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There have been a lot of comments about the Fairness Doctrine since the election.  First of all, there is some confusion about the history of the Fairness Doctrine.

The Fairness Doctrine was introduced in 1949 as a general policy related to requirements of broadcast licenses to do two things:

  1. To present controversial issues of public importance
  1. To present contrasting points of view (e.g. viewpoints)

But the Fairness doctrine contrary to popular opinion did not require "equal time" of all points of view.

When the Fairness Doctrine (1985) portion requiring to present contrasting POVs was initially modified saying that the FCC should not intrude into radio/tv stations content, many of these outlets did move to the far right.

As time went on these outlets became conservative and some more progressive.  Now we have FOX, CNN and MSNBC as well as AAR and Clear Channel.  Even within the conservative leaning programs I would argue that you hear a variety of POV's, yes they lean conservative but still the spirit of variety of POVs is maintained.

Then you have a variety of channels to choose from.  Myself, I switch between RWTR and AAR and NPR to get a balanced set of POV's that the Fairness Doctrine had intended.  I see no need to have all POV's on one channel.  

Finally, I think we need to look beyond just RWTR and RWSM to the Netroots which we really are the leaders in.  The influence of RWTR has peaked in terms of influencing swing voters.  It has become an echo chamber that the Sarah Palin's and Joe the Plumbers listen to and echo but does not resonate with the swing voters and certaintly not with progressives.

We are able to get a lot of equal time out there through the netroots and the many organizations who are essentially fact-checking each other especially during campaigns.

I am not afraid of RWTR and RWSM, I love them because:

  1. They provide insights to the Republican strategies before they are announced by the RNC leadership.
  1. They provide me motivation to increased activism...I cannot tell you how many times I got home from work and donated another $100 because of what I heard from RWTR.
  1. We can win in the fight for ideas.  I am not afraid that our ideas are inferior and need some "equal time" to win.

In the end, we do not need any re-regulation of media, we have proved it to ourselves in this election.  RWTR/RWSM cannot match our message and the Netroots going after them as spinning.  Other than the wingnuts who will not vote for our candidates anyway, the moderates and progressives are not fooled by FOX News commentary or by RWTR.

MSNBC is already catching up to FOX...

Their ideas will help our causes because their hypocracy is out there for everyone to see...and we know the Emperor Has No Clothes...

So please consider this when thinking about proposing legislation.  Do we really need or want government to help us win in the marketplace of ideas.  We have hopefully 8 years to show the world that progressive governement is better for all people and the world...lets go out and do it.  If we succeed, the conservatives will be begging for the Fairness Doctrine because of their losing market share.

Originally posted to dvogel001 on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:20 AM PST.


The Fairness Doctrine...

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips, Comments & Flames always welcome... (11+ / 0-)

    Obama/Biden'08 Winning Change for America and the Democratic Party

    by dvogel001 on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:21:18 AM PST

    •  I agree with you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      burrow owl, JDPITALIA

      The Fairness Doctrine is outdated. The only reason it is not an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech is that the airwaves belong to the people. But radio is a dying medium. The Fairness Doctrine COULD NOT constitutionally apply to cable TV, the Internet, or even XM radio. Plus, it seems like a rather petty and intuitively unfair way to spend political capital.

  •  Fairness Doctrine IS Needed (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dengre, WIds, Urizen, danmac

    How many Joe Six Packs do you know that read more than one newspaper a day.

    Listen to someone other than Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Rielly.

    Make all media present both sides of the issues.  It makes sense and its OUR airwaves.

    "It stinks." - Jay Sherman

    by angry liberaltarian on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:29:37 AM PST

    •  That is their choice... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stridergambit, JDPITALIA, dougymi

      forcing Rush to give time for an opposing POV will not get Joe Sixpack to vote for a Democrat...

      The Media as a whole (including the internet) does present all sides...already

      I am not afraid...

      Obama/Biden'08 Winning Change for America and the Democratic Party

      by dvogel001 on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:32:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Four serious questions (4+ / 0-)

      So you think the solution is to make the radio station that carries Rush also carry a radio show by Rachel (by way of example)?  

