Fairness Doctrine

‘Fairness Doctrine’ Rears Its Head as Liberals Mull Ways to Kill Free Speech

Our system of higher mis-education has already practically eliminated free speech on campus, but with the right gaining ground in popular sentiment and on the Internet, the left is looking for other ways to quash free speech and some are agitating to bring back the Orwellian-named “Fairness Doctrine,” the failed media regulation that prevented conservatives from reaching the airwaves in the 1980s and before.

The latest far leftist to advocate for the horribly un-American law is actor/comedian/producer Seth McFarlane who made the call to re-institute the Fairness Doctrine in a June 2 tweet.

“A simple means by which to begin the rehabilitation of a deeply fractured nation would be through the restoration of the Fairness Doctrine, which required all TV and radio broadcasters to present opposing viewpoints on all issues. Introduced in 1949, revoked in 1985. Bad move,” McFarlane wrote.

But, McFarlane isn’t the only one to look backward at this thoroughly un-American law. Only a few months ago, Steve Almond of the Boston Globe agitated to bring the law back into force.

After Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress, Almond jumped to his April 17 column to urge our leaders to bring back the so-called “Fairness Doctrine.”

Indeed, Arnold not only wanted to quash free speech on the nation’s airwaves again, he wanted to expand the law to eliminate free speech on the Internet, too:

Given this consensus, let me offer a pretty obvious suggestion: Congress should regulate traditional media in the same way.

If lawmakers want Zuckerberg to curb the spread of lurid conspiracy theories and partisan hype, they should apply the same standard to talk radio hosts and TV anchors and websites that traffic in such garbage.

Lawmakers could take a huge step toward doing so by reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, a federal regulation that prevailed for most of the 20th century.

Why did Almond think the original law initiated in 1949 was such a great idea? Why else but because those stupid, idiot founders were not just smart enough to foresee the possibility that media and communication could grow to have such power.

Clearly, Almond imagined, the founders didn’t think people should be able to advocate for just any political thing they want to support, right?

Of course, Almond is just another liberal who is blissfully free of any historical knowledge because political free speech is precisely what the founders wanted to protect at all costs. The founders absolutely did not feel that just any speech should be sacrosanct, granted, but what they did want is to make political speech inviolable. They wanted every American to have the absolute freedom to take any political position, advocate for any candidate, and make any political statement they want to make.

Only the “Fairness Doctrine” actually eliminated this right for broadcasters. It is one of the main reasons that the Reagan administration wanted an end to this law. It was thoroughly un-American and violates our American first principle.

These are only a few of the latest voices calling for a return of the horrendous law. The law has been an object of hope for the left for years. Back in 2009, for instance, Senator Chuck Schumer (D, NY) was heard reminiscing on what a wonderful idea the law was. The year before the Buffalo News wanted to bring the law back. Then in 2007 liberals tried to re-introduce the law in the House of Representatives. And on and on it goes.

So, what is the deal with this “Fairness Doctrine”? What did it do?

The law was instituted back in the days when there were just a handful of TV channels and radio was king. The actual numbers of stations was few, really, and in those days it was very conceivable that a really rich person could gobble up a large number of media outlets thereby maybe forcing a single ideology on a whole region.

That was the fear, anyway. So, the rule was put in place to force broadcasters to give equal time to all sides of the political issues. That way, no single media owner could force his own opinion on whole swaths of the country.

Still, as more TV stations rose and radio grew even more, it started to become clear that there was no real necessity for such a rule. But, as is typical, despite its pointlessness, Congress instituted the rule in 1949 anyway.

But, instead of opening up equal time for the issues, what really happened was that liberal members of the media stopped doing much by way of overtly political programs. Instead, they shifted their liberal politics into the “news” coverage itself. The Fairness Doctrine became the catalyst for the media’s full tilt into left-wing bias in everything it does. That way, instead of having to give conservatives equal time, they could cut conservatives out of the media entirely and shift their left-wingery right into “news coverage” by subterfuge.

This is the main reason Reagan opposed it.

And what happened once the law was eliminated? We got the likes of Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk radio. Indeed, conservative talk radio was something that the media would never, ever have tried under the Fairness Doctrine because they’d have been forced to give liberals equal time and such a format simply would never have worked. And, with the media already giving the left’s agenda all the air it ever needed by having it hidden in “news” coverage,” the same media never even tried to the right its time.

This is the whole reason that the founders, men of vastly superior mental capacity than today’s liberals, created a system that made government less powerful than would befit the left’s authoritarian desires.

This so-called Fairness Doctrine is a rejection of liberty, a slander against fairness, and the destruction of one of the most basic freedoms in western theories of government, not to mention a direct affront to the vision of our founders.

Of course, there are levels of freedom of speech and freedom of the press, neither right being absolutely “free.” But, this isn’t the argument the left makes with its argument in favor of the Fairness Doctrine.

Unfortunately, the entire Democratic Party is following the inane argument of this stupid idea right toward an entirely anti-American policy.

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