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BanTheGOP Donating Member (596 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 02:53 AM
Original message
Return the Fairness Doctrine...NOW!!
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 03:02 AM by BanTheGOP
As I watch pleasantly with all of my fellow progressives and Democrats at the incredibly effective job that President Obama has performed over the past few days, nothing gladdens my heart to know of one thing: President Obama will IGNORE the ignorant republicans who will not get with the program.

The republican party is being shown its stark ignorance and irrelevant status as a fringe, extremist group that lost any pretense of existing as a political party ever since Goldwater. Harry Reid, and yes, even Nancy Pelosi should have Congress covered, but Obama will take absolutely NO SHIT from ANYONE, especially scumbag republicans flunkies.

When the crybabies started making their demands, President Barack Obama needed only two words to shut their whiny asses up:

"We Won."


However, we still have to deal with the redneck racist rapists, the listeners of venom-filled bilge injected in 3-hour increments. Unfortunately, it will not just take a weaning off period like most drugs. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mike Savage must be elimated. Cold Turkey.

We need the Fairness Doctrine to silence the hate-mongers.


Now, the biggest argument I may have for following through with this edict is going to come from my fellow progressives: You CAN'T INFRINGE ON THE FIRST AMENDMENT!

But listen up...it's NOT ABOUT THE FIRST AMENDMENT!!

Let me repeat: I am NOT ADVOCATING the elimination of the first amendment for ANYONE!

RATHER, I am advocating the ADVANCEMENT Of the First Amendment for EVERYONE!!

Right now, progressives and other moderate viewpoints are shut out by 92% of the radio stations, mainly because of corporate profit centers. Although progressive radio is proving that it can effectively be presented in rational, non-condescending ways, it is this corporate backlash and suppression that prevents the format from overcoming the consolidated advantage that shock radio presents.

The key factor is that the airwaves are PUBLIC, therefore require a GOVERNMENT-ISSUED LICENSE to use. These licenses must be treated with public respect. For over 20 years we've been pummeled with only ONE SIDE of the issue...the CORPORATE REPUBLICANIST side.

Indeed, during the past TWENTY YEARS, the ONLY FIRST AMENDMENT VIOLATIONS have been committed AGAINST DEMOCRATS AND PROGRESSIVES!!

In short, we are NOT going to intrude upon the rights of republicans and other hate-mongering groups. We are simply leveling the playing field so that ALL views have a right to be presented in balance!

The BOTTOM LINE: in MY opinion, the Fairness Doctrine ranks right up there. President Obama had shot the first arrow when he told the republican piece of shit in that meeting today that if he (the republican POS) listened to Rush Limbaugh, then Barack would not even consider his views and override him.

We WON, you republican piece of shit! DEAL WITH IT!

RETURN THE FAIRNESS DOCTRINE!

Specifically called the Media Ownership Reform Act (MORA), it is sponsored by Congressmen Maurice Hinchey of New York. Read it, and understand the implications. MOST IMPORTANTLY...

PUT A GAG ON RUSH, SEAN, and SAVAGE!
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DUlover2909 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 03:09 AM
Response to Original message
1. I didn't read it yet, but I agree that the mal-informed listeners of those guys needs good info.
I don't say gag the right wing. Let's just let someome rebut their nonsense and at least put in question their "facts" and "fairness".
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 03:47 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Yup, we don't want to stifle them
but it should not be the one way street it is now. We only want fairness. And fairness is something they oppose. Imagine that.
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cyclezealot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 04:41 AM
Response to Original message
3. We'll never get rid of Limbaugh
We need a chance for someone to respond to his Bull sh ,,.
Wondered who was leading the charge for a fairer media. Hinchey no surprise there.
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tomreedtoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:38 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Limbaugh MIGHT get rid of himself...
...through his drug use, his body abuse and his generally hate-filled attitude towards life. But I don't think the country can wait for his foul nature to take its course.

