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The Return of the Fairness Doctrine?

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the no-fair dept.

Politics 732

Slithe writes "Last week at the National Conference for Media Reform, Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich (a long-shot candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination) stated that the Fairness Doctrine may be reinstated. Kucinich will be heading up a new House subcommittee that will focus on issues around the FCC. The Fairness Doctrine was an FCC regulation that required broadcast media to present controversial issues in an honest, equal, and balanced manner. The FCC repealed it in 1987 — Democrats at the time tried to forestall this move but were ultimately thwarted by a veto by President Ronald Reagan. Critics of the Fairness Doctrine have stated that it was only used to intimidate and silence political opposition. At the convention, Kucinich said, 'We know the media has become the servant of a very narrow corporate agenda. We are now in a position to move a progressive agenda to where it is visible.'" In the interest of fairness, here is a Republican, free-market perspective on the return of the Fairness Doctrine.

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flamewar comin' (5, Insightful)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633498)

I was going to sit out this flamewar, but I just have to get involved.

Despite quite a bit of disagreement with him, I have a fair amount of respect for Kucinich, if for no other reason than he at least *seems* to be consistent in what he says and does. And like him, I am worried that the media is now in the hands of so few people, but who would police this "fairness?

<sarcasm>Surely politicians are bought and sold by corporate interests. Surely we can trust committees of appointees to handle things in a "present controversial issues in an honest, equal, and balanced manner."</sarcasm>

It seems like everyone in the political scene thinks that there is a media bias one way or another, and, for all I know, there probably is but I don't see it being made better by putting the politicians in charge of it.

Re:flamewar comin' (5, Funny)

OECD (639690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633908)

And like him, I am worried that the media is now in the hands of so few people, but who would police this "fairness?

Who will watch the watchers of what the watchers watch?

Who gives a shit when you can score some smack? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17633934)

Why do you guys bother with this politics shit when you can do the shit?

The first tine I injected heroin we bought a twenty dollar pack which is two does .05 of a gram put them in a spoon with 40 units of water and divided them into two. twenty units per syringe. When I injected myself the onset was immediate and for about a minute I had an intense rush, it felt like your head blowing up or the entire world being torn apart. After that I got a pleasant warmness and intense feeling of relaxation. It was an effort to raise my eyelids. I could barely scratch my nose.

The feeling off smack is like those sunny days when you go swimming and get out of the pool too let the sun dry you off but better. Its like coming in from a terrible cold day to get underneath the blankets and get that warm tingly sensation but better. Its like the relaxed feeling you get after sex but better. You don't care about anything. There's no euphoria just a pleasant feeling of nothingness and nothingness is... bliss.

I agree, what does "balanced" even mean? (5, Insightful)

benhocking (724439) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633982)

Will the media be required to provide "balanced" coverage on evolution vs. creationism?
Will the media be required to provide "balanced" coverage on climatologists vs. global warming deniers?
Will the media be required to provide "balanced" coverage on the "Moon hoax" or Cydonia?
What about Timecube?
The JFK assassination?

I have no idea how this could be implemented and not have it backfire.

Re:I agree, what does "balanced" even mean? (1)

jadavis (473492) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634344)

Well, since there are only two sides to any issue, it will be easy. Just take any issue you want to talk about, and call the Democratic Party and the Republican party and ask them what to say. Then, just repeat verbatim what they tell you to.

Perfect balance.

Re:flamewar comin' (0)

dlockamy (597001) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634028)

I agree that putting a layer of bureaucracy on an issue doesn't fix much. Maybe the better solution would be make people be honest about their intend.

Let O'reilly spew his insane nonsense, just as long as there is a warning that he is a right wing nut job.

And to follow the Fairness Doctrine:
Let Olbermann spew his insane nonsense, just as long as there is a warning that he is a left wing nut job.

Re:flamewar comin' (4, Insightful)

Intron (870560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634418)

No. Rush is a wingnut, but I will defend to the death his right to be a wingnut. We have a First Amendment for a reason, and the reason is to prevent the FCC from implementing the "Fairness Doctrine" or any other limit on free speech, including equal time, government oversight, or making him wear a yellow star.

