"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Fairness Doctrine and Illegal Immigration

"All men are not created equal. It is the purpose of the Government to make them so." Harrison Bergeron – Kurt Vonnegut Jr, 1961

Any news or daily information of worth loses the interest of the media by day two, hence the need to reach for documents from ancient history which reveal from the archive of The Heritage Foundation, October 29, 1993, “Why the Fairness Doctrine is Anything But Fair.

FAIR on the other hand Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting has an article, er opinion piece “The Fairness Doctrine, How we lost it and why we need it back,” from early 2005 arguing the opposite of The Heritage Foundation. In an official and very legal opening FAIR quotes from the 1969 U.S. Supreme Court decision:

A license permits broadcasting, but the licensee has no constitutional right to be the one who holds the license or to monopolize a...frequency to the exclusion of his fellow citizens. There is nothing in the First Amendment which prevents the Government from requiring a licensee to share his frequency with others.... It is the right of the viewers and listeners, not the right of the broadcasters, which is paramount.

— U.S. Supreme Court, upholding the constitutionality of the Fairness Doctrine in Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC, 1969.”

Read the rest here if interested…

Heritage speaks to the decision as well:

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.”

Faulty Premise #1: The "scarce" amount of spectrum space requires oversight by federal regulators.

Reality: Although the spectrum is limited, the number of broadcasters in America has continuously increased.

Faulty Premise #2: "Fairness" or "fair access" is best determined by FCC authorities.

Reality: FCC bureaucrats can neither determine what is "fair" nor enforce it.

Faulty Premise #3: The fairness doctrine guarantees that more opinions will be aired.

Reality: Arbitrary enforcement of the fairness doctrine will diminish vigorous debate.

Simple Solution
If the fairness standard is reinstituted, the result will not be easier access for controversial views. It will instead be self-censorship, as stations seek to avoid requirements that they broadcast specific opposing views. With the wide diversity of views available today in the expanding broadcast system, there is a simple solution for any family seeking an alternative viewpoint or for any lawmaker irritated by a pugnacious talk-show host. Turn the dial."

Ultimately, it would be government regulating what we should hear, whether just for a couple of shows during the course of a day or not. One group of people would tune out as another would tune it. If Liberal talk radio fails it is not because of Conservative talk radio; yet because of its failure and because of Conservative talk radios success regulators from the federal government would decide how to even things up or dumb it down so to speak.

The American people, the majority of which can as of this morning breathe a sigh of relief with the vote against cloture on the one-stop-shop-fix-all-comprehensive immigration bill; albeit for different reason. What the American people can not rest easy upon is the new rise from both sides of the aisle, although mostly from the Left of political renewed interest in seeing the “doctrine” put back into play.

From reactions and statements by the Senators involved it truly appeared to gall them that the American people were really getting into their craw. We can expect to hear more of the same clap trap rhetoric that we heard during the “rush to pass” that which they hadn’t felt a rush to pass up until recently.

The politicos are more interested in regulating what we hear, now more than ever…”hell hath no fury like a blue blood scorned…”

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