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:
- To present controversial issues of public importance
- 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:
- They provide insights to the Republican strategies before they are announced by the RNC leadership.
- 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.
- 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.