The “Fairness” Doctrine

While liberals seem to thrive in the print press and telvision studios, conservatives counter with domination of the live talk radio airwaves.
Knowing what we know of the liberal media bias thanks to a poll taken by journalists for journalists(85% vote for Democrats more often than for Republicans), it is safe to assume the hiring practices are due to ideology. Since the demographic makeup of America shows that 40% regard themselves as moderate, 35% conservative and 25% liberal, the numbers in journalism do not reflect the body of Americans. More condemning evidence against ideological neutrality in hiring of journalists is found when looking at college graduates and their ideological makeup. Less than 55% claim to be liberal. OK so while I have not proven anything, I am making the case for at least suspicious political bigotry in media hiring.

The reasons liberals can be successful in print press is easy to figure out. A writer can write what he or she wants and if the editor OKs it, it is printed without the ability of the reader to stop the writer mid-sentence and correct this or that. It, like a sanitized TV studio setting, is safe from the arena of debate.

Talk radio however, is far removed from the havens of after thought. We who host have no idea if the next caller will debate or agree, if he or she is a scientist or pizza deliveryman. What we say can be confronted and the audience holds a very high standard, not just for our positions but for the defense of them when assaulted. The people like a champion. Liberals, despite unprecedented, fantastic free advertising for Air America have failed on talk radio. Al Franken and his ilk have been defeated. First he stopped taking live calls when defeated consecutive conversations on a daily basis but then his positions sealed his own fate. Low ratings. This one unfettered bastion of conservative media is now under attack by Democrats and other liberals who have no plans to find FAIRNESS in the freedom of speech. Here in Massachusetts we are surrounded like Custer at Little Bighorn but our message  cuts through the masses of liberals like the gattling gun Col. George Armstrong Custer should have brought with him. Unless the advocates for implementing the Fairness Doctrine have plans to intervene with ideological balance in the television studios at PBS, ABC, CBS and NBC, they are clearly and simply wiping out a market conservatives own for no small reason.

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About Ken Pittman

  • nomad943

    I admit I dont realy understand the specifics on this but I am aware that misinformation is quite common and since it is THE SAME misinformation that is being widely held by the public it has be coming from someplace … Tv, radio, print … I dont know but we have to get people better informed with REAL information if we hope to see positive change anytime soon …
    Which brings us to the FAIRNESS doctrine … Hmm .. fair sounds good, what the hell is this doctrine thingee though … I dont know 🙂

  • Ken Pittman

    Courtesy of The Heritage Foundation;

    Legislation currently is before Congress that would reinstate a federal communications policy known as the “fairness doctrine.” The legislation, entitled the “Fairness in Broadcasting Act of 1993,” is sponsored in the Senate (S. 333) by Ernest Hollings, the South Carolina Democrat, and in the House (H.R. 1985) by Bill Hefner, the North Carolina Democrat. It would codify a 1949 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulation that once required broadcasters to “afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views of public importance.” The fairness doctrine was overturned by the FCC in 1987. The FCC discarded the rule because, contrary to its purpose, it failed to encourage the discussion of more controversial issues. There were also concerns that it was in violation of First Amendment free speech principles. The legislation now before Congress would enshrine the fairness doctrine into law.
    Tested in Court
    The fairness doctrine’s constitutionality was tested and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in a landmark 1969 case, Red Lion Broadcasting v. FCC (395 U.S. 367). Although the Court then ruled that it did not violate a broadcaster’s First Amendment rights, the Court cautioned that if the doctrine ever began to restrain speech, then the rule’s constitutionality should be reconsidered. Just five years later, without ruling the doctrine unconstitutional, the Court concluded in another case that the doctrine “inescapably dampens the vigor and limits the variety of public debate” (Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo, 418 U.S. 241). In 1984, the Court concluded that the scarcity rationale underlying the doctrine was flawed and that the doctrine was limiting the breadth of public debate (FCC v. League of Women Voters, 468 U.S. 364). This ruling set the stage for the FCC’s action in 1987. An attempt by Congress to reinstate the rule by statute was vetoed by President Ronald Reagan in 1987, and later attempts failed even to pass Congress.

    As an independent regulatory agency, the FCC has the power to reimpose the doctrine without congressional or executive action. So far, the Commission has taken no position on the Hollings-Hefner legislation or expressed an interest in reregulating on its own. Current FCC Chairman James Quello, though, has stated that, “The fairness doctrine doesn’t belong in a country that’s dedicated to freedom of the press and freedom of speech.” (Doug Halonen, “Twelve to Watch in 1993,”

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