T Nation

Fairness Doctrine?


Can someone that leans to the left explain this to me? We are going to regulate the radiowaves, yet ABC, NBC, CBS and most major newspapers won't be subject to this censorship.

Maybe I am misunderstanding it all? Will all media outlets be subject to this or is this just aimed at conservative radio talk?


I can't tell you what the government intends to do because who knows how far some bureaucrat will interpret it? "Fairness", according to the US Government, means what ever the governing body deems fair -- that being the FCC. The USSC upheld the constitutionality of this doctrine in the US Supreme Court case, Red Lion Broadcasting Co., Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission


All I can say is this is what happens when the government is allowed to own and control the primary means of an infrastructure -- in this case certain frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum.

Fairness is an extremely vicious concept when used to decide how scarce means are to be divided and used. In a free society private property determines what fairness is. As far as the government is concerned, the only fairness they need worry about is how people are treated before the law and that property rights are protected.

The internet is one possible means to bring real fairness to consumers and broadcasters alike. Many stations will soon switch to an all streaming digital broadcast and there will be so many different choices for the consumer which will be determined by ideology, artistic taste, etc., and not by mere locality.

Big fat finger to the FCC!


This is one of those times when you post something really good. However, if things keep going like they are we'll be using the defense budget to implement centralized web filters where only pelosireidobama.com will be allowed.


My understanding of this is that the radio spectrum is considered to be public. You are usually required to obtain a license for radio bandwidth. There are some parts of the radio spectrum that are unlicensed, but this is used for short range radio and you are usually limited in power (think wireless broadband).

The First Amendment states that the government cannot restrict the freedom of the press. So, if you own the presses, or a web site, or a cable TV station, the government cannot restrict your content. But, if you broadcast over a public medium, you have to consent to some restrictions imposed by the government on behalf of the public that 'owns' the airways.

So in exchange for using public airways, the government imposes some restrictions. One of those restrictions is that radio stations and broadcast TV must show a few public service announcements. A second requirement is participation in the Emergency Broadcast System, which is basically a cold war relic. The fairness doctrine in another one of government requirements for use of public airwaves.


and the government can fuck off.


What exactly are you referring to?


The "Fairness" doctrine is squarely aimed at conservative talk radio. Once passed the talk based radio stations will start to fail, and the "talk" shows will move to the Internet and satellite.

This may have the intended effect of shutting up the conservatives, but only partly. But it's biggest effect will be the destruction of many radio stations across the country.

I assume that the constitutionality of such a law will be tested in the courts.


The title says it all. Seems as though that shit for brains retard Pelosi wants to bring back the fairness doctrine so she can muzzle Rush, Hannity and Levin(you know that radio station you probably don't go near 770 wabc).

All I wanted to know is that since they will be censoring talk radio so it's "FAIR", will they be censoring the major television networks also.


I'm going to say one last time to conservatives casting a 3rd party vote this election. Please imagine the difference in the courts between Obama and Mccain. The fairness doctrine is just one thing. As shitty as it is, a vote for anybody other than Mccain is a vote for Obama and his undoubtedly constitution shredding crew. If the Dems pick up a bunch more congressional seats he will get his appointments confirmed and they will not leave office when he does.


Yup. I can't believe they keep bringing this piece of shit legislation back.


What proponents of the bill don't want to admit is that we vote every day on what programs we want to hear. Shows that get good ratings are getting those ratings because people want to listen. Gov't has no business structuring what we hear. The poeple have voted, get the fuck out of the way.


I am much more confident in free people than most others are. Technology will figure something out. Even in China the government cannot fully stop the flow of information.


I hope you are not counting me as a supporter of the fairness doctrine. I tried to share my understanding of it in neutral language. I think that the Internet has effectively ended this relic of a past era. The government did have a role in allocating a limited public resource (bandwidth), but the fairness doctrine seemed like an un-American solution that limited First Amendment protections. We now have effectively unlimited bandwidth, so good riddance to the old rules.


The fairness doctrine is bullshit.


By the way, Obama does not support the Fairness Doctrine and has spoken against it.


I just read a bit about it. It's garbage.

I listen to the those morons from time to time, just to get a feel for... ahh I don't know, what it would be like to be hit with a brick in the back of the head and then not be able to control my mouth.

But there shouldn't be any law saying they can't do it. That's ridiculous. Everyone knows that the shows are skewed one way or another, and I think they take that into account. Not to mention, people can get their hands on whatever view they want with the advent of the internet.

So it's a waste of time, as well as being a violation of the first amendment.

More shit that makes Democrats look like assholes for suggesting. Good thing old habits die hard.



At the same time, I bet they'd be bitching if Jon Stewart or Bill Maher had to have conservative points on their shows. This really is asinine.


I like all the excuse making in this article.

The Project for Excellence in Journalism's researchers found that John McCain, over the six weeks since the Republican convention, got four times as many negative stories as positive ones. The study found six out of 10 McCain stories were negative.

What's more, Obama had more than twice as many positive stories (36 percent) as McCain - and just half the percentage of negative (29 percent).


As opposed to the John McCain who aided and abetted Bush as he shredded the Constitution? They're both terrible. Neither will be getting my vote.


What precisely did Bush do to shred the constitution?

Unless I am reading your post wrong, and you are saying McCain shredded the constitution - which I agree that he shredded the 1st amendment.