Obama Restates Opposition to Return of Fairness Doctrine
White House breaks silence on continuing debate over reinstating defunct broadcast policy
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 2/18/2009 4:49:01 PM
President Barack Obama has reiterated his opposition to reimposing the Fairness Doctrine.
A White House spokesperson, in an e-mail to B&C, said Wednesday: "As the President stated during the campaign, he does not believe the Fairness Doctrine should be reinstated."
That comes in the wake of various reports, commentary and speeches, including from Democrats, suggesting the doctrine, which required broadcasters to seek out the other side of controversial subjects, could be revived in an Obama administration.
Back in June, then-candidate Obama had assured B&C through an aide that he did not support the doctrine, but Wednesday's statements out of the White House appeared to be the first time President Obama had made it clear he still felt that way.
It was only days ago that White House senior adviser David Axelrod would not comment on the possible reintroduction of the FCC's fairness doctrine Sunday, saying that would be up to the president and his new FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski.
The president has now sent a clear signal to his new chairman.
The fairness issue has returned to the front burner with the control of Congress and the White House in the hands of Democrats, some of whom have expressed a fondness for the doctrine as a governor on the right-wing talkers that have been so critical of their party.
There are progressive talk radio shows, but the dominant voices with vast audiences belong to conservative hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.
Just last week, former President Bill Clinton suggested the doctrine's return, and broadcasters, beyond simply conservative talk radio, have become concerned
I believe that we need the fairness doctrine to provide a more level playing field for elections and policy making in our country. A fairness doctrine would make politicians less dependent upon donors to raise the funds to compete for time and this is good for the body politic. Presently pols have to run hat in hand to every wealthy person they can to finance their elections and their policy efforts and that is not good for the people of the country or the nation.
Hollis C. Stewart - 2/19/2009 10:32:38 PM EST
I don't think the "fairness doctrine" is a good idea, but I do think turning back the clock on media ownership would be useful if we can have a functioning FCC. Limiting media ownership is vital for democracy to thrive.
Loopy McGoopy - 2/19/2009 6:31:59 PM EST
Although I am a conservative, I have no opposition to the "Fairness Doctrine" so long as it doesn't only encompasses radio but all Mass Media, television, newspapers, magazines and radio.
Catherine N. Passas - 2/19/2009 5:05:01 PM EST
With the ability to buy media and media time, anyone who has lots of money (like Murdoch) can buy our collective attention and push their own agendas and badger us into there values. Is this "Fair"--NO!
The poor have no voice in media without the "Fairness Doctrine" This is a no-brainer, and anyone who is against fairness in media is into forcing "tyranny upon the human mind" which Tom Jefferson said adding, "I will eternally resist any form of tyranny imposed upon the human mind"
Get fairness into our world by getting fairness into our mass media!!!!
Roger Lothamer - 2/19/2009 3:50:04 PM EST
I respectfully disagree with you, Ms. King. Why do so many people think the doctrine has to do with shutting anyone up? The principle was that after one side had their say, a representative of the opposite viewpoint could have their turn. In actual implementation, the doctrine was flawed and difficult to enforce and as much as I'm in favor of everyone having the opportunity to express themselves, I don't believe in bringing it back. I don't listen to stations that carry only the right-wing shows and don't buy from their advertisers and do write letters to said parties stating so. That's a much better way to show that most Americans are tired of the one-sided trash talk -- hit 'em in the wallet.
Kay LaRue - 2/19/2009 3:39:06 PM EST
No related content found.
No Top Articles
Digital Rapids provides market-leading software and hardware solutions, technology and expertise for transforming live and on-demand video to reach wider audiences on the latest viewing platforms more efficiently, more effectively and more profitably. Empowering applications from..more