T Nation

Fairness Doctrine


Should Congress reintroduce this and make it a law?

I think it is a gross infringement on the First Amendment.

I am curious as to what the rest of you guys think.


I already did this about 3 weeks ago RJ. Most people(both sides) thought it was BS. All this goes to show us is that the dem's want to censor the only media outlet they don't control.

How can you force companies to lose money?


I think you are right on.


1) It sounds idiotic.

2) How do you enforce it?

Who determines what the "constrasting" views are for whatever viewpoint is presented?

If there's a show about vaccines, do you have to present the antivaxers' case too, even though they have no scientific data to support any of their claims?

If there's a presentation about clean energy sources, do you have to let the perpetual-motion machines idiots have their say?

The main problem I see with it is that someone who's not already familiar with a given subject will be presented with both the valid information and some quack theory as if they were both equally valid.

Sometimes, on some subjects, there simply is no debate.


Sorry. I must have missed it. Or I forgot that I had read it due to my senility.


Basically it is being re-instituted to control rush, hannity and levin. For every hour of these conservatives they have to run an hour of liberal views.


I disgusting affront to the first amendment.

I don't think anyone but a college student would agree to this bullshit. (Yes, again, I know this from experience -_-).


It seems to only apply to radio. So while Conservative talk radio would get diluted, it's stars might get slots on NPR, right?


The same way they went after Ezra Levant and Mark STein in CAnada.


LOL yeah it was called Air America, and it went flop!!!


One FCC commissioner seems to think it may be on the way back. It was originally created in the 1940s when the media outlets were limited. It seems like it would serve little of its initial purpose now.



If anyone in your state or district supports this, write or call them to express your sheer disgust.

That any US politician would even dream of trying to implement this is sickening. What happened to the mantra of "I may disagree with what you say but I will fight to the death to defend your right to say it."? Make no mistake, this is not a problem of the right. The most extreme San Fransisco progressive liberal should be terrified by anyone pushing this.

Christ...Soviet-style mind control. What could be next?


Great post.


You shut down the shows or people that present the opposing view. The FCC would become the talk show gestapo.

Democrats, they are the ones not only reintroducing the legislation, yet again. So anything republican, libertarian, or independent who disagree with the tenets of the democratic party would be fair game.

Don't think they'd give a damn about that.

What are you arguing the earth is round or something?


1) This applies only to radio.
2) The radio spectrum is property held by the public.
3) Private organizations do not own their frequency on which they broadcast, they are granted a license (for free, they do not pay) to broadcast.
4) As such, this is not an infringement of the first amendment anymore than a newspaper editor deciding which articles he wants to publish.
5) If the system were such that private organizations could purchase the rights frequencies, it would be very different. In that case, they would own the frequency and it would be less legitimate for the government to control their use.

6) This is really the only effective way the system can work.

Having said this, I don't support this "fairness doctrine." However, it is not an infringement of the first amendment.


I've never understood where they get off thinking it should only apply to radio.

If it's a good idea, shouldn't all media participate?

I'd like to see what would happen if this were enacted to the big news networks MSN, Fox, CNN.


Logically, point 4, does not follow points 1-3 above. The First Amendment states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Governmental intrusion into the content of programming, whether in radio or newspaper, abridges freedom of speech. In the newspaper context, the Supreme Court found, "Government-enforced right of access inescapably dampens the vigor and limits the variety of public debate." Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo, 418 U.S. 241 (1974). Though radio licenses are regulated by the government, the intrusion is no different.


What you are missing is that the radio waves are public property. A person does not have the right to do whatever he wishes with someone else's property. Apparently, you would have it that if I wanted to run an ad in your newspaper, your choice to say no would be an infringement of my freedom of speech.


What I'm missing is how public ownership of the airwaves justifies content based censorship on licensees. Got a recent cite? By the way, in 1985 the FCC determined the "Fairness Doctrine" is not in the public interest and it in fact chilled public discourse.

How do you figure the 1st amendment prohibition against government abridging free speech ("Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...) applies to a private newspaper owner?


People are really in favor of the Unfairness doctrine? Gimme a break.