Congressional Democrats, Fairness Doctrine, FCC, Rush Limbaugh
Dems Look To Reinstate Fairness Doctrine
Don't look now, but one of the first items of business for congressional Democrats, now in the majority, is to reinstate the free- speech stifling Fairness Doctrine. Once used in an attempt to achieve "balance" on the airwaves, the policy remained in force until the 1980s.
Its Reagan- era repeal, of course, paved the way for talk radio as we know it today. But now, according to AllAccess, the so- called "hush Rush" law could once again rear its ugly head:
Kucinich: Congress Will Consider Bringing Back Fairness Doctrine
Too little quality entertainment, too many people eating bugs on reality TV. Too little local and regional music, too much brain-numbing national play-lists.
At the "Conference for Media Reform" in MEMPHIS FRIDAY, Rep. DENNIS KUCINICH (D-OH), making a surprise appearance, said that in his new capacity as Chairman of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, he would hold hearings on media ownership and the restoration of the Fairness Doctrine.
"We know the media has become the servant of a very narrow corporate agenda," KUCINICH said, adding that "the entire domestic agenda has been ignored while the focus has been on the acceleration of wealth upwards." "We are now in a position to move a progressive agenda to where it is visible," the OHIO Congressman and Presidential candidate said.
What exactly was the Fairness Doctrine? Here's a great resource:
The policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission that became known as the "Fairness Doctrine" is an attempt to ensure that all coverage of controversial issues by a broadcast station be balanced and fair. The FCC took the view, in 1949, that station licensees were "public trustees," and as such had an obligation to afford reasonable opportunity for discussion of contrasting points of view on controversial issues of public importance.
The Commission later held that stations were also obligated to actively seek out issues of importance to their community and air programming that addressed those issues. With the deregulation sweep of the Reagan Administration during the 1980s, the Commission dissolved the fairness doctrine.
This doctrine grew out of concern that because of the large number of applications for radio station being submitted and the limited number of frequencies available, broadcasters should make sure they did not use their stations simply as advocates with a singular perspective. Rather, they must allow all points of view. That requirement was to be enforced by FCC mandate.
From the early 1940s, the FCC had established the "Mayflower Doctrine," which prohibited editorializing by stations. But that absolute ban softened somewhat by the end of the decade, allowing editorializing only if other points of view were aired, balancing that of the station's. During these years, the FCC had established dicta and case law guiding the operation of the doctrine.
Once the policy was repealed, of course, the modern era of talk was unleashed, with Rush Limbaugh leading the charge. That's why subsequent attempts at reinstating it became known as "hush Rush" efforts.
So far, what Kucinich and his Democrat cohorts have failed to explain is how they intend to preserve liberal talk radio while destroying Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and others on the right.
Won't it put Ed Schultz, Stephanie Miller, Randi Rhodes and the other libtalkers out of business just as quickly?
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