There is another reason for the restoration of the Fairness Doctrine, and breaking up the broadcast monopolies. Broadcasters currently have no need or desire to be part of their community, any more than a McDonald's has to make a burger to its community's tastes or its health benefit. By making broadcasters responsible to their community's needs and interests - as they were before Reagan started destroying broadcast law - they will be more responsible to what people want. People, not corporate bosses.
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:39 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. Too bad we can't get a peek of his contract to find out what would
be cause of termination.
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cyclezealot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #6
27. Agreed. Local coverage is just an after thought.
That costs money.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:24 AM
Response to Original message
4. Hear, hear! I've read a summary of that bill and it is EXCELLENT!
1. It addresses the poisonous corporate practice of media MONOPOLIES, restricts those monopolies with serious reforms, and encourages small and local businesses in the use of the public airwaves.
2. It re-instates the Fairness Doctrine, which means that any business operating airwaves that belong to the public, MUST present issues of public importance in a fair and balanced way. If the owners advocate a point of view, through their news shows or commentary, or allow others to do so, they must give EQUAL TIME to the opposing view.

Media monopolies

The benefits of busting up monopolies are so obvious, I won't go into them, except to say that busting up MEDIA monopolies is especially important to a democracy. Our democracy might be able to weather monopolies that sell us our lattes, or our sweatshirts, or even oil, but news and opinion are quite another matter. Accurate news and a wide range of opinion are an essential component of democracy--as important as transparent vote counting. Having neither of these things, at the moment--and for a long time now--can we really call ourselves a democracy?

The Fairness Doctrine

In practice, what the Fairness Doctrine meant, before Reagan killed the Fairness Doctrine (and I remember those days), businesses and corporations who were deemed worthy to receive a license to use our public airwaves, carefully separated news from opinion, and also guarded news from being influenced by sponsors or the broadcast corporation's own view of the government and politics. There was a respect for journalism, for investigative reporting, for facts--even or especially hard facts. Journalists, reporters, anchors had clout with their networks on issues of independence and integrity. The broadcasters were required to provide public service programming, and understood that they had a obligation to serve the common interest. They also sought out spokespeople for alternative and opposing views, so as to demonstrate their worthiness for the license. (The Bill in question re-instates this aspect of Fairness as well--the broadcaster has to report frequently and truthfully what their public service has been).

The Fairness Doctrine had wide-spread influence. It made newspapers and news magazines better--though they were, of course, not obligated by law to be fair. They often tried to be fair, anyway, in order to compete with TV/radio news organizations for credibility and for a wide readership (many views). Like the networks, they separated news and opinion, to maintain the integrity of the news. The Fairness Doctrine encouraged both broadcast and print media to pour resources into their news and opinion divisions, to compete with each other on investigations and real scoops--especially about official wrong-doing. Thus, the Washington Post was the envy of the news media, when they broke and assiduously followed up the famous and explosive Watergate story, and the New York Times was the pride of the nation when it courageously published the Pentagon Papers (exposing the lies and horrors of the Vietnam War), against the wishes of the Nixon government (and legal action).

There were failures. For instance, alternative or opposing views did not include communism, or even socialism to the left of FDR. Communism was anathematized, and communists were criminalized and persecuted. However, to TV's credit, it was a TV show--the Ed Murrow Show--which finally put an end to red-baiting and the McCarthyite hysteria of the era. But a communist country like Vietnam was never fairly portrayed. You had to read books to find out that Vietnamese communism was a far cry from Soviet or Chinese communism--or to find out that our own U.S. government had nixed UN-sponsored elections in Vietnam, which Ho Chi Minh would have won. He was a great independence war hero, and a communist, but a home-grown one, who would have allied with us, or at least would have been a neutral in the Cold War, if we had only supported their democracy. He begged us to! Virtually none of this was presented in our media, and it was impossible for most Americans to know it. TV news shows did, though, bring the horror of the Vietnam War right into our living rooms. We saw it first hand, and we saw the body bags coming back on the planes. News reporters felt an obligation to tell the truth, and they had Fairness Doctrine backing to do so, when dealing with their bosses. The same is true of the civil rights movement, and also of the protests against the Vietnam War--all fully covered by the media, both broadcast and print.

