NAB Gives Obama Shout-Out For Fairness Stand

Rehr writes to president thanking him reiterating his opposition to doctrine

The National Association of Broadcasters wrote President Barack Obama Tuesday thanking him for reiterating his opposition to the reinstatement of the fairness doctrine.

"On behalf of [NAB], I am writing to express our gratitude to you for the Feb. 18 statement," wrote NAB President David Rehr. "At a time when the challenges that face our country require vigorous debate and discussion, our nation's TV and radio broadcasters provide a rich diversity of viewpoints from all sides of the political spectrum," said Rehr. "Any attempts to re-impose the Fairness Doctrine would harm, not help, this diversity by discouraging the robust exchange of ideas and opinions."

That came after a statement from the White House last week that the president did not support the doctrine's return.

During the campaign, candidate Obama twice indicated to B&C through an aide that he was not a fan of the doctrine and that he considered the debate "a distraction from the conversation we should be having about opening up the airwaves and modern communications to as many diverse viewpoints as possible."

But after several high-profile Democrats indicated their support for its return in some form, and a top Obama aide declined comment saying that issues would be left to the President and presumptive FCC chairman nominee Julius Genachowski to discuss the White House decided to weigh in.