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Common Cause has really lost me on their latest "cause"

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ima_sinnic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:02 AM
Original message
Common Cause has really lost me on their latest "cause"
Edited on Tue May-25-04 05:09 AM by ima_sinnic
Now they are asking people to sign a petition protesting the "bottom line" decision of the major networks not to carry Bush's speech, live. I'm sorry, but I applaud that decision. This is evidence that we are still a free country, where the networks can show whatever they want to--and further, gratifying evidence that Bush is irrelevant and disrespected. This is not some dictatorship (yet) where the people are forced to see, hear, and smell their dictator in long-winded meaningless speeches on TVs and radios at every corner. Reading the summaries (and even if so inclined, the transcript) is enough for me. Sheesh, they need to put their energy into important things, not this counter-productive crap.

Just my $.02-worth.

on edit: link
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JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:18 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'm with you
That's absurd. Like the usurper doesn't get enough free air time already.
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progdonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:24 AM
Response to Original message
2. I agree with you
although I understand Common Cause's point. It would be a shame for the networks to refuse to carry any speeches by POTUS or an opponent simply because they know their ratings will suffer (and they won't be able to sell ad time). Such a situation is what Common Cause has a problem with and I agree with their apprehension; unfortunately, yesterday's speech was not an example of the networks merely pre-empting for the "bottom line." At least, not totally.

If the networks had carried Bush's speech, which was really just a stump speech, they'd have had to provide the same time to Kerry. If they were to carry all of Bush's planned weekly speeches (this is what I've heard, I shudder at the thought), they would have to do the same for Kerry. Right away, there's two hours at least of primetime per week given up to campaign speeches. You could get angry at the networks for not turning over the public airwaves to campaign speeches whenever candidates request it (as long as it's balanced), but would it really be worth it for them to do so? If we had weekly primetime stump speeches from both candidates (because it's either both or neither), do you honestly think many Americans would watch? They would just find other things to do at that time; the networks would lose hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue, and the candidates would not gain any real benefit from the speeches.

The State of the Union and any speeches where POTUS is either starting or ending a war deserve to be shown on the networks, but mere policy speeches just don't cut it.
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pnorman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:29 AM
Response to Original message
3. "where the networks can show whatever they want to--"
Here, YOU've lost ME. The networks are MANDATED to provide "fair and balanced" coverage of such events of public interest, in exchange for their government-protected monopoly of the airwaves. I too regard him as our unelected pResident, but there's no other practical option available in this country. He's our legal pResident, until voted out (or IMPEACHED heh heh).

That the networks so rarely comply with that mandate is what we should be agitating about.

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pnorman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 06:05 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Here's what I was trying to express in the above:
According to Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR):
"The Fairness Doctrine has two components. First, and most importantly, it affirmatively requires that each broadcast licensee carry some coverage of controversial issues of public importance. This ensures that every broadcaster meets its duty to inform the electorate on public issues.

The better-known second prong of the doctrine requires reasonable balance in the coverage of these issues in a station's overall programming. The station has broad discretion on how to provide balanced coverage -- be it through news, talkshow discussions, guest editorials or other programming."

The Fairness Doctrine was enforced from 1949 through 1987, and compliance with it was a condition that broadcast licensees were required to comply with to receive and to renew their license. Over the years, a wide variety of organizations (energy, environmental, and health among others) used it to obtain reply time in ballot issue cases.

For a brief history of the politics and legal decisions affecting this regulation, see "Breeding a press of water carriers, or the "Age of Aquarius" - Part III: "Borking" the Fairness Doctrine" by James Higdon.

In the article this description is quoted from, FAIR cites one example of how this regulation could be implemented... for every three or four minutes of paid broadcast advertising advocating a particular cause, the opposing view would be allowed a minute or so to respond.

Why Is It No Longer Enforced?
The FCC stated: "We no longer believe that the Fairness Doctrine, as a matter of policy, serves the public interests. In making this determination, we do not question the interest of the listening and viewing public in obtaining access to diverse and antagonistic sources of information. Rather, we conclude that the Fairness Doctrine is no longer a necessary or appropriate means by which to effectuate this interest. We believe that the interest of the public in viewpoint diversity is fully served by the multiplicity of voices in the marketplace today and that the intrusion by government into the content of programming occasioned by the enforcement of the doctrine unnecessarily restricts the journalistic freedom of broadcasters. Furthermore, we find that the Fairness Doctrine, in operation actually inhibits the presentation of controversial issues of public importance to the detriment of the public and in degradation of the editorial prerogative of broadcast journalists."

The FCC pretty well abolished that Fairness Doctrine during the Reagan administration, and hate-radio took ther cue from that and expanded to it's present near monopoly position. Bring back the Fairness Doctrine, and if we have to take Bush with it, so be it.

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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 05:59 AM
Response to Original message
4. I Can See It
If they're looking for "fair and balanced" coverage, but that will never happen until the Rethugs get kicked out of office and the FCC. Then maybe a Dem president can push for equal coverage that will effectly deny hate radio and everything that goes with it.
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