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We need to bring back the Fairness Doctrine ASAP!

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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 02:43 PM
Original message
We need to bring back the Fairness Doctrine ASAP!
Edited on Fri Aug-05-11 02:45 PM by Rex
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairness_Doctrine

It is WAY past time.

Under FCC Chairman Mark S. Fowler, a communications attorney who had served on Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign staff in 1976 and 1980, the commission began to repeal parts of the Fairness Doctrine, announcing in 1985 that the doctrine hurt the public interest and violated free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

On February 16, 2009, Fowler told conservative radio talk-show host Mark Levin that his work toward revoking the Fairness Doctrine under the Reagan Administration had been a matter of principle (his belief that the Doctrine impinged upon the First Amendment), not partisanship. Fowler described the White House staff raising concerns, at a time before the prominence of conservative talk radio and during the preeminence of the Big Three television networks and PBS in political discourse, that repealing the policy would be politically unwise. He described the staff's position as saying to Reagan:

The only thing that really protects you from the savageness of the three networks every day they would savage Ronald Reagan is the Fairness Doctrine, and Fowler is proposing to repeal it!<10>

Instead, Reagan supported the effort and later vetoed the Democratic-controlled Congress's effort to make the doctrine law.

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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. We sure do!
I would even argue that the entire right-wing takeover of America resulted from our loss of the FD.

2+ decades of media saturation have made average Americans into monsters.
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Ozymanithrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
2. We need to have control of the House and Senate...
with a majority that would actually pass the bill. We would need a President who would sign it.

Fairness doctrine would step on a lot of corporate media toes. So you would need an extraordinarily liberal party to pass the thing.
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Spike89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
3. You know the fairness doctrine didn't cover most media?
It was broadcast (over the air) media only. In practice, it only really affected the 3 (at the time) major television networks. It was also extremely limited in what it covered (to even get close to being constitutional). It DID not cover talk shows, such as Limbaugh's (which he claims is entertainment). It would not have affected Fox News much at all, because the majority of its viewers are via cable.
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Yes it would have to be rewritten to include cable tv and other
media coverage. Back then it was just NBC, CBS, ABC and PBS. A lot has changed since then, but the rules could and should apply to any licensed broadcasting station and if an organization wants to call itself 'entertainment' then they have to give that as a disclaimer and drop the words 'news organization' imo. A lot of modification would be needed, without it we are watching the M$M shape our national agenda. Which is not their jobs last time I checked.
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Spike89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Can't be done and shouldn't be done
First off, the "flex point" that made the fairness doctrine constitutional was the FCC grant of the public airwaves. We the people do not own the cables and satellites. The bigger picture is that the fairness doctrine flat out never did what most people seem to think it did. It did NOT force a station to cover both liberal and conservative (or Dem vs. Rep) viewpoints. It simply tied into elections, i.e., if the station spent 5 minutes explaining why you should vote for candidate X, they must offer 5 minutes to candidate Y.

However, the station was free to air nothing but negative stories on one candidate and nothing but positive on the other, as long as it never called viewers to action.

"Fixing" the fairness doctrine simply can't be done, not without tossing aside our freedom of speech and it just isn't worth that. Seriously, who decides what is fair and do you really think the deciders are likely to be anyone other than the people who decide what goes on the air now?
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. I would say the FCC would be the decider's since that is what they
do anyway. I'm not saying censor the media...just proven facts and accuracy in reporting and everything else labeled 'entertainment' so people can tell the difference.
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Abq_Sarah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #11
20. The problem is
Who decides what the "facts" are? Every reporter, every editor and every reader has their own bias. Those biases will be reflected, no matter how subtly, in stories and articles. People don't want all the facts, they want only the facts that confirm their bias. Who gets to be the decider? The government?

A free press is a good thing. Accountability comes in their ability to retain customers. If you don't like the tilt of a particular article, write a rebuttal but don't call for the government to monitor the press.
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Nye Bevan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #5
22. Not to mention websites such as DU, which would be required to allow freepers the right of reply
without any fear of being banned. Fair's fair.
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libodem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
4. And get
Limpbaugh off armed forces radio. He puts down the commander-in-chief with every putrid breath he wheezes into the golden IBE phallusmic.
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Is he still on AFR!?
Holyshit! That should be illegal!
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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
7. That should have been done when we controlled both the House and the Senate. Just one more thing
Obama didn't do. Cheney and the idiot-in-chief should also be sitting at the Hague, but, of course....Obama decided to let their crimes go unpunished. :grr:
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Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. The FD and Glass-Steagal.
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. I was trying t remember Glass-Steagal.
Hell at least we got back Habeas Corpus...was thinking that one was out the window forever!
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Imajika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
10. The Fairness Doctrine is never coming back...
Let it go. It's dead.

Media has changed, it wouldn't even cover something like Fox News which is cable not broadcast. It wouldn't cover satellite radio, and it never really covered Fat Ass Limbaugh despite his claims that it did.
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Modern_Matthew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
12. Or don't allow a company to own more than one news outlet. nt
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. I think just making sure the company reports the news accurately
with an unbiased approach to reporting would suffice. The FCC could regulate the market. We need to break up the M$M.
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Spike89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. Sounds good, but we can't even agree here on what are facts
If you haven't noticed, raw milk would let us live forever, if the government wasn't going all Gestapo on farmers...no child would have autism except that big pharma forces babies to not get chicken pox...Pot cures everything, but big pharma can't really figure out how to monetize it, even though they have done just fine with willow bark, fish oil, friggin' bread mold, and a 1000 other natural substances.

I'm not here to tweak people's beliefs, but as any good liberal knows, the world is various shades of grey. Only little kids and republicans believe everything is black-and-white, true-or-false.

What would be the possible benefit of trampling the constitution anyway? Facts don't change peoples feelings as dependably as you think.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 03:29 PM
Response to Original message
15. Not arguing with your sentiment, but check what the Fairness Doctrine covered.
It will not accomplish what you think it will. It was actually pretty limited in its scope.
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. It would have to be reworked to include modern media.
True, I shouldn't say bring it back...but bring back the backbone and we can work on the rest. We MUST break up the M$M.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
17. No FD is why FOX gets to lie 24/7.
Edited on Fri Aug-05-11 03:33 PM by Octafish
It's why no one gets air time to refute the likes of Flushbo the Vulgar Pigboy.

Why this isn't more important to the Democratic Party is anyone's guess. Probably in the purview of the same person looking into secure electronic voting.

Great post, Rex! Thank you.
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badtoworse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 04:31 PM
Response to Original message
19. The Fairness Doctrine was set up because the available media was very limited.
At the time, there was only AM radio and a few TV stations. With such limited resources, the FCC believed they needed to be shared so that all sides of an issue would have some access.

By the time it was ended, cable TV and FM radio had greatly expanded available media and there were enough media outlets available that it was deemed unnecessary. Since then, we've added satellite TV, the internet, satellite radio and hundreds more cable stations. There is less need now than ever, at least on the basis of the doctrine's original purpose. There are so many potential outlets available, that it's tough for any group to argue they don't have access to media.

Your argument seems to be that the government should take sides and try to balance out the success of one political viewpoint against a lack of success by a different viewpoint. I don't believe that is an appropriate role for government to play.
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-05-11 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
21. K&R
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