John Boehner (R-Ohio) has agreed to be the speaker at the National Religious
Broadcasters Media Leadership dinner.
That will be
Feb. 27 at NRB's annual convention in Nashville. "As second in the line of
presidential succession, the Speaker has keen insight on the very First
Amendment questions that are of such great concern to NRB members,"
said NRB President Frank Wright in announcing the get.
key concerns are that the fairness doctrine could return, powered by the
concern over "civil discourse" in political debate prompted by the
required broadcasters to air both sides of controversial issues. Its demise in
1987 is credited with the rise of conservative talk radio. "NRB expects
the battle to define "civil discourse" to ramp up in coming months, bringing
with it a renewed effort to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine," the group
said in a Jan. 20 e-mail announcing an open letter to the president asking him
to publicly oppose speech censorship.
In his Jan, 25
State of the Union speech, the president signaled he was not looking
to squelch heated debate. "The debates have been contentious,"
he said, "we have fought fiercely for our beliefs. And that's a good
thing. That's what a robust democracy demands. That's what helps set us apart
as a nation.
Boehner has spoken out
against the doctrine, including expressing concerns back in 2008 when some
Democrats indicated they would like to see its return (http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/160959-Boehner_Voices_Concern_Over_Eshoo_s_Fairness_Doctrine_Comments.php).