Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It's Not Fair!

Having long fought the battle against the revival of The Fairness Doctrine I am finally throwing in the crying towel. At last convinced of the error of my ways, I now believe that the implementation of something like The Fairness Doctrine is absolutely essential to creating the level playing field so long missing from political discussion in this country.

Now for those of you unfamiliar with this principle (something highly unlikely if you have been reading this blog for any length of time), the FCC created the Fairness Doctrine in 1949. Believing that the public airwaves are owned by the government, it created a policy designed to insure that media outlets, which it considered public trustees, provided fair and balanced coverage to the most important issues of the day. The Fairness Doctrine was thrown out by the Supreme Court in 1987 however, mostly because it was not properly mandated by Congress. Congress hastened to correct that fact, but their efforts were vetoed by then President Reagan.

So now you can understand how I, and anyone with a lick of common sense, has to believe in the concept of a return to fairness in media. Of course if we're going to do it, I want it for all forms of media and not just applied to the radio airwaves.
  • I want conservatively slanted network news broadcasts after each of the liberal ones that I am forced to listen to each evening on either ABC, NBC, or CBS as a balance.
  • I would likewise want conservative commentary on MSNBC, CNN, and CNN Headline News to balance the liberal voices who hold sway there. (and for those of you who think that the same thing should be done to Fox then, I'm with you...)
  • I would like balance for the liberal bias in newspapers both in the editorial section and the news section (Let's not kid ourselves, they slant far too many stories to make their point.)
  • I want NPR forced to carry an equal number of conservative voices or taxpayer dollars diverted to an NPR-like network to provide a balancing voice for it.
  • I would like conservative voices in Time, Newsweek, and the rest of the so-called "news magazines"; as well as in the scientific magazines which also seem to take a radically liberal editorial perspective.
  • I would like movie studios whose subliminal messages in plots preach everything from the evils of smoking to the dangers of global warming to be forced to produce an equal number of movies with a conservative message.
And I want all the pomp and circumstance for the process that Senators such a Stabenow are demanding (and not just because her husband is a major promoter and an owner of liberal talk radio networks).
  • I want hearings with the owners of major networks (both broadcast and cable) and the heads of movie studios drug in to be pilloried while they try to explain the imbalance of the past, what their sorry excuse might be for years of abuse of fairness, and what their plans are to change that.
  • I want publishers and editors about drug screaming and kicking before a committee to explain the liberal bias that they have long pushed on their readers while betraying the tenets of honest journalism, and I want them viciously castigated and demonized for these past sins.
Only then will we have the level playing field that liberals in both Houses of Congress have been demanding for years. Only then will the issues of the day be given the balanced coverage that they deserve. Only then will the facts and truth be properly served by all of our media outlets.

As for today, there is little doubt of how the situation stands: "It's Not Fair!" 



Jeff Lehner said...

My understanding of the fairness doctrine is that media outlets will have to give "equal time" to pretty much any yahoo who wants to express an alternative view to something that is said. If this is the case, they can expect to hear a lot from me if (when?) this comes to pass.

How appropriate that those who cannot compete in the arena of ideas seek to shout down the opposition. Just like the way they campaign...

Hooda Thunkit said...


Now that you've shown me the error of my conservative ways, I'm with you!


Tim Higgins said...


I'm just waiting to see how far the govt. is willing to take this. What for example, will be done to provide "fairness" for a Christian radio station?

Hmmm ...

Ben said...

Well, Tim, the ones you mentioned aren't "extreme" like talk radio. They do not need to balanced out.

Tim Higgins said...


I guess it's only my unbalanced point of view then...

Roland Hansen said...

I love county fairs.
All's fair in love and war.
All is fair game in politics.

Actually, I like the fairness doctrine.
In regards to the traditional mass media, I believe they set the agenda on what we hear from whatever candidate they wish to promote or destroy while ignoring other worthwhile candidates.

Roland Hansen said...

Hey, how about My Fair Lady?
I heard that's really good.