Another failure of the media--and of the Fairness Doctrine--was the JFK assassination, and five years later, the RFK and MLK assassinations. The Fairness Doctrine began to fail at that point--early 1970s--and good investigative reporting, independent journalism and a balance of views probably started dying in this country, with our dead progressive leaders, and the utter failure to question the government's official stories about their murders. This was simultaneous with Watergate. After that, the media became increasingly the propaganda tool of multinational corporations, as they slowly eroded the anti-monopoly laws. They "swift-boated" Jimmy Carter (Kerry wasn't the first), and permitted Reagan to commit treason, in several ways--getting the Iranian U.S. hostage takers to hold onto the hostages until after the 1980 Carter-Reagan election was over; violating Congress' specific ban against a war on Nicaragua, selling arms to Iran to generate money for the illegal war (also by CIA drug trafficking), and--probably worst of all, they let Reagan get away with complicity in the slaughter of two-hundred thousand Mayan villagers in Guatemala, with not a whisper in the news. I was an adult and politically knowledgeable by then, and I didn't know about it until recently. The networks also began to make rather a mockery of the Fairness Doctrine, by broadcasting "opposing views" very late at night, just before they went off the air--in boring, droning speeches that most viewers avoided like the plague.

It was something of an anti-climax, then, when Reagan deep-sixed the Fairness Doctrine. The spirit of it was essentially dead by the time he did so--although it still contained the vestiges of potential legal redress, if broadcasters openly violated it, and the basis for a rebirth of good journalism and good political discussion, if it had not been destroyed.

We have seen the result of that destruction, these last eight years, in the Bush junta--with no media feeling any requirement to present a balanced view. We have slaughtered a million people in Iraq--forgetting all of the lessons of Vietnam (well, the people didn't forget them, but the media sure did). We are ten trillion dollars in debt (and counting), as the result of massive, mindboggling theft by the rich and by our own leaders (if you can call them that). We are facing Great Depression II. And I think all of these things can be laid at the door of the war profiteering corporate 'news' monopolies, who convinced us that we were powerless, that war was inevitable and that massive looting was normal.

Just think of how far the New York Times has fallen, since the end of the Fairness Doctrine--from their high point of courage and rugged defense of the truth in the publication of the Pentagon Papers, to their outright lies, day after day, about WMDs in Iraq, and their withholding of the story of massive domestic spying by the NSA until after the 2004 election.

And the Washington Post has become even more of a disgrace--if that is possible. As for TV/radio, it is, as once was said of commercial TV, for far less reason, "a vast wasteland." The dingbat/brownshirt news. The bobble-headed/nazi news. It. Is. Horrible.

Rep. Henchey's bill--restoring the Fairness Doctrine--won't change this overnight, and change will require a vigilant FCC and public. But it can be done. And we have, at the same time, to work on the cultures at work within media organizations, and within media and all corporations, to really achieve what we want--not token bullshit, or sneakily limited debate, but real fairness and balance, and a restoration of citizen access to our public airwaves. We have to restore the culture of honest journalism, in support of the Fairness Doctrine. The internet has filled the black hole that the corporations and Reagan created--a hole that sucks in all light, the hole where the real news should be. It has certainly galvanized the public. But our people are still confused and oppressed by the 24/7 fascist propaganda that they are subjected to, in the powerful, imagistic TV medium that invades every home, and in one putridly fascist radio show after another. We see what the people can do with a free medium--the internet. TV and radio should be equally vibrant and democratic.
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. A great post. And more K & R's needed for this OP. It is urgently time.
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 08:05 AM by chill_wind
eom
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MichMash Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #4
29. Fairness Doctrine
Does the fairness doctrine apply to television?
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FreakinDJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 05:57 AM
Response to Original message
5. Disney owned Radio station not allowed to discuss Evolution
That would be KGO Radio in San Francisco - is another good reason to bring back the Fairness Doctrine.

