FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
The Fairness Doctrine: a blessing in disguise?
The Law of Unintended Consequences may again triumph
Tonight, Drudge links to a story on the NY Post web site about the prospects that the Reid/Pelosi/Macho Bambi triumvirate will re-institute the so-called “Fairness Doctrine.” I personally believe that will be one of the first acts of the Democrat Regime. But is this all bad?
The Post article mentions “a new Fairness Doctrine would drive political talk radio off the dial.” That could happen. Several things are possible here:
Guys/gals like Limbaugh, Ingraham, Beck, Hannity, etc. may be driven off the FCC-controlled airwaves. Is that bad? In the short term, maybe. But look at the way information is being delivered now – streaming audio over the Internet is no longer a rarity. Podcasts are used widely. And the most interesting aspect would be the impact on Sirius/XM…the “Stern Effect” could well become “The Limbaugh Effect”, if Rush were to decide to re-host his talk show on satellite radio. What a business and investment opportunity that could be! If the “Fairness Doctrine” is re-instituted, I will go and purchase mass amounts of Sirius/XM stock the next day. It could well be a huge victory for capitalism!
What about the newspapers? Will fishwraps like the NY Times, LA Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, etc. be forced to carry more conservative commentary? Will they be forced to hire more conservative editors and copy writers to their staffs to offset the liberal bias? Will they no longer be able to endorse political candidates? It’s hard to tell what kind of impact this might have. The cynic would opine that the liberal rags will have some sort of Obamunist-imposed immunity because of their leanings.
What kind of weird partnerships will be forged between various factions with vested interest in these things? Would liberal and conservative groups band together to fight this because of the impacts on their respective existences? Again, the knee-jerk reaction is to say “Bill, you’re nuts – the left LOVES this!” But, I wonder – the Law of Unintended Consequences could come into play here.
And what of the Interweb? What impact could this have on blogs, web sites, and other net-based resources? That one is much tougher to gage. By its nature, the Interweb is “fair” – there’s nothing out there to stop any fringe group from having its say – it’s one big world-wide soapbox with equal access. Now there could be some ramifications in “client access”, such as internet access in public institutions like libraries, etc.
I think there’s one thing that is certain – whatever happens, the results will not be what either side anticipates.