      Four issues:

      1.  What makes you think that the people who listen to Rush are going to listen to Rachel?  You can't force them.  They will simply turn  Rachel off.  Nothing accomplished there.  You haven't broadened Joe Sixpack's views at all.  
      1.  What if Rachel's show gets lower ratings that say, Hannity? (that's what happened on Air America).  Radio stations make money off ratings. So, for the hour they put Rachel on instead of Hannity, they lose money.  Who pays for that?  Will the government subsidize the "opposing point of view" if it gets lower ratings and causes the broadcaster to lose money?
      1.  Shouldn't I, as a consumer, have a choice of what I listen to?  If I want to listen to all progressive voices, shouldn't I have the right to do that?  Right now, what is on the air is governed by money -- by ratings.  Those greedy capitalistic owners of the media would show Rush the door in a second if he didn't make them any money.  The way to put more progressive voices on talk radio is through public demand, not through government dictated content.
      1.  Finally, who gets to decide what is "progressive" enought to represent an opposing point of view?  In New Orleans, there is a conservatvie station that calls itself "Rush Radio" and has all the conservative talk shows.  If you tell them to put on a progressive, they'll put on somebody like Tom Brokaw because they'll say he's not a conservative.  Does the government say who is, or is not, progressive enough to be a counter balance?
    •  There is no such thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angry liberaltarian

      as "both sides" of an issue. There are an infinite number of issues, and each one has an infinite number of sides. If you mean let's show "both" "major" viewpoints, that means someone has to arbitrarily decide which two viewpoints will be considered "major."

      Media diversity is the answer. We have to fight for diverse media access and ownership. "Making" people present "both sides" is not going to work.

  •  the bigger problem with the fairness doctrine (7+ / 0-)

    is that everyone tends to see it solely in terms of major political parties, and not a broad range of points of view.

    and of course as long as the media is predominantly run as part of massive corporate conglomerates with economic interests of their own to protect, as well as those interests of their advertisers, it will never come close to anything resembling a fair or open debate of the issues of the day.

    so antitrust action and a healthy independent public media have got to be part of any solution.

    surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

    by wu ming on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:29:49 AM PST

  •  Let Rush Limbaugh have his 3 Hours (4+ / 0-)

    He supported Sarah Palin as the VP.

    He turned Claire McCaskill into Senator McCaskill with his Michale J Fox comments.

    Let them talk.  It's a good thing.

    The death penalty should be abolished. It is immoral and cruel.

    by conservodem on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:31:52 AM PST

  •  FD was created in an era w/ a different (6+ / 0-)

    epistemology: it was the age of experts, when there was a consensus that objective truth was funneled through white men that had gotten their Ph.D.s (witness the hilariously weird and jarring end to Psycho, in which the white guy in the white jacket explains what we just saw with our own eyes).

    By contrast, FD doesn't cohere with current views of truth & objectivity.  I don't think any of us - right or left - trust the government to effectively apportion truth.  America used to think the state could deploy a crack squad of experts to tell us what was correct; I don't think that's the case anymore.

    You should be ashamed! Stop blogging. Stop blogging right now! - Ivy Frye, assistant to Gov. Palin

    by burrow owl on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:32:12 AM PST

    •  tipped for epistemology (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      burrow owl, WIds

      one my fave words and subjects.

      And yes, times have changed, but the airwaves are public and belong to everybody, not a handful of rich fascists.  The damage done to our public discourse by the media conglomeration (and its irresponsibility to the diversity that exists in our nation) of the 80s-00s is obvious to all of us here, but not to those who live in backwaters where the only available stations rant 24/7 from the right (try to find anything else on in western Arkansas / eastern Oklahoma fr'instance).  Looking at the map and comparing what's on the radio makes this clear.  We owe our citizens access to as much information and as many points of view as possible.  The airwave belong to them (us).