If they want to prevent the takeover of the media by single points of view, why don't they enforce tighter limits on station ownership?

Re:flamewar comin' (1)

slughead (592713) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634056)

I am worried that the media is now in the hands of so few people, but who would police this "fairness?

No kidding. I hear news organizations say all the time "We're fair, we present BOTH sides"..

As a Libertarian, I say there's almost always more than 2 sides to an issue.

Take Gay marriage (which probably put Bush in office the 2nd time). Some are in favor, some are against, and others say that the government shouldn't be issuing marriage licenses in the first place. I never ONCE heard the latter point of view on ANY of the 24 hour news channels.

Re:flamewar comin' (4, Insightful)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634250)

Even worse, forcing "fairness" often gives misguided, scientifically wrong viewpoints the size and weight of thoughtful, well researched viewpoints. It is, in fact, the exact kind of argument that intelligent design proponents and global warming skeptics have recently been using. They say there must be a "balanced" view presented on "controversial" issues, thus we need to give their quackery equal footing with science.

Although it's often harder to tell which the bad side is, purely political viewpoints can be just as factual on one side and bunk on the other. Yet with "fairness," the bunk will be elevated to the same level as the sound. For example, politics is full of economic viewpoints that are either factually incorrect, or basically just guesses. As soon as someone has one of these brilliant thoughts, now we have to give him equal billing to spread his nonsense?

I hate Fox news. I've rarely seen such a wretched hive of scum and villainy outside of the Rush Limbaugh show. They elevate bad ideas and squash clear thinking on a regular basis. Politics takes the place of science and dogma takes the place of thought. Yet I'd rather have them, and Brother Rush, even expand their broadcasts than to force thoughtful networks with good fact-checking to distribute ill-conceived, factually incorrect bullshit out of "fairness."


"Liberal media" (5, Insightful)

rdwald (831442) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633542)

You'd think with their constant complaints about the liberal media, Republicans would be all in favor of a law requiring CNN et all to present their side fairly.

Re:"Liberal media" (-1, Troll)

thank_you_nerdcore (1019672) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633658)

(1) Left/Socialist radio in the US ("Scare America") failed to gain traction, economically
(2) Right/Superficially_Conservative radio in the US, however, is doing moderately well
(3) Ultra-Left wing US Congressman panders to his base under the banner of "Fairness Doctrine".
(4) Profit !

Re:"Liberal media" (1)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633972)

(1) Left/Socialist radio in the US ("Scare America") failed to gain traction, economically

Funny thing, that. In the 2006 elections not a single Republican congressman won against a Democrat.

Not one.

Yet we're led to believe that there's "no market" for radio with a liberal viewpoint.

I call bullshit. []

Re:"Liberal media" (1)

vokyvsd (979677) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634366)

I won't argue that there is a market for radio with a liberal viewpoint, but do remember that voting against Republicans is not the same thing as being a liberal.

Choosing Sides (5, Insightful)

Alaren (682568) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633810)

Right, but then Fox News blah blah blah...

The sad fact is, deciding you don't like the Republicans and so voting Democrat (or vice versa) is a natural response because we're trained by the media, schools, and history to think those are the only options. Both parties are more than happy to strip you of your rights for your own good. Their only real debates are (1)which rights to strip and (2)how to go about it.

Yeah, oversimplification, and one should never attribute to malice what can be accounted for by mere stupidity. "Balance" seems like a reasonable request (except where it works at cross-purposes with the first amendment), but the result will not be balance--it will be further entrenchment for the two powerful and officially sanctioned sides of any argument, and a death knell for every other perspective someone might have to offer.

Re:Choosing Sides (1)

rdwald (831442) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633992)

I never claimed that the media actually has a liberal bias, just that the Republicans claim it does. My personal opinion is that most news outlets do have a left-wing bias, but that Fox's claim to be "fair and balanced" is a running gag that American has fallen for. The only interesting question is whether CNN is as left as Fox is right.

