Stabenow: Senate Could Hold Hearings on Fairness Doctrine
Michigan senator tells radio host Bill Press it is time for "accountability and standards," will push for hearings
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 2/6/2009 10:12:55 AM
Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan told radio host Bill Press this week that she thought there needs to be more balance in broadcasting and suggested there would be hearings in the Senate during this Congress on possibly reinstating the fairness doctrine.
She was responding to the news that a liberal radio station in Washington had closed and as part of a discussion about the dwindling number of those stations in the face of the popularity of conservative talk radio.
Asked whether it was time to bring back the fairness doctrine, she said "I think it's absolutely time to pass a standard. Now, whether it's called the Fairness Standard, whether it's called something else."
She tied it to President Barack Obama's pledge of more accountability and transparency, saying "I think in this case, there needs to be some accountability and standards put in place."
Press asked her whether she could be counted on to push for hearings and she answered: "I have already had discussions with colleagues and, you know, I feel like that's gonna happen, yep."
The re-imposition of the doctrine has been of concern to Republicans and talk radio hosts after statements like Stabenow's by other legislators in the run-up to the election of a Democratic president and Congress.
A Stabenow spokesperson was not reachable for comment at press time.
The Fairness Doctrine is just a Smoke screen. The real name should be "Shut up the Conservatives" doctrine.
Scot - 8/4/2009 6:23:17 PM EDT
MuscleDaddy - 3/31/2009 9:17:09 AM EDT
Note that in it's 1969 Red Lion decision, the U.S. Supreme Court did uphold the Fairness Doctrine, and it has never been overturned since.
If the doctrine does return, it might see talk radio largely move from traditional radio to the Internet. There are Web sites like wsradio.com and blogtalkradio.com that promote what's called Internet talk radio.
By the way, FCC authority over the Internet is more limited that it is regarding TV and radio.
James Jennings - 2/9/2009 3:09:11 PM EST
Fairness Doctrine was never applied to Talk Radio when the Doctrine was in force and has no application to Talk Radio if resurrected. No legal history in either administrative or statutory law of FD imposed on radio stations that aired controversial programming if open mics permitted contrasting opinions. This is a non-issue.
Manny Lucoff - 2/8/2009 9:18:19 PM EST
Instead of the "Fairness Doctrine" it should be called the BAILOUT LIBERAL TALK RADIO DOCTRINE. Stabenow doesn't seem to understand that if no one listens to the liberal talk radio its not the fault of conservatives. Just another liberal messing with free markets. Conservative talk radio is big because its about IDEAS not feel good EMOTIONS.
Sue Barlow - 2/7/2009 8:36:14 PM EST
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