  •  a worthwhile discussion (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Urizen, marina, dewley notid, Campfire30

    an option not in your poll would be an update for the FD. I think it is hard to deny the ending of the FD by Reagan has had a negative effect on the quality of information dissemination, which is corrosive to democracy because it undermines the concept of an informed populace.
    i am inclined toward a more comprehensive approach to media reform, along the lines of truth in advertising.
    Like you, i have no problem with the existence of "advocacy media", i think it's a very valuable part of free discussion. I do have a major problem when advocacy media is

    1. camouflaged as news when it is deliberately edited to enhance one POV over another, or worse (FOX, especially)
    1. the only available medium for a given market.

    This of course gets into media consolidation issues (I'm opposed to unrestricted monopoly access by any single entitiy) and the definition of what is and what is not advocacy media.

    On Liberation Day, 1/20/09, Americans will greet us with flowers and candy

    by kamarvt on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:33:03 AM PST

    •  But the netroots and alternative media... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is solving that issue...

      Obama/Biden'08 Winning Change for America and the Democratic Party

      by dvogel001 on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:39:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not where people are lucky to have dial up (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jagger, kamarvt, dewley notid

        and there are a lot of places where that is the condition.  A lot of struggling people don't even have computers, y'know?  They are citizens too and they have a right to more than fascist proganda from the publicly owned airwaves.

        •  NPR. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          stridergambit, coffeetalk

          Because I'm psychic and can see into the future, I can imagine your next comment: "There's this one town in the northwest corner of North Dakota, and they don't get NPR, they just get fascist propaganda!"

          And that may be, but for the vast majority of the country, there are decent options aside from righty talk radio.

          You should be ashamed! Stop blogging. Stop blogging right now! - Ivy Frye, assistant to Gov. Palin

          by burrow owl on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:53:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Lots of places don't get NPR. (0+ / 0-)

            Drive around the country (I do) and scan.  There's a reason for the sea of red, for the (probably very nice as individuals) people who attended palin rallies.

            •  I guess I see it differently (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              You see talk radio as the cause of their right-wing views.  I see the right-wing views at the cause of their choosing to listen to talk radio.  

              Just like KO and Rachel (on MSNBC) do not cause people here to have progressive views.  People with progressive views choose to watch KO and Rachel.  Just because KO and Rachel are on the air doesn't mean that right wingers (1) watch or (2) are convinced by them.

              •  Not so much (0+ / 0-)

                If one does manual labor and isn't a particular fan of music the radio's on all day.  Talk radio is way less distracting (easier to tune out) than music when one has to concentrate (say making a critical measurement or checking a fuel flow adjustment)) to a lot of people.  Also, believe it not, blue collar people in rural areas are every bit as curious and hungry for knowlege as latte drinking elistists are.  They don't have a lot of choice in the information they are presented with.  But within the parameters of the information they are presented they are as knowlegable as anyone.  Just as we would like to give every kid a chance to go to school, we should also consider it important to give a citizen an opportunity to make up their own mind.  We can't blame people for "knowing" what they know if they never are presented with any conflicting information.

                •  You make two assumptions that I disagree with, (0+ / 0-)

                  I guess.

                  1.  Assumption 1 -- if you force "Rush Radio" to carry an hour of Maddow, Rush's loyal listeners will listen to Maddow. They won't -- they'll just change to another station that is carrying Hannity, or O'Reilly, or one of those other guys for that hour.  
                  1.  Assumption 2 -- Forcing the "Joe Sixpacks" (in the words of somebody else) to listen to Maddow will cause Rush's loyal listeners to change their minds.  This kind of assumes that the public is so stupid that they will adopt whatever view they are presented.  Just by way of example, those who are vehemently pro-life, or anti-tax, or anti-government, or ant-gay-marriage, or pro-gun, are not going to change their mind just because there is an hour of Maddow on their favorite radio stations.  

                  I see the whole FD as the government saying, I know what you CHOOSE to listen to, but we, the government, have decided that what you CHOOSE is not good for you.  So, we will take away what you choose and try to force you to listen to points of view that you don't like, because we think it's good for you.  As a firm believer in the First Amendment, and a firm believer in my right to choose what I watch and listen to, I resent that.  Think about it this way -- how would you feel if the Bush administration were trying to influence what people listened to or watched?  

                  •  I believe offering a choice is way better (0+ / 0-)

                    than no choice at all, which is the current condition.