Re:Choosing Sides (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633998)

Yeah, oversimplification, and one should never attribute to malice what can be accounted for by mere stupidity. "Balance" seems like a reasonable request (except where it works at cross-purposes with the first amendment), but the result will not be balance--it will be further entrenchment for the two powerful and officially sanctioned sides of any argument, and a death knell for every other perspective someone might have to offer.


Rather than call it the "Fairness" doctrine, how about calling it by it's real intention:

The "Making Damn Sure That Only One Side or the Other of Our Two Party Junta Is Heard" Doctrine.

Might as well watch American Idol.

Re:Choosing Sides (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17634198)

I'm sure I agree with the intent of what you saying. But, once again /. boys and girls, time for Mark's corollary:

> one should never attribute to malice what can be accounted for by mere stupidity

Malice and stupidity are NOT mutually exclusive.

Which, I suspect, is some essence of what you wanted to say.

Re:"Liberal media" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17633814)

You'd think with their constant complaints about the liberal media, Republicans would be all in favor of a law requiring CNN et all to present their side fairly.
Ahh, but you see, that's the difference: Republicans do not want the government to determine or control fairness. They want the free market to determine it.

Re:"Liberal media" (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633932)

The cynical side of me wants to suggest that maybe Republicans don't want to represent the other side fairly.

OTOH, this doesn't exactly strike me as the type of regulation I would support. From the Wikipedia link, I'd support the reinstatement of the "two corollary rules of the Doctrine, the "personal attack" rule and the "political editorial" rule"

Those seem much less controversial to me, though a week is a very long time to not respond to a personal attack.

Re:"Liberal media" (2, Interesting)

kilgortrout (674919) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633946)

Back in the day, I believe they did just that. IIRC when the fairness doctrine first came out, the networks were scrambling trying to find some conservative spokesmen in order to satisfy the rule. I specifically remember one hilarious episode of All In The Family that had this as a plot premise where Archie was tabbed as a conservative spokesman by a local TV station. On his first show, Archie came out with his plan to end airline hijackings. Archie wanted to give every passenger a hand gun when they entered the plane because then any potential hijacker "would be insane to try anything".

Re:"Liberal media" (4, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634014)

The problem isn't fairness, but who decides what is fair. The likes of most major news outlets think themselves fair, but are not. Who gets to decide what is, and what isn't fair.

When Reuters pasted doctored photos and staged photographs during the recent Israeli incursion into Lebenon, how would the "fairness" doctrine be enacted. If it weren't for people like LGF and other bloggers who countered these biased lies and propaganda, what would have happened????

Not to mention the "unbiased" Dan Rather and the forged documents by a political hack being reported as "fact". How would the "fairness" doctrine handle that? I suspect that Dan Rather would still be reporting from CBS news.

I'm sure that there are equally egregious examples from "right wing" media, but since I can't actually point to any "right wing" media outlets, I'm stumped at actually describing one.

So, who actually benifits from this "Fairness Doctrine", why the only people Truly interested in censorship, who gets to decide what is, and isn't fair? Don't agree? Too bad because you don't get a say.

And how does one actually deal with the "new media", the internet and blogging? Does LGF have to hire a leftwing blogger in order to be "fair"?? How about Do they have to hire right wing wackos?

The only reason why people are looking for a "fairness doctrine" is because they cannot compete in the world of ideas (AirAmerica???); nobody really wants to listen to Al Franken.

I always found it very interesting that it is the liberal, left wing people were the ones needing "fairness doctrine" to get their ideas out. I wonder though if the would allow a third viewpoint (Libertarianism), or if they would rather just keep it Al Franken vs Rush Bimbo.

Re:"Liberal media" (1) (936869) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634016)

CNN is not broadcast, therefore this law would not apply to them.

Re:"Liberal media" (4, Insightful)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634030)

As a Republican, I'm far more interested in keeping government as small as possible than requiring the FCC to try determining what is a balanced news report. People with a decent level of intelligence will realize that most media outlets aren't giving balanced news reports and should be smart enough to get their news from a variety of sources. That's for individuals to do themselves, though, not something that should be regulated by the government.

