Goodbye Barry - Welcome Home AMERICA!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Left Wing "Fairness Doctrine" versus the First Amendment

The Obama administration’s new federal communications "diversity" director may try to regulate talk radio with a "backdoor" method akin to the Fairness Doctrine.

Senator Charles Grassley, (R-IA) expressed his concerns because of a paper in which Mark Lloyd, the diversity director, alleged a “structural imbalance” in political talk radio and suggested increasing government involvement to regulate it. Lloyd co-authored the paper for the liberal Center for American Progress.

Grassley sent a letter Friday to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski voicing strong disagreement with the idea that government needs to regulate talk radio and arguing that a return to the Fairness Doctrine would end the diversity of views on the airwaves.

“Taken together, these statements represent a view that the FCC needs to expand its regulatory arm further into the commercial radio market,” Grassley wrote. “I am concerned that, despite his statements that the Fairness Doctrine is unnecessary, Mr. Lloyd supports a backdoor method of furthering the goals of the Fairness Doctrine by other means."

“Simply put, I strongly disagree with Mr. Lloyd,” Grassley wrote about the paper’s conclusion that the gap between conservative and progressive talk radio is the result of multiple structural problems in the U.S. regulatory system."

First of all, in a free society that supposedly enjoys a Constitutional "freedom of speech", why is there a need for a "diversity director" in the Federal Communications Commission?

Secondly, in a "free market economy", why is there any need for the government to regulate what the electronic media chooses to air? Advertisers and listeners should be the determining factor in that. If there is no listener market for a program of type "C", the advertisers will soon withdraw, thereby ending further broadcasts of that type. And, if somebody wishes to air contradictory information to that presented on the type "C" program, it is not - nor should it be - the responsibility of broadcast corporation "C" to provide an unpaid venue for them to do so. Let them take their contradiction to PBS (broadcast corporation "LWL"), which is already sponsored by our tax dollars (and losing money hand-over-fist). Perhaps the "fair" thing to do would be to provide PBS with a short PSA at the end of the type "C" program to the effect of, "For the other side of the story, tune in to PBS, 870AM, at 3pm today". That should satisfy any need for "fairness" in a true free market economy.

Thirdly, Mark Lloyd's claim that "the gap between conservative and progressive talk radio is the result of multiple structural problems in the U.S. regulatory system." is utter nonsense! "The Gap" exists - in spite of the efforts of liberals, spearheaded by George Soros' billions of dollars - because there are more listeners supporting advertisers on conservative radio than there are listeners supporting liberal radio! The conservatives are that "silent majority" we've been hearing about since the 1950s! Unfortunately for the liberals, that silence is slowly disappearing, and true mainstream Americans are beginning to be heard from.

The liberal definition of the word "fair" seems to be, "anything which goes the way we think it should", which is significantly different than the English dictionary definition of the word. Fair means "free from favoritism or self-interest or bias or deception; conforming with established standards".

In August of 1987, the "Fairness Doctrine" was abolished by the FCC in a 4-0 vote.

In June 2008, Barack Obama's press secretary wrote that Obama (then a Democratic U.S. Senator from Illinois and candidate for President):

Does not support reimposing the Fairness Doctrine on broadcasters ... [and] considers this debate to be a distraction from the conversation we should be having about opening up the airwaves and modern communications to as many diverse viewpoints as possible. That is why Sen. Obama supports media-ownership caps, network neutrality, public broadcasting, as well as increasing minority ownership of broadcasting and print outlets.

In February 2009, a White House spokesperson said that President Obama continues to oppose the revival of the Doctrine. And now one of his appointees wants to reinstate it? Does the tail now wag the dog? Or, does this "it wasn't me", back-door action by an underling, provide Obama with the several degrees of deniability he so loves? According to Harry S. Truman, "The Buck Stops HERE". According to the Obama administration, George W. Bush is responsible for every evil and incompetent act since the crucifixion!

There is nothing "fair" about the "Fairness Doctrine", and there is even less fair about government intrusion into First Amendment issues! And that is precisely why the FCC also suggested that because of the many media voices in the marketplace, the doctrine be deemed unconstitutional, stating that:
The intrusion by government into the content of programming occasioned by the enforcement of [the Fairness Doctrine] restricts the journalistic freedom of broadcasters ... [and] actually inhibits the presentation of controversial issues of public importance to the detriment of the public and the degradation of the editorial prerogative of broadcast journalists.

Perhaps, as Dick said, in Shakespeare's Henry VI - "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." (That's now a "two birds with one stone" deal, since 95% of our politicians are lawyers!)

I suppose I could be completely wrong about this... but that's just a supposition, and far removed from reality.

No comments: