This has been a topic that has popped onto and off of people’s radars for the last couple of years. But now that a certain party has control of both Houses and the White House, they are beginning to do what what most of us knew they would do. They are taking every single agenda item they want and forcing it through to law while no one can stop them. The Democrats have made it clear that they are going to make the move to re-institute the so called “Fairness Doctrine”. They claim they just want to make the talk radio circuit fair to the poor liberals who don’t have a voice. And I sympathize with the poor liberals. I mean without talk radio they really are doomed. They simply don’t have any way to be able to reach the American public with their message of togetherness and bi-partisanship. It just isn’t fair.
I say so-called because there is nothing fair about this doctrine at all. That isn’t it’s purpose. A quick history. the Fairness Doctrine is a policy instituted by the Federal Communications Commission that REQUIRES radio stations to provide opposing views on controversial issues of public importance. In essence the idea is that if a radio station has 5 conservative talk shows, they must have 5 liberal talk shows as well. That way coverage is “fair” because the public gets to hear both sides. The policy was in place from 1949 until 1987, when it was abolished.
Democrats are going to tell us that they just want equal representation on the airwaves. They will say that it is meant to ensure that the public hears both sides of the issues. They will sell the idea as only wanting to make things “fair”. Well once again let me throw my proverbial bullshit flag. 15 yard penalty, intentional mis-representation of the purpose and issues, number “crazy eyes”.
This isn’t about being fair. This is about the fact that conservatives dominate the talk radio portion of the media. Liberals don’t like that. So they want to do their best to limit the ability of folks like Rush Limbaugh, John Gibson, Tom Sullivan, and Sean Hannity to speak out against the Democrats and their agenda. They can’t beat the conservative talk guys fairly, so they are going to try their best and cheat.
Here’s the thing. It isn’t like Liberals don’t have the ability to start their own radio stations and have their own talk shows. The problem is that no one is listening. They have attempted to start these radio shows over and over for the last 20 years. they even had the ultra-liberal “Air America Network”, headlined by Stuart Smalley, I mean the guy stealing an election in Minnesota, I mean Al Franken. One problem, no one listened. They couldn’t understand it. Air America went bankrupt in just a few years on the air. No one listens to liberal talk radio.
Because no one listens to liberal talk radio, it is very difficult to sell advertising for times when liberal talk radio is being broadcast. After all, what company wants to spend it’s advertising dollars on slots when no one is listening? So by forcing the radio stations out there to give equal time, they give those stations two options: They can simply lose money because 50% of their day cannot sell advertising or they can stop broadcasting Conservative talk radio. Interesting tactic for the doctrine, which has been nicknamed the “Hush Rush doctrine”.
The Democrat taking the lead on this right now is Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Democrat from Michigan. Last week she told liberal radio host Bill Press last week, “I absolutely think it’s time to be bringing accountability to the airwaves”. On the opposite side of this is Oklahoma Republican Senator James Inhofe, who stated, “I can’t think of anything worse than to have government in a position to dictate the content of information going over public radio. The whole idea is that it has to be market driven. We have a lot of progressive or liberal radio shows but nobody listens to them and every time one tries to get on, they are not successful.” Inhofe introduced a bill this year to prevent reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, but he has not gotten a single Democrat to co-sponsor it.
During the presidential campaign, a spokesman said Barack Obama did not favor reinstating the Fairness Doctrine. He stated, “Senator Obama does not support re-imposing the Fairness Doctrine on broadcasters.” But his White House spokesman has since left the door open. Robert Gibbs stated this week, “I pledge to you to study up on the ‘Fairness Doctrine’ so that, one day, I might give you a more fulsome answer,” There we go, another bait and switch from the Chosen One. Campaign on one stance, and then do another.
You know the really interesting thing is that Democrats aren’t pressing for fairness in any other part of the media. The print media is as liberally biased as it gets. A quick jaunt to CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, or even the Comedy Channel will show just how biased a lot of the television media is. And don’t even get me started on hollywood.
Nope the Democrats are OK with the massive bias in all of those areas. It is only unfair if it isn’t in the Democrats favor. They are liars and hypocrites. There I said it. The Democrats in congress want to find a way to shut up the opposition. Forget about free speech. Say only what the Messiah tells you to say. It is just another example of the double standard the Democrats live every day. This is just another play by that party to get one more agenda item out of the way while they know they cannot be stopped. It is basically the Democrats making the statement “we can’t get radio deals because no one will listen to us, so we will step in and government will FORCE these private businesses to spread our message” .
How much of the private market does the government really intend to get their hands into? I appears to be all of it. Here’s an idea, they can insert a couple billion dollars into the stimulus bill that will be used to start liberal radio shows and networks. They can claim that they are creating jobs. Jobs that put a microphone in front of a liberal who will talk away while no one listens on the other end.