Here's a little exercise for you: some Republicans fret over the media's use of "insurgents" for the bombers in Iraq. They want the media to call them terrorists, which IMHO is slightly more accurate, but nothing to get your panties in a bunch over. So, should the FCC step in and require news outlets to call them terrorists? Should they require Fox to call them insurgents too? Who decides if something is balanced? Where do you draw the line.

Besides, with everyone complaining about the FCC being overly cautious after the Janet Jackson nipple incident, you'd think that everyone would realize that we don't want/need the FCC to try deciding things like this.

Re:"Liberal media" (1)

n6kuy (172098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634388)

I don't care much about the distinction between "terrorists" and "insurgents", but I'd like the FCC to step in and slap silly any broadcaster that insists on pronouncing "negotiations" as if it were spelled, "negociations".

That just drives me nuts!
Why do they do that?

Re:"Liberal media" (5, Insightful)

TopSpin (753) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634042)

You'd think with their constant complaints about the liberal media, Republicans would be all in favor of a law requiring CNN et all to present their side fairly.

Bzzt, wrong. Nice uninformed try, however.

Repeal of the "fairness" doctrine basically made conservative talk radio. Limbaugh has been pointing this out for years. Prior to the repeal, AM was good for commodity price reports (cattle, wheat, etc.,) NPR and not much else. After, hundreds of radio shows ranging from psycho wackjob militia types to mainstream conservatives (yes, there are differences) appeared across the US.

Clinton et al tried the same thing in the early 90's. The Right labeled it the 'Hush Rush' bill. It died on the vine after the '94 sweep of Congress. They're back I guess, and for the same reason.

Legislating "fairness" in political discourse is bad. It doesn't matter which side is doing it, mkay? It's just wrong. If DeLay had tried to pull this you'd be apoplectic with hysteria about fascism. It isn't OK because it's coming from some left wing incumbent like Kucinich.

Which side are you arguing for? (1)

benhocking (724439) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634338)

This doesn't sound like a good idea to me, but when you say "Repeal of the 'fairness' doctrine basically made conservative talk radio," that really sounds like a strong argument in favor of bringing back the "fairness" doctrine.

(Yes, I'm joking.)

Re:"Liberal media" (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634312)

Historically, the media presented the "middle" as the "right" and then of course the "left" as the middle.

On the rare occasions that they would get a true right wing person on, they would completely undercut them and edit them to death.

It would be like asking "Should we have never been in Iraq, or was it reasonable but we should get out now?"

And for like 30 years, we didn't know any better.

I disagree like hell with most conservative social policies and agree strongly with most (old style) conservative fiscal policies. These days the conservatives spend money like water and want to expand government while the liberals... hmm. spend money more conservatively (I mean face facts- years of deficits, then Clinton turned in a surplus, then years of even bigger deficits) and want to expand government.

The media is increasingly pro-corporate on all fronts these days. In many cases, actual news outlets run segments produced by a corporation. That's pretty ghastly.

Personally, I think the right wing media flourished because it was suppressed so long but now, it is running out of steam. Once the conservatives win the abortion issue, they are dead in the water for at least a couple decades in my opinion. Anti-gay stuff just isn't enough to keep them going.

Re:"Liberal media" (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634404)

The 'liberal media' line cracks me up. The party that is most corporatist (usually the GOP) gains the most from the corporate media. I find it odd that conservatives would even be opposed to the fairness doctrine. NPR often airs 'rebuttals' from right-wing think tanks all the time in an effort to be fair. Its usually a pre-recorded piece from the Heritage FOundation or somesuch. If these chaps were realy against things like the FD they wouldnt be doing this on principle. I believe the fear of FD is that it will make news stations accountant for their content as opposed to being just a just another for-profit machine.

Unintended Consequences (5, Insightful)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633546)

Also in consideration is the "Fairness Doctrine," which required broadcasters to present controversial topics in a fair and honest manner.

Now every story on global warming will need to be 1/3 saying it's happening and humans are at least partly responsible, 1/3 saying it's happening and it's 100% natural, and 1/3 saying it's not happening at all, and things like arctic melting [] are just a hoax manufactured for leftist propaganda.