                    Look at the evidence.  Those low info red zone (where people thin Iraq was behind 9/11 and Obama's a muslim) s are places where the only info available is Rush/Hannity/Jesus (I know, I've been there).  Stop blaming the victims of propaganda for responding to propaganda.  Stop making the elitist assumption that these people are stupid.  They aren't, they just haven't had access to anything but fascist propaganda for the last couple of decades.

                    The government isn't telling anybody to listen to anything, just allowing them to have exposure to different viewpoints (including those not chosen by fascists), a good thing IMO.

                    •  The vast majority (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      of people in those red states DO have a choice.  Air America and MSNBC are both widely available here in Louisiana, if you want to listen to them.  The problem is that lots, lots more people choose Ruch than Maddow, who choose Fox over MSNBC.  

                      True, if progressive radio is simply not available for those who are looking for it, that's a problem.  But for most people, they do have a choice already.

                      •  sounds like "free market" info to me (0+ / 0-)

                        I don't get the impression you've lived or worked in rural low info areas.  Frankly I don't think you know what you're talking about.

                        I can't believe anybody on this site is anti fairness.  Seems really basic to me that if we let corporatists control the airwaves they'll fill them with propaganda that serves their agenda.  Just as when we let then control the economy they don't serve the public's interest.  The airwaves and the economy belong to everyone, not just those who own the largest parts of them.  

                        •  Sigh. (0+ / 0-)

                          I don't get the impression you've lived or worked in rural low info areas.  Frankly I don't think you know what you're talking about.

                          Well, coffeetalk might not have lived in "rural low info areas," but I sure as hell have, and I know that implementing the Fairness Doctrine will have no effect whatsoever.

                          I can't believe anybody on this site is anti fairness.  Seems really basic to me that if we let corporatists control the airwaves they'll fill them with propaganda that serves their agenda.

                          Like MSNBC?  It is owned by GE, after all.  (OH NOES, OLBERMANN AND MADDOW ARE CORPORATIST PROPAGANDISTS!)

                          "If America leads a blessed life, then why did God put all of our oil under people who hate us?" -- Jon Stewart. -8.38, -6.67

                          by stridergambit on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 07:36:38 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  PS Cable costs money and poorer (0+ / 0-)

                        folks often don't spend on it.  Radio and antenna TV are all some people have and that's where the concentration of hate is (AM radio) which as I put forth above is what manual labors have to listen to all day.

                        Stop blaming the poor for being poor.  It's unbecoming of a progressive (and kind of stupid IMO).

                        •  There are still (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          options in that situation.  PBS broadcasts across the country, as does NPR.  There are choices, as I (and others) have already pointed out.  It's just that in many places, there is not a large audience for PBS and NPR, or balanced programming in general.

                          "If America leads a blessed life, then why did God put all of our oil under people who hate us?" -- Jon Stewart. -8.38, -6.67

                          by stridergambit on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 07:38:53 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  The local management of PBS chooses the (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            programming.  Many places most of what you get is classical music.  That also doesn't address that each individual station is using the entire public's airwaves.  This celebration of ownership baffles me.  Using the public's airwaves for diseeminating propaganda is pretty much equivalent to strip mining the national forests.  I'm not for that either (but pro biz corporatists are).

                          •  I think you meant (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            NPR, but whatever.  In my region, you get a pretty balanced account of the major events of the day.

                            "If America leads a blessed life, then why did God put all of our oil under people who hate us?" -- Jon Stewart. -8.38, -6.67

                            by stridergambit on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 08:43:04 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Not in a lot of places (0+ / 0-)

                            and fairness should apply EVERYWHERE to EVERYONE.

                    •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      Look at the evidence.  Those low info red zone (where people thin Iraq was behind 9/11 and Obama's a muslim) s are places where the only info available is Rush/Hannity/Jesus (I know, I've been there).

                      My home county (in rural SW MO) voted two-to-one for McCain.  We have not only one, but two NPR stations that broadcast in the area.  The Internet is also available.  My point is that the information is available.  There is choice; it's just that people are choosing to read or listen to that which suits their tastes.  If you offer more choice, the outcome will be no different.