Corporations know the value of controlling public airwaves and have issued "Marching Orders" on the topics they wish to dilute with dis-information
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 02:15 AM
Response to Reply #5
26. Corporate "marching orders"--yup! You know what they said to Dan Rather?
It's in his lawsuit against CBS. Rather was onto the story of Bush Jr.'s AWOL during Vietnam--in the months before the 2004 election. Someone spiked his documentation with one re-typed document (of many), the contents of which were true, and verified by the original secretary for the Texas Nat'l Guard, but the re-typing raised questions. Freeperville exploded with uncanny swiftness about how the whole story was fake, because this one document was re-typed (and went into all that crap about the vintage of IBM typewriters--all ultimately irrelevant, when the secretary verified the content of the paper, and evidence of that particular IBM typewriter during that era emerged). In sum it was a TRUE story. Bush had skipped out on his TNG service (champagne service, at that) during wartime. So Rather wanted a panel to examine the evidence and this spiking of one document, to find out who did it/how it happened (suspicion: Rove), and to help verify the story, which he strongly believed in. CBS stacked the panel with extremist rightwingers; Rather objected; they fired Rather. In the discussions between Rather and CBS execs about all this, they told him, quote, "It's in our interest for Bush-Cheney to be re-elected," unquote.

Marching orders. You help Bush get re-elected, because it is "in our interest." This is a classic example of what Reagan's killing of the Fairness Doctrine hath wrought: corporate executives dictating their political agenda to reporters.

----------------------

Do check out Dan Rather's superb news documentaries, since his firing by CBS, at www.HD.net . His "The Trouble With Touchscreens," about corporate control of our voting system, is especially great.
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Life Long Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:15 AM
Response to Original message
8. The country is in a crisis right now and we have these idiots wanting failure.
WTF is wrong with these people?
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:25 AM
Response to Original message
9. The point is NOT to "silence" anyone
It's to have a diversity of opinion, to make the audience aware of other points of view.

For instance, if a station were required to schedule someone like Thom Hartmann right after Rush, then the audience would hear that diversity.

As it is now, radio is practically a single point of view in 80% of the country.
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MichMash Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #9
30. What if...
What if no one is listening to Thom Hartmann? Does the radio station have to continue to lose money by broadcasting his program where Limbaugh might actually be making money with advertisers (because he supposedly has a huge audience)? Wouldn't that cause more stations to fail, thus reducing the number of outlets for everyone to get out their message?
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Dennis Donovan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
10. MORA is NOT "The Fairness Doctrine"...
MORA seeks to diversify ownership of media outlets, which in itself will ensure the balance of differing views offfered by them.
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Wednesdays Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Yeah, I'm more in favor of busting up the M$M monopolies
than trying to "balance" program content. It's all about the money...when they ban ownership of multiple stations, then AM radio will return to recipe shows, "ask your mechanic" shows, and oldies music like it was before 1987.

The same regulations need to be applied to cable TV as well.
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. It purports to address both (Media Ownership Diversity and restoration of Fairness Doctrine)
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 11:01 AM by chill_wind
Unless I am reading it wrong.

I take this passage to mean restoration of it:


SEC. 3. FAIRNESS IN BROADCASTING.

Section 315 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 315) is amended--

(1) by redesignating subsections (a) through (d) as subsections (b) through (e), respectively; and

(2) by inserting before subsection (b) the following new subsection:

`(a) Public Interest Obligation to Cover Publicly Important Issues- A broadcast licensee shall afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views on issues of public importance. The enforcement and application of the requirement imposed by this subsection shall be consistent with the rules and policies of the Commission in effect on January 1, 1987.'.

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h109-...



(bold & italics mine)

link edit

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snot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
14. Yes; but insufficient unless we also restore restrictions on consolidation of media ownership.
When just a handful of megacorps own all the media outlets, you can bet you're not going to hear much besides what they want you to hear.
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
15. Here is the link and actual text of the MORA bill
(which thanks to a predictable GOP and a disinterested Pelosi & Reid, has pretty much been growing mold.) It had 16 co-sponsors.

Media Ownership Reform Act of 2005

Text of H.R. 3302

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h109-...




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BanTheGOP Donating Member (596 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. ONCE the Obama Bitch-Slap Of Boehner...
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 11:50 AM by BanTheGOP
...is broadcast, the people will become OUTRAGED that the congress is sitting on this vital piece of legislation.

As always, light a fire on the ass of your representatives and burn their phone lines and emails with requests to pass this bill!
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:29 PM
Response to Original message
17. Kicking
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:36 PM
Response to Original message
18. Anyone who uses the airwaves is supposed to serve the public interest.
I agree with you. That said, MSNBC may have to bring back Tucker Carlson in such a case. ;)
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BlancheSplanchnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:40 PM
Response to Original message
19. MORA is Moral!
sounds like a rallying cry to me :patriot:

I loved loved LOVED what Obama said to the Rash listeners!!!! LOVE!

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zeos3 Donating Member (912 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:21 PM
Response to Original message
20. K & R
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DRoseDARs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 10:54 PM
Response to Original message
21. This thread + your nom de plume = Rather unfortunate.
The high-larious irony will be lost on many, and that is tragic. ;)
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BanTheGOP Donating Member (596 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:18 AM
Response to Reply #21
24. English, please...
...along with specific comments. What do you mean by your post?
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DRoseDARs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. Google "nom de plume" ; as for the rest of it, read uberllama42's post (#22). n/t
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uberllama42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:49 PM
Response to Original message
22. You keep bouncing back and forth between saying we should silence the right
and saying that we are merely trying to win an equal voice. Which is it?

You say:

In short, we are NOT going to intrude upon the rights of republicans and other hate-mongering groups. We are simply leveling the playing field so that ALL views have a right to be presented in balance!

Quite contrary to that, you say:


PUT A GAG ON RUSH, SEAN, and SAVAGE!

Also:

Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mike Savage must be elimated. Cold Turkey.

The First Amendment protects speech, especially political speech. If our intention with this media ownership bill is to restrict political messages we disagree with from being aired, our efforts are unconstitutional and tyrannical. If our aim is to ensure that all political voices have access to the medium of radio, we can do that without forcing any single station to air a specific political message. We have liberal radio hosts, and guaranteeing them equal access does not in any way necessitate legislating the right-wing hate machine out of existence.

You seem fond of the caps lock key, but shouting doesn't make your assertions any more true.
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BanTheGOP Donating Member (596 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. You are correct in that I vacilitate...
...and I have no desire to hold back from both my emotional and personal desire to eliminate all things republican from seeing the light of day or the sound wave of a waif in distress. In fact, I wish all republicans dead, but that's not a realistic nor frankly a position I can specify on and still chat day in and day out on DU.

On the other hand, I have to deal with the logic and the legal aspect of societal evolution, vis a vis current constitutional adherence to law. In other words, I see no conflict with my desire to see rush and sean eliminated from the radio, and their right to speak on the same radio IF there is balance. The fact that they won't even bother speaking on the radio unless they are paid millions and millions of dollars by a corporate source because that same source will not pay progressive radio hosts relatively minimum wage allows me to say they should be bound and gagged.

No hypocrisy here, and my caps key is used only to accentuate my points. Bring on the Fairness Doctrine...the US Constitution DEMANDS it!!
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 12:16 AM
Response to Original message
28. "We need the Fairness Doctrine to silence the hate-mongers"

:rofl:

Oh, ya kill me ... really.

That's good stuff. Good, good stuff.

Fairness doctrine to *silence* people, to *gag* them ...

:spray:

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

But anyway, as was already said, MORA doesn't have anything to do with the so-called fairness doctrine.

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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
31. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
DRoseDARs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. No
Welcome to DU, but this post of yours is EXACTLY the kind of Grade-A horseshit rightwingers try to accuse the left of wanting.
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