Meanwhile, any show on PBS or the Discovery Channel that deals with evolution in any way shape or form will have to cover not just the scientific consensus that natural selection has been at work for millions of years, but also Intelligent Design and young-Earth creationism. Similarly, anything about geology will have to include both the old-earth consensus and the idea that, for instance, the Grand Canyon was created during Noah's flood.

Let's see if we can find Velikovsky [] and von Daniken [] a place while we're at it.

And let's not get started with making sure the Viet Cong's point of view is presented with equal weight to both the hawk and dove sides of the American point of view....

Re:Unintended Consequences (2, Insightful)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633694)

D'oh! First rule of ranting: check your sources. I wrote that based on the "equal and balanced" quote in the summary, then pasted in a quote from the actual article which said something slightly different.

"Honest" helps in both cases -- but "fair" requires an arbiter, and we already know what this government considers to be "fair."

Exactly. (5, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633704)

Treating every issue as if it has two sides means that often you have to go out and invent a second side.

This is why debates like global warming and evolution loom so large, because in the interests of "fairness" views that are held by very small minorities of people are given the same amount of play as views that are extensively proven and supported.

Rather than this, I'd rather see a standard of truth applied to non-opinion mass media...Make them cite their numbers, and post the credentials of their "experts", and make them admit to errors of fact that appear on their broadcasts.

Re:Unintended Consequences (1)

Telepathetic Man (237975) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633722)

Lets not misrepresent or exagerate the truth.

I believe the intent of the fairness doctrine is more to get the facts underlying an arguement out to the general public. Let the "man on the street" think for himself. If you want to include an opinion, then you should probably provided equal time to more than one of the most prevalent sides of the arguement.

Re:Unintended Consequences (2, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634064)

I believe the intent of the fairness doctrine is more to get the facts underlying an arguement out to the general public. Let the "man on the street" think for himself. If you want to include an opinion, then you should probably provided equal time to more than one of the most prevalent sides of the arguement.

The intent of the doctrine is irrelevant. The implementation of any such doctrine would almost certainly mean that media outlets would make every issue, even if it's not really widely controversial, into a one-side-versus-the-other, "equal time" argument.

It's silly.

News outlets exist today for every possible political and social affiliation you could want. If you're liberal, listen to NPR. If you're conservative, Fox News. This is what people want. They want news sources that represent their views of the world, and this is what the news outlets are going to deliver, regardless of what requirements you try to drive down on them from on high.

Next on Fox News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17633782)

The Moon: A Ridiculous Liberal Myth

Re:Next on Fox News (1)

Headcase88 (828620) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633952)

"The Moon: A Ridiculous Liberal Myth"

That was pre-fairness doctrine.

Post-fairness doctrine:

"The Moon: A Ridiculous Liberal Myth?"

Re:Unintended Consequences (2, Insightful)

dlockamy (597001) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633796)

Have you not watched tv lately?
Getting 1/3 of the discussion to be fact based would be an improvement.

Re:Unintended Consequences (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634262)

The problem here is that boring facts do not sell well, while oppinions do.

Re:Unintended Consequences (1)

mrbooze (49713) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634024)

Because history shows us that is exactly what happened back in the ancient history of 20 years ago when the Fairness Doctrine was in effect.

Re:Unintended Consequences (1)

Hoskald (125486) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634436)

And Slashdot will will have to make room for MS fud....

Racism more troubling that "fairness" (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17633592)

I agree that there serious problems with the way controversial issues are presented on the major television channels in the USA. I'm not convinced that the problem is fairness, per se. Instead, the problem seems more related to a tendency to present extremely complex issues in a simplistic binary manner (e.g. that the USA will either "succeed" or "fail" in Iraq).

I am even less convinced that legislation can solve the problem. The only solution that I see is to let people who care about being informed move to other more complete sources of information such as the internet.

The one thing that does bother me is the implicit racism in many of the entertainment shows on the major television channels. I wouldn't mind seeing a rule that the racial/ethnic/religious affiliations of the villians has to be chosen at random. Essentially, if it wouldn't be OK to portray Jewish people in a particular role then it shouldn't be OK to porttray any ethnic group in that role.

Re:Racism more troubling that "fairness" (1)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634130)

the problem seems more related to a tendency to present extremely complex issues in a simplistic binary manner
I think a bigger problem is the credulity of the media. They rely on "idependent" reports and studies to create soundbites like "GAO reports that Medicare Prescriptions actually costs 79 trillion dollars a year" or "AAUW reports that even though far more women are going to colleges than men, schools still short-change girls." And that is it... straight from the press release to the telepromter, often without even at glance at methodology or even a mention of the political agenda of the organization funding the study.

So, what's fair? Reporting every biased claim issued by either side without comment? Or is actually stepping back and mentioning that the study was funded by a political organization and the methodology sucks? Kucinich doesn't want both sides fairly presented-- he wants the media to report that the "facts" used in opposition to his agenda were created by big corporations. This fairness doctrine will just end up with the media not questioning those facts because it's fair to treat both sides like they're not making stuff up.

The end is nigh.... (-1, Troll)

MasterPoof (876056) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633596)

...for Bush and CO. without Fox News to broadcast their propaganda, the light may dawn at last.

Re:The end is nigh.... (1)

Tebriel (192168) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633666)

Trolling Trolling Trolling....

Re:The end is nigh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17633936)

And what the hell do you care? You've got ABC, NBS, CBS, NPR, CNN, and MSNBC broadcasting their "propaganda". For many, Fox News is the light. Sometimes it's way brighter than it should be to the point of being painful (coughHannityAndColmescough), but at least they don't intentionally look for stories that make Republicans look badly ... not that it takes much to do that as of late, mind you.

I've given each of them a fair amount of time to try to prove their balance (including Fox) and they all failed. I can't watch any of them due to their slant (all of which in my view are to the left except for, of course, Fox) and their attitudes that nothing outside of the U.S. is worth any respectable air time if it doesn't involve the U.S.

Regulating Fairness? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17633598)

Why do I feel uncomfortable with the government regulating 'fairness' with respect to media?

"'We know the media has become the servant of a very narrow corporate agenda. We are now in a position to move a progressive agenda to where it is visible.'"

So, we now move media to a different agenda?

My question really is, Will this really give us the balanced/fair coverage that we wish, or will it just bring our media even more left of center than what it is now?

Re:Regulating Fairness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17633700)

Left of center? Aside from the Daily Show, just where is this "liberal media" I keep hearing about? Or are you one of those who throw out the term "liberal" as a derogatory remark regarding anyone with a differing opinion?.

Re:Regulating Fairness? (2)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633970)

The Daily Show isn't left of center, either. It's been studied (someone counted the number of jokes made at the expenses of both sides) and it's basically 50/50. Any sense that TDS is "liberal" comes from a skewed perception on the part of the person with that sense, apparently. (Maybe that's telling us that the rest of the media leans right?)

Re:Regulating Fairness? (1)

neatfoote (951656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634172)

The Daily Show isn't left of center, either. It's been studied (someone counted the number of jokes made at the expenses of both sides) and it's basically 50/50.

I haven't read the study in question (and I'm suspicious on principle of blanket statements that begin, "studies show..."), but in any case the raw number of jokes at the expense of Republicans vs. Democrats has nothing to do with the bias or lack of bias of the show in question. A joke making fun of Bush as a moron or a baby-killer does not equate to a joke making fun of Hillary's hair.

From what I've seen, the vast majority of jokes on the Daily Show come from a leftist perspective (i.e. positing liberal principles as important, respectable and true, while conservative principles are laughable or repugnant). Which is not to say that it's not a funny show, but it does illustrate the difficulty of coming up with objective or rigorous measures of "fairness" in cases like these.

Re:Regulating Fairness? (1)

Headcase88 (828620) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634062)

The Colbert Report. He clearly cuts Democrats too much slack. Moving on...

Re:Regulating Fairness? (1)

walterwalter (777821) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633730)

Like it matters... None of this changes anything as it pertains to the fact that a majority of people could care less. We need something akin to fairness of use for people's noggins. Fairness in the media just makes people feel better, enabling you to say "Hey, I tried..."

