How did this slip by me?

marinda, 07 November 2008, 1 comment
Categories: Random Thoughts

Last night before we went to bed, my husband and I were watching Fox News.  Surprising, huh?  They were discussing the Fairness Doctrine and legislature that is being pushed by several Democrats to make this policy law.  I was so confused.  What is the Fairness Doctrine and why haven’t I heard of it?  How can someone who watches the news all day everyday not know what this is. 

So today whenever I had the chance, I began my research.  Here’s how Wikipedia described the doctrine in general.

The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that required the holders of broadcast licenses to present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was honest, equitable, and balanced. The United States Supreme Court has upheld the Commission’s general right to enforce such a policy where channels are limited, but the courts have generally not considered that the FCC is obliged to do so.[1] The FCC has since withdrawn the Fairness Doctrine, prompting some to urge its reintroduction through either Commission policy or Congressional legislation.

In other words, a radio show presenting a conservative opinion would, by law, have to provide equal and fair opportunity for the liberal point of view. 

Understand that I am only in my first day of researching and reading on this topic so these are only my initial thoughts.  Why would a law need to exist that would regulate the content of radio broadcasts in a country that has the freedom of speech?  Who would be in charge of regulating such a law?  Who gets to decided what is “fair?”  I initially wondered why anyone, liberal or conservative, would be for such a law.  Liberal talk radio hosts wouldn’t want equal time for conservative thought, no more than Rush Limbaugh would welcome equal billing for a liberal counterpart.  Here’s what my limited research has uncovered.

Rush Limbaugh is the number one radio talk show with an average of 14.2 listeners a week.  He is followed by:

2.  Sean Hannity

3.  Michael Savage

4.  Dr. Laura Schlessinger

5.  Glenn Beck

6.  Laura Ingraham

7.  Mark Levin

All in this list are conservatives.  I guess I didn’t realize that conservative talk radio had so many more listeners.  Could this be why liberal legislators want things to be more “fair?”  I will continue to read more about this issue and I’m sure it will be a topic in the future.


One Response, Leave a Reply
  1. Beth
    10 November 2008, 5:52 am

    This slipped by me too. I heard about it recently, and I’m apalled. But, hey that’s just the first step in a long line of actions intended to squelch free speech.

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