Fairness Doctrine on Steroids is On the Way
The evidence is mounting day by day that the left is getting ready to use the new power they have in the Obama Administration and Congress to reinstate something similar to The Fairness Doctrine. Two Senators recently expressed an interest in providing government mandated “balance” to talk radio. Liberal Democrats are preparing to use the full force of the federal government to attack conservative talk radio, especially leaders like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Matt Drudge, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham and other conservative/libertarian leaders.
Liberal Senators will use the roadmap written by the left wing Center for American Progress I refer to as the Fairness Doctrine on Steroids that would implement a comprehensive stifling of conservative talk radio. The lefty’s idea is different from the fairness doctrine, yet it would be a more effective tool to stifle conservatives on the radio. So much for the First Amendment.
Two good catches by Michael Calderone of the Politico that show liberal Senator’s intentions. Calderon linked an interview by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) with lefty talk show host Bill Press on The Politico. Press cried about liberal talk radio failing and the need for government mandated balance and Harkin responded the following:
That’s why we need the fair — that’s why we need the Fairness Doctrine back.
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich) recently talked to Press and Press asked Stabenow whether the Fairness Doctrine should be reinstated.
I think it’s absolutely time to pass a standard. Now, whether it’s called the Fairness Standard, whether it’s called something else — I absolutely think it’s time to be bringing accountability to the airwaves. I mean, our new president has talked rightly about accountability and transparency. You know, that we all have to step up and be responsible. And, I think in this case, there needs to be some accountability and standards put in place.
Stabenow referenced the bait and switch that the left is using to attack talk radio. They say that the Fairness Doctrine is not the correct way to mute Rush — they have a new plan.
In the Center for American Progress paper titled The Structural Imbalance of Talk Radio the left complains that
Our analysis in the spring of 2007 of the 257 news/talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners reveals that 91 percent of the total weekday talk radio programming is conservative, and 9 percent is progressive. Each weekday, 2,570 hours and 15 minutes of conservative talk are broadcast on these stations compared to 254 hours of progressive talk—10 times as much conservative talk as progressive talk. A separate analysis of all of the news/talk stations in the top 10 radio markets reveals that 76 percent of the programming in these markets is conservative and 24 percent is progressive, although programming is more balanced in markets such as New York and Chicago.
The problem from their perspective is that conservative talk radio absolutely kills with the ratings, therefore they need the government to help force feed boring liberal talk radio on America.
The solution they propose includes three specific government actions for a de facto nationalization of talk radio:
- Limit the number of stations one evil conservative company can own both locally and nationally;
- Shorten license terms so they can use government pressure to get snoozers like Bill Press on more radio stations; and,
- Require that these broadcasters prove that they operate in the “public interest” including the government mandated reporting requirements that the content of the programs contain both popular conservative viewpoints and unpopular liberal viewpoints.
If Big Brother deems your content to not be in the public interest, your company will have to pay a tax to fund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Get ready for the liberals to use the power of the federal government to shut up Rush.