                      The government isn't telling anybody to listen to anything, just allowing them to have exposure to different viewpoints

                      True, but the government would be forcing broadcasters to change their programming to balance out political views.  Would you be in favor of forcing Air America to broadcast Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage?

                      "If America leads a blessed life, then why did God put all of our oil under people who hate us?" -- Jon Stewart. -8.38, -6.67

                      by stridergambit on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 07:34:15 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  But I don't accept (0+ / 0-)

                that people in a particular part of the country are inherently stupid or mean or narrow-minded. That can't be right, can it? That some people are just born wrong? That sounds like a dangerous way to approach humankind. And yet, we have vast swaths of the nation who continually vote against their own interests and values. So, something gave them these nutzoid ideas. We have to find the causes, not just say, "Oh, red-staters are nuts."

                •  They don't do this (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  vote against their own interests and values

                  They may vote against their financial interest -- if they will get more money with a Dem candidate.  However, rich people and poor people do that all the time, if other values are more important. How many people who make above $250,000 voted for Obama,even though it was "against their interest"? They DO vote with their values -- it's just that their values, like pro-life, anti-gay, anti-government, anti-tax, pro-gun, pro-religion in the public arena, do not coincide with the platform of the Dem party.  

                  •  False. (0+ / 0-)

                    Under Clinton, abortions were at an all-time low. Under Bush, they are at an all-time high. If you're pro-life, you should be voting for Democrats.

                    "Anti-gay" is not a value. It's just hatred.

                    If you're for lower taxes, you should be voting Democratic.

                    If you're "anti-government" you shouldn't be voting. If you're for smaller government, you shouldn't vote for the party that wants to tell you who you can marry.

                    People don't connect the dots between their own non-monetary values and the actual candidates on the ballot.

        •  That's why we have to fight for diverse media (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:


      •  true, dat (0+ / 0-)

        for people who are internet savvy enough, and/or wealthy enough, and/or inquisitive enough, and/or have the time to find their own news sources.

        someday (maybe soon) that demographic will be nearly universal. It is a long way from that now.
        I see the spread of media narratives and CW to be a real problem with the creation of informed consent. The entire Palin candidacy is exhibit A. Without an enabling media narrative (spoonfed by a political campaign) she would not have survived her first week in the national spotlight. As it was, that spotlight had a lot of soft focus, with all the attention being directed at her cleavage.
        it came way too close to working for me to dismiss it.

        Y'know what? GWB was exhibit A. Palin is exhibit #1,000.

        On Liberation Day, 1/20/09, Americans will greet us with flowers and candy

        by kamarvt on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:49:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Totally disagree... (0+ / 0-)

          the soft focus was for 2 reasons:

          1. The woman factor.  The MSM did not want to appear to be sexist and that was heightened because of the Hillary/Barack primary.
          1. The Republicans and Gov Palin herself smartly pre-empted the MSM digging by putting in her RNC speech how the media would not like her because she is a "woman of the people" and did not care what the media thought.

          As for people not going to the Web for information, I believe that you discount the close and becoming closer linkage between the Web news and the MSM news.  There were many stories that started on the Web and then were reported on the MSM.  The MSM is using blogs to debate issues and then reporting blog comments on the air.  This will only continue and get bigger in the future..

          So even people who do not get their information from the Web will...because of the MSM getting it on the air.

          Obama/Biden'08 Winning Change for America and the Democratic Party

          by dvogel001 on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 05:59:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  There was no AM radio until FD died. (0+ / 0-)

      Because of the onerous requirements of FD, station owners found it was more cost efficient to rent the space out for infomercials.

      That's not a good use of property, even if the whole band went to the right.

      You should be ashamed! Stop blogging. Stop blogging right now! - Ivy Frye, assistant to Gov. Palin

      by burrow owl on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:42:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  NOT needed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burrow owl, coffeetalk, Campfire30

    Some basic premises that support the FD...

    1. Radio spectrum is inherently limited.
    1. Airwaves are "public property."

    If there is some specific need for opposing point of view, then the opposition should have the opportunity to get a frequency and present it. As long as bandwidth is available there is no need to co-opt someone else's license.

    Airwaves are indeed public property. However radio station facilities and personnel are not. This argument supports bandwidth sharing, not the sharing of private property.

    Most importantly is the REAL reason that the FD always comes up. It has nothing to do with high minded ideas, it is simply a bold and ugly stab at political opponents.

    •  That's an excellent idea, 1918. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I could get down with some kind of "equal access to purchase" provision.  I wouldn't affirmatively support it, probably, but it's a darn good analysis and proposition.

      You should be ashamed! Stop blogging. Stop blogging right now! - Ivy Frye, assistant to Gov. Palin

      by burrow owl on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:45:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The idea that we have to show all points of view (0+ / 0-)

      suggests that it would be possible to show all points of view.

      It isn't.

      It does not seem inherently fair to provide equal time to two (or some other arbitrary number of) specific points of view. We have to promote diverse access to the airwaves.

  •  FCC has the power to enforce (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    abuses of the airwaves, through its news distortion policy. Perhaps it should be codified into law:

  •  You make some good points (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WIds, Urizen, danmac, dewley notid

    However as a matter of policy it makes sense, b/c the public airwaves are, well, public. Radio stations are only able to exist b/c the government gives them exclusive rights to frequencies--WE create property when WE issue FCC licenses, and it's only fair that the recipients of licenses respect the public trust.

  •  The air belongs to US (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Urizen, danmac, dewley notid

    Not to the companies that have been disseminating their right-wing drivel on it for the past twenty years.

    That's right: radio bandwidth is a public property, which the right-wing radio stations are borrowing from us.  It's just as if the managers of public lands, highways and so on were to use their control to back a particular candidate.  Imagine if every median on every highway in the country were crammed with McCain/Palin signs.  That's essentially what's happened to radio.

    We need Fairness, not so much to shut up a particular section of the political spectrum, as to re-assert public ownership of the electromagnetic spectrum.

    •  How's Air America doing? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If there's a market for lefty talk radio, people will listen.  If not, they won't.  Presenting both sides is a quixotic enterprise: dittoheads just won't listen during the Randy Rhodes segment of the Limbaugh show.

      You should be ashamed! Stop blogging. Stop blogging right now! - Ivy Frye, assistant to Gov. Palin

      by burrow owl on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:49:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A better way to reassert public ownership: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      License restrictions that encourage diverse ownership of broadcast licenses. For example, a hard limit on number of bandwidth frequences that could be owned by the same entity. Or exponentially increasing license fees (for each additional bandwidth frequences licenesed to the same entity or controlled group of entities, the license fee goes up X%).

  •  re-instating the FD (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burrow owl, Irony Raygun

    is like treating the whorl on the tree, not getting at the root rot causing the problem. Media consolidation is the cause of the problem. That's what has to be addressed. Re-instating the Fairness Doctrine will only  unnecessarily inflame the right. Let's get at the people paying the shitheads. Let the shitheads rant all they want. When they rant, they motivate the Democratic base.

    A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

    by dougymi on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 05:52:40 AM PST

  •  Lots of holes in your argument (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jagger, Irony Raygun

    We won this time because:

    1. We had a dynamic, once-in-a-lifetime candidate

      who ran the best campaign evah.

    1. The nation had just awakened to the reality of

       8 years of the worst president in our history.

    1. The Republicans had the worst campaign stategy

      in our history, along with a lunatic VP choice.

    1. We had 90+% of the record AA vote wrapped up

      before the first vote was cast; a big head-start.

    The "old" Fairness Doctrine needs to be revamped into one which will assure truth in broadcasting, as well as balanced commentary.

    Not everyone is aware of AAR, nor do they listen to NPR. John Q. Public likely gets his news either from CBS/ABC/NBC/Faux or one of the cable channels like CNN/MSNBC.

    My point is this; in 2012, are we going to have a candidate who inspires people the way Barack has in 2008? Unvarnished truth from all broadcast media, and most especially TV news, would go a long way in helping us win the next time. No more swiftboating.

    •  Interesting point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Not everyone is aware of AAR, nor do they listen to NPR. John Q. Public likely gets his news either from CBS/ABC/NBC/Faux or one of the cable channels like CNN/MSNBC.

