Kerry Wants Fairness Doctrine Reimposed
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/27/2007 7:55:00 AM
Senator John Kerry is calling for reimposition of the fairness doctrine.
In a radio interview on WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show, excerpted on YouTube, Senator Kerry said he thought the doctrine should return. Calling it one of the "most profound changes in the balance of the media," he said conservatives have been able to "squeeze down and squeeze out opinion of opposing views. I think it has been a very important transition in the imbalance of our public dialog," he said.
Kerry joins what appears to be a growing Democratic push-back against conservative talk radio, which flowered after the FCC in 1987 declared that the doctrine was unconsititutional. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) has called for the doctrine's return, and Senator Diane Feinstein (9D-Calif,) says she is looking into it.
The fairness doctrine required broadcasters to afford reasonable opportunity for the airing of both sides of "issues of public importance." The doctrine was scrapped in 1987 when the FCC concluded it had come up with the rule rather than it being imbedded in statute and thus could declare it unconstitutional. Congress then tried to imbed it in statute, but President Ronald Reagan vetoed the bill.
In 2000, a court also threw out corollaries to the doctrine that required broadcasters to provide response time to personal attacks and political editorials.
Kerry supporters considered him under personal attack from broadcasters in the 2004 campaign when Sinclair aired the documentary Stolen Honor. They eventually declared victory when what they called a more balanced, edited version of the piece aired. Sinclair claimed the show had always been a work in progress.
In other words, the Left doesn't feel fairly represented with only NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, PBS, NPR, the New York Times, The Washington Post, the LA Times, Newsweek, Time, et al. in their pockets? Ludicrous!
Dan Greef - 8/5/2011 12:38:16 PM EDT
I apologize, the word "is" should be in my first sentence (no edit function?). Also, I forgot to mention the other great argument against the alleged "fairness doctrine" - PBS. Think about that one. The bottom line is this: Anyone who even remotely thinks about getting behind this idea is unable to think critically, or is just looking to silence someone. I don't want either of those types in positions of authority, especially in the federal government.
Scott M Williams - 7/3/2007 11:59:00 PM EDT
This "fairness doctrine" an absolutely ridiculous concept, and has been so from the start. The free market will (and should) determine what gets put on the airwaves.
Just to show how ridiculous this concept is, I am going to tell you a little bit about myself (with tongue firmly planted in cheek):
I'm a white male who drives a Mazda automobile, plays tennis, cycles, listens to Celtic and punk music, and hates country and hip-hop. Oh, and I'm agnostic.
So...I want the government, "in the interest of fairness" to:
-Subsidize Mazda owners, as our cars are under-represented on the road compared to Hondas, Toyotas, and definitely Ford, Chevy, and Dodge pickup trucks. While we're at it, owners of the over-represented vehicles should pay an extra tax to fund Mazda owners, as this should bring "fairness" to the American roads (which are also publicly owned).
-Put tennis on tv more, as it is under-represented compared to football, baseball, and basketball.
-Everything I said for Mazdas, but even more so for bicycles, because they are REALLY under-represented as a means of transportation.
-Force country and hip-hop stations to include "Celtic Hours" and "Punk Rock Weekend", just to balance out the coverage.
-And...I want equal time on all the Christian stations here in the Bible Belt.
-Oh, one last thing, I get equal time on Oprah, right?
Scott M Williams - 7/3/2007 11:54:00 PM EDT
I believe that we as American citizens, either Democrat or Republican, need to be very, very careful over this "fairness doctrine" debate. No matter which side you happen to lean towards, if these people who want to impose their "fairness doctrine" (alias, removal of Freedom of Speech), then we are all in jeopardy of losing a very precious freedom, one in which many, many people shed their blood to allow us to have. Today there is dismay on the part of Democrats over Talk Radio having a hand in dismissing the immigration bill. Tomorrow it could be the Republicans being upset over something that the Democrats may have done. If we open this can of worms and allow a few beaurocrats to impose their will on us, then we might as well all move to Russia, because that is what we will become! Be careful, fellow citizens....don't let them take away our freedoms! Don't vote for someone just because they might be a man or a woman, Republican or Democrat. But vote for the person that you feel would do the best job and be the leader that our country deserves. A strong leader who will lead the charge and defend our country against lunatics. This really is a turning point in our history....we can either maintain our integrity or lose it entirely if a bunch of jealous beaurocrats have their way. Don't let that happen!
valerie newman - 7/1/2007 8:01:00 PM EDT
Kerry ought to get the "Fairness Doctrine" started by authorizing everyone to get a copy of his military records so we can put the lie to the Swift Boat vets -- or not?
We really do need a "fairness doctrine" that applies to the so-called main-stream media. We do not need any "fairness" doctrine for any media that proclaims itself to be of a specific opinion, and pays its own way without special access to or support from the taxpayers. Nor do we need it for radio, unless it is taxpayer supported, in whole or in part.
We really are not a socialist society, are we?
Sharon Schroader - 7/1/2007 2:31:00 AM EDT
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