The Left's New Fairness Doctrine Strategy

Michael Gerson seems to think the Fairness Doctrine is a real threat.  Steve Benen correctly calls BS on this...

He's warning Obama not to embrace a policy that he already opposes, and which Democrats have no apparent interest in pursuing.

Indeed, the timing of Gerson's column makes it look especially foolish -- today, the LA Times ran a detailed piece explaining that no one is seriously pushing the Fairness Doctrine, it has no realistic chance of passing, and "right-wing radio" is sounding a "false alarm."

The LA Times is correct.  The Left knows the Fairness Doctrine is a political loser.  It's dead.  The Center for American Progress has even said there is "no need to return to the Fairness Doctrine."   While it's mentioned now and then, there's just no chance the specific Fairness Doctrine regulation itself is coming back.  However, that's quite different from saying the Democrats are not still trying to achieve the same goals as the Fairness Doctrine.  They are.

The Center for American Progress says the Fairness Doctrine would not "address the gap between conservative and progressive talk ".  That's important.  They're not dismissing the underelying goals of government-managed fairness and opinion egalitarianism.  They're simply saying this is not the way to do it.

The roadmap to the Fairness Doctrine is laid out quite clearly in a 2007 Center For American Progress/Free Press report, entitled "The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio."  In that report, they lay out how they can bring about the Fairness Doctrine through other means. 

Ultimately, these results suggest that increasing ownership diversity, both in terms of the race/ethnicity and gender of owners, as well as the number of independent local owners, will lead to more diverse programming, more choices for listeners, and more owners who are responsive to their local communities and serve the public interest.

Now, pay attention to the Center for American Progress recommendation on FCC policy for the Obama administration. 

There has been an unprecedented increase in media concentration over the past decade, which has reduced the number and quality of local voices and elevated commercial interests at the expense of the public interest. The new president and the Federal Communications Commission should restore the primacy of the public interest standard and our national commitment to diverse voices and diversity of ownership. The FCC should also prioritize including all of our rapidly diversifying population in the mainstream of the technological revolution so that women and members of minority and immigrant communities are not just consumers of technology, but also owners, producers, and creators of content, applications, and facilities.

The Left has not abandoned their desire to use government to shape the landscape of political speech.  Their policy remains an "opinion diversity mandate".  But instead of approaching as an "equal time" mandate, they are trying to implement the ends of the Fairness Doctrine through an “equal access” mandate.

The Fairness Doctrine is dead.  Long live the Fairness Doctrine.


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Corporate media is already "self-sanctioning"

It's sorta like when a college football team gives up a couple of scholarships to keep the NCAA from continuing an investigation into recruiting practices. The "chilling effect" is still real, and still will be noticed.

And Long Live Washington International Airport!

If there is a place where a monopoly can be most deadly to free speech, it is the press.

Which "press"

newspapers, radio, tv, cable, satellite tv, satellite radio, internet, SMS on cell-phones

So, who has the monopoly again?

Just another example of liberals desiring government control over economic decisions.

This entire issue is

This entire issue is fiction.  No one from the left has seriously proposed reintroducing the Fiarness Doctrine, but I guess some people need to find strawmen.

After all, the election of Obama shows decisively that conservative radio has lost its impact on the electorate, so why should anyone bother changing something that doesn't affect them?  The more Limbaugh splutters in impotent and incoherent rage, the more Obama laughs at him.


After all, the election of Obama shows decisively that conservative radio has lost its impact on the electorate

It seems to me that there are far too many factors that go into an election to be able to decisively say that any one element lost influence. The Talk Radio question is further muddled by the outright hostility many in the medium had towards McCain during the primary season.

However, I agree that the Fairness Doctrine issue looks like fiction. But it is popular fiction. This article strikes me as a valuable step towards recognizing that.

When the Democrat Congress attempts to pass it

THEN, we will know if it is "fiction".  Right now, I remain steadfastly unconvinced that it is so.  If Congress fails to pass it (and I think they will)  or if it does pass it and then Obama vetoes it (and I think he won't) then we can proclaim it a dead issue, until then nothing is out of the realm of possibility.

All this talk about "passing"

But has legislation even been introduced yet?

Just tell me

Who on the left has proposed it?  I don't know of anyone, but I'm ready to be educated.

All I heard was Rush and Hannity crying wolf.

Would you oppose it?

There's plenty of Dem's talking around the issue.  Why would the introduce legislation when they haven't had a chance of passing it?

The real question, would you oppose or support it if they did introduce legislation to bring some form of "fairness" back to the airwaves.


I do agree and think that Obama should be more consistent. He is a great President, but should show more concrete actions. free advertising |job listings |memory foam mattress