      Of course, under something like the FD, broadcasters like CBS, ABC, and NBC would be considered "balanced," Fox News would be conservative, MSNBC (prime time beginning with Matthews) would be "liberal."  Here's the point:  who gets to decide what is "liberal" and what is "conservative"?  The party in power?  When the power changes to Republicans (as it will eventually, given our country's history), are you comfortable with them identifying the representative "liberal" voices?  

  •  How do the Brits handle loud mouth bloviators? (0+ / 0-)
    •  we have a strong public broadcaster (0+ / 0-)

      the few we have are banished to commercial talk radio that few people outside of the big citys (London,Manchester,Glasgow etc) can get.

      We have the BBC which is required to adopt a fairness doctrine. when both sides of the political landscape here hate the beeb you know its doing something right. its domination of t.v and radio mean that even murdochs sky news has to present a balanced view because the public will switch over.

      our papers are a different story though. Murdochs owns our paper of record and the biggest papers in Britain are all Tory leaning papers.

      Our loud mouth bloviators tend to be 'equal opportunity offenders' such as Jeromy Paxman who doesnt seem to care who he angers wether they be left or right wing.

      McCain = world meltdown

      by mb6578 on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 06:36:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  FoxNews Not balanced by MSNBC (0+ / 0-)

    Part of the problem is their is not equal access to alternative programming. Fox News is carried by the "Family Package" on Dish Network. To get MSNBC you must go up several levels in cost.
    Same is true with Air America. In Austin, Texas we cannot get Air America on the local stations. Rush Limbaugh is available though.
    I think perhaps equal access may be the answer. If FoxNoise is offered in a basic package the MSNBC must be as well. If they're going to carry Rush then they must carry an alternate program. After all since Clear Channel owns most of the stations in each market this should not be too much of a problem.
    Rural America and their access to programming is the problem. Radio and TV should serve a public interest and if they don't provide a balanced viewpoint channels should lose their license. Most rural areas do not have broadband, nor are the people there likely to be getting their news from there.

    •  That's solely a matter of money (0+ / 0-)

      in the form of public demand.  Here, if satellite TV does not carry MSNBC standard, cable does.  If consumers flock to cable because of MSNBC, satellite will carry it standard.

      Fox News used this consumer demand successfully in hotel rooms.  (I travel a fair amount for work.)  A few years back, most hotels did not carry Fox News.  Fox News really really publicized to their viewers which hotels carried Fox News and which did not, and encouraged their views to bypass hotels without Fox News and tell them why. (It was all on their website.)  Very loyal Fox News viewers spent a couple of years doing just that, and now pretty much every hotel carries it.  It's all about consumer demand -- money, money, money.  

      •  Alternative to FoxNoise/Limbaugh MUST be offered (0+ / 0-)

        In the case of "public broadcasting" the market does not work. On a vacation last month to Costa Rica the only english language TV at the home we were staying was Fox Noise. So, for a week that was the only english language station I could watch. The story Fox likes to push is that their news is Fair and Balanced. That is bull shit. If you watched Fox News the only news you got about the Obama campaign was Acorn registering illegal voters.
        Since the airwaves are public I believe the solution is that media markets must carry an alternative viewpoint.

    •  There's no possible way (0+ / 0-)

      to provide a "balanced viewpoint." There are MANY sides to every issue and there are many more issues than one person or station or journalist can think of. The FD only creates the illusion of fairness. That's more dangerous. If you're not going to get all the information -- and you're just NOT, no matter what kind of doctrine is in place -- then you should be AWARE that you're not getting all the information.

      •  A choice is what is needed (0+ / 0-)

        My point is that the public is not even being offered a choice between Fox Noise and MSNBC. This applies to newspapers and AM radio as well. Before media consolidation most cities had two newspapers. One had a  Republican viewpoint, one had a Democratic viewpoint.
        Now most rural areas get only the right wing viewpoint and I agree that this is market/money driven. It also is ruining democracy if only one side has the microphone.

  •  Obama doesn't support return of Fairness Doctrine (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Irony Raygun

    Article here: Obama and Fairness Doctrine.

