If Obama Wins; Dems are Set To Muzzle the Right

By Brian C. Anderson
New York Post
October 20, 2008

SHOULD Barack Obama win the presidency and Democrats take full control of Congress, next year will see a real legislative attempt to bring back the Fairness Doctrine – and to diminish conservatives’ influence on broadcast radio, the one medium they dominate.

Yes, the Obama campaign said some months back that the candidate doesn’t seek to re-impose this regulation, which, until Ronald Reagan’s FCC phased it out in the 1980s, required TV and radio broadcasters to give balanced airtime to opposing viewpoints or face steep fines or even loss of license. But most Democrats – including party elders Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry and Al Gore – strongly support the idea of mandating “fairness.

Would a President Obama veto a new Fairness Doctrine if Congress enacted one? It’s doubtful.

The Fairness Doctrine was an astonishingly bad idea. It’s a too-tempting power for government to abuse. When the doctrine was in effect, both Democratic and Republican administrations regularly used it to harass critics on radio and TV.

Second, a new Fairness Doctrine would drive political talk radio off the dial. If a station ran a big-audience conservative program like, say, Laura Ingraham’s, it would also have to run a left-leaning alternative. But liberals don’t do well on talk radio, as the failure of Air America and indeed all other liberal efforts in the medium to date show. Stations would likely trim back conservative shows so as to avoid airing unsuccessful liberal ones.

Then there’s all the lawyers you’d have to hire to respond to the regulators measuring how much time you devoted to this topic or that. Too much risk and hassle, many radio executives would conclude. Why not switch formats to something less charged – like entertainment or sports coverage?

Read the rest:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/10202008/postopinion/oped
columnists/dems_get_set_to_muzzle_the_right_134399.htm

Advertisements

One Response to “If Obama Wins; Dems are Set To Muzzle the Right”

  1. Prof. Jarvis Fielding Says:

    I have mixed feelings about this. I have followed the left’s attempt to reinstated the Fairness Doctrine for a couple years now, and I almost want them to do it. Talk radio would be diminished, but by law, equal airtime would need to be provided to Conservative programming on television, the news, and in newspaper print.

    Of course, I’m sure the lawmakers would figure out a way to nix all that. But I can’t imagine that the Supreme Court would find this stifling of the 1st Amendment to be Constitutional.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: