrine itself, which mandated that broadcasters present "controversial" issues with a balance of both sides’ perspectives.  The result of this doctrine was broadcasters’ assiduous avoidance of all "controversial matter" on all TV and Radio shows.  While this arrangement sounds egalitarian and fair, it effectively chokes out the First Amendment rights of all conservatives.  Here is exactly why:

  • Conservative Talk Radio is Extremely Popular:  All five of the top five national radio shows are conservative talkers.  Rush, Hannity, Ingraham, Savage, Prager, Bennett, Medved, etc.  They are all popular, profitable shows that keep radio networks booming, with large ad revenues brought in by their mammoth audiences.
  • Liberal Talk Radio is Unpopular:  Air America’s ratings were too low to attract ad dollars, hence they resorted to stealing government funds to pay their bills, and still ended up in bankruptcy.  Their tiny network is still failing after multiple reorganizations.  Aside from one or two fairly successful local or regional holdouts, liberal talk radio is a complete failure, much like their "nanny state" policies.  Therefore, liberal talk radio is avoided by any broadcaster interested in making money.  Case in point:  NPR is non-profit (a government leech, to be exact) and it is as left wing as Lenin.  Clear Channel makes a profit because its stations air conservative talk radio, which garners high ratings, and hence brings in more dollars per ad minute.
  • An Equal Time / Equal Timeslot Requirement would Destroy Talk Radio:  If the government mandated that every broadcaster must provide X minutes of rebuttal for every X minutes of statement, in the same time slot, that means disaster.  For example, Rush Limbaugh is on three hours per day.  He would have to give 1.5 hours of every three for liberal counterattacks to his statements.  This would be true even though Rush always pushes liberal callers to the front of the line.  Since liberal viewpoints have no appeal to the vast majority of listeners, Rush, and every conservative talker who attempted to comply with the Doctrine would suffer catastrophic ratings drops, and eventually, broadcasters would pull talk radio off the air in favor of non-controversial pablum with no opinion content, in order to avoid the business-destroying effects of the "Fairness Doctrine."

The purpose of reviving the "Fairness Doctrine" is to push the mainstream media back to what it was before Reagan:  a propaganda tool for the Left.  While it is true that broadcasters, in order to keep their licenses, broadcast tiny one-minute editorials here and there, they put up no other programming that put forth a political viewpoint, except for the one broadcast form exempted from the "Fairness Doctrine:"  The news.  That is correct, news programs are not bound by the fairness doctrine.  As recently shown, those who write and present the news are 91% leftist, based on their political contributions.  News organizations will not allow their on-air personalities to wear American Flag or religious emblems on their lapels (as if any significant portion of them actually believe in God or the goodness of this country).  The media today is trying to convince us that we’re losing a war where we have never lost a single battle!  Why?  Because, if we win this war, the GOP will gain strength.  The news is politically to the extreme left (with the exception of Fox News), and subtly pushes its socialist agenda upon us.  The "Fairness Doctrine" is an instrumentality to render that leftist propaganda "news" the only viewpoint we are allowed to hear.  Goebbels and Stalin would be awestruck.  The Democrat party is planning to accomplish, with some legislation -- and GOP help mind you (just ask Trent Lott) -- what it took Stalin and Goebbels atrocities to accomplish in their own respective countries.

Leftists cannot debate conservatives on the issues, so in frustration they try to drag every debate to the gutter (witness the Chris Matthews / Elizabeth Edwards blindsiding of Ann Coulter on June 25); we have learned not to respond to their character-assasination attacks in kind; Liberals therefore seek to use government to silence our First Amendment rights with a seemingly-egalitarian piece of legislation.  "Hush Rush?"  You bet that’s what they’re trying to do!  Why do they want to hush Rush (and all of the others) when they simultaneously proclaim that the country is moving left?  Simply put, the country is not moving to the left, and the Leftists know it.  Barring a catastrophe, the GOP is poised to reclaim the Congress in 2008, and will also retain the White House.  the media will not be able to spin out of a solid war win in Iraq, which is where we are headed in about seven to ten months.  Such a win will ruin the leftists, unless they can change the message and stuff gags into the mouths of the truth-tellers like Rush.  Hence their efforts to legislate Rush Limbaugh and the rest of those who do not do the liberal goose-step off the air.

The "Fairness Doctrine" is a deceptively-named frontal attack on our liberty.  Write your congressman and senators (if they will listen -- look at this illegal immigration mess), and demand that they vote against this unconstitutional nonsense.