    "Sen. Obama does not support reimposing the Fairness Doctrine on broadcasters," press secretary Michael Ortiz said in an e-mail to B&C late Wednesday.

    "He considers this debate to be a distraction from the conversation we should be having about opening up the airwaves and modern communications to as many diverse viewpoints as possible," Ortiz added. "That is why Sen. Obama supports media-ownership caps, network neutrality, public broadcasting, as well as increasing minority ownership of broadcasting and print outlets."

    •  There is some opportunity coming (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Irony Raygun

      If we pay attention. With the advent of satellite radio, internet radio, and the dominance of FM radio, AM radio has an aging right-wing audience. Tv is about to become digital, meaning the analog channels are no longer available. Why not lobby for cheaper and broader community access to those frequencies? Community radio is local radio that allows a diverse group of people to produce their own programming for their own community. We should encourage these efforts and help them network. Most people think of non-commercial radio as NPR. NPR has its place, but the programming is slanted towards the "brie and pearls" set. Needless to say, open loud and proud working class or amateur opinions just aren't there because the listeners don't want to be reminded that there are poor people, open and loud gay people, or alternative religious viewpoints.

      So we need alternatives that are both broad and deep. Commercial such as Air America, local community radio for the rest of us.

      Howard Dean Forever and a Day

      by CarolDuhart on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 06:45:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  May I ask... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    who is it exactly that is asking for a return to the
    Fairness Doctrine?!

    I listen to all the prominent lefty radio shows, not
    a single host has been calling for this.

    The only people I've heard even broach the topic, are
    right wing radio hosts trying to scare their listeners
    that if the left came back into power, right wing
    voices would be silenced.

    A list of non right wing media that have been calling
    for this, please.

  •  i would say that the fairness doctrine (0+ / 0-)

    is near impossible without a strong public broadcaster thats forced to uphold the standard, since there wont be a rush to do this im sure that the fairness doctrine stands little to no chance of becoming a reality at the momment.

    McCain = world meltdown

    by mb6578 on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 07:35:17 AM PST

  •  This is a simplistic view of this issue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If you drive across the country, almost every "news" market is dominated by conservative radio and thin corporate news on TV and weak newspapers decimated by budget cuts from far away corporate owners. The "news" is limited and used to reinforce the chosen memes of the powerful.

    Yes, one could hunt online for a variety of points of view, but few actually do that. And that option is not available while driving in your car or watching the evening news.

    A renewed Fairness Doctrine needs to strike at corporate ownership and the limited points of view offered in most markets in America. Conservative dominate talk radio because they help the powerful bamboozle the gullible. The life of these flim flam artists should be made a bit harder. When Democracy Now is on as many stations as Rush Limbaugh and station with the same coverage of the airwaves, then I think we have fairness. As it is our public airways have been captured by corporate propagandists. I would like to see that end.


    Time to clean up DeLay's petri dish! Help CNMI guest workers find justice! Learn more at Unheard No More.

    by dengre on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 08:07:35 AM PST

  •  It's Hard-Right Outside the City Limits (0+ / 0-)

    Not all radio stations are created equal. Coverage means two things: The listener can hear that a station is there; and the signal is consistent enough to keep listeners from tuning-out. It's not easy to listen to a weak signal. Especially an AM signal. Even more so in a running automobile.

    So while the numbers look superficially bad for liberal viewpoints getting on the air, in actuality things are much worse.

    The 'let-the-market-place-decide' argument reminds me of anti-affirmative-action arguments. Not needed - in theory. But if the representation of a group - likely to include many qualified persons - is absurdly small, then maybe some sort of remedy is a good idea.



    I support socialized water

    by jabney on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 10:47:17 AM PST

  •  Public Airwaves more than just AM radio (0+ / 0-)

    If you think the fairness doctrine is good policy, do you think it just applies to AM Talk Radio? It also applies to broadcast TV.

    iPhones and other smartphones use the airwaves, as does your WiFi connection, and broadband wireless - would you want the Fairness Doctrine applied to the Internet - or just filter non-fairness doctrine content from Smartphones, WiFi and broadband wireless?

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Tue Nov 11, 2008 at 01:07:29 PM PST

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