Re:Regulating Fairness? (1)

dcskier (1039688) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633942)

exactly, there's no 'fair' way to determine if something was balanced this will only further polarize issues and present no middle ground. it could further increase news networks just pitting pundits at each other; which is not news. should i assume hannity and combles is fair because they present 'both sides' of the issue? what about cases where the issue is 98% clear. do we have to give 50% of the discussion to the 2% who are the uber-extreme right, left, or borderline sane??? there will always be one person to disagree with everything. good intention, bad results.

Re:Regulating Fairness? (1)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633750)

I don't think that the media is left of center at the moment to begin with (studies have been done: at least with local media it depends entirely on the local population's voting habits and isn't monolithic across the country) and I won't even speculate about which political direction this would move us in. That said, I share your concern at the ability to regulate "fairness" as much as I am sickened by what I see and hear on some stations passing for news. It's just too nebulous to regulate beyond libel and slander. That's to say nothing of the First Amendment challenges here.

Basically, I think it's a good in theory but bad in practice.

Oh, this is too easy.... (-1, Troll)

cutecub (136606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633664)

C'mon, don't make me do it...

Oh, all right:

"But, if the Fairness Doctrine is reinstated, what will become of FOX News?"


Re:Oh, this is too easy.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17633734)

Probably will face the same fate as CNN.

Re:Oh, this is too easy.... (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633798)

-1 Troll
See, that'll teach you to go around manipulating the truth. FAUX News is nothing if not fair and balanced.

Free market - hardly (5, Insightful)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633692)

The Republican free market viewpoint presented isn't - a free market approach would be to allow anyone who wanted to provide cable or television without requiring government approval; since that would result in chaos the governmnet licenses rights - once you agree to that you have a new partner - the government.

It's a trap! (0, Redundant)

ENOENT (25325) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633718)

So, is this a plot to make ALL the news "Fair and Balanced"?

Re:It's a trap! (1)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634158)

Just so we're clear, "Fair and Balanced" != "Conservative". The closest thing we have to a truly fair and balanced news source is The Daily Show. I'd think it was sad if I wasn't laughing so hard.

Forced, Uninentional Bias (4, Insightful)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633738)

Requiring a "balanced" view can be just as bad as being completely one-sided. For example, say that there's an issue where 95% of the poll participants agree. In order to present a balanced view containing the opposing side, a new journalist may take the majority opinion and a minority opinion. When presented as opposing sides it may give the impression that people are evenly divided. This occurs quite often with scientific, religious and economic issues. It's not a case of intentional deception, but the effect can be the same.

Does This Mean (2, Insightful)

Ian McBeth (862517) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633752)

That the Communist/Socialist Big 5 ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and MSNBC are going to allow a conservative viewpoint on their networks that isn't badgered and made fun of?

I seriously Doubt it.

The liberals failed in their attempt to gain radio market share, Air America is Bankrupt. Whether you agree with conservatism or no, it obviously sells well, thats why it dominates radio and liberal tripe out side of NPR doesn't do well.

Conservatism has Fox News, and Talk Radio, Liberals have ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, PBS and NPR.

So where is the lack of Fairness in the way things are now?

There is no need for the fairness doctrine, unless your liberal and want your total domination of the Information people have access too, back that you had back from the 30s through the 80s.

Re:Does This Mean (1)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634054)

Eh, liberal, conservative who cares. Everyone just gets their news from The Daily Show anyways.

Fairness Doctrine silences right talk radio (5, Insightful)

dfenstrate (202098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633780)

Which is why democrats love it so much. The talk radio explosion came after the fairness doctrine ended. Before that if a radio station offered a right leaning talk show, they'd have to offer time to a left leaning one as well.

The trouble is that left wing talk radio doesn't sell ads, because no one listens to it. So radio station operators had to chose between a few hours of right wing talk radio that was profitable, balanced by a few hours of left talk that wasn't, or just filling the airwaves with silly pop songs that generated decent revenue consistently.

You don't have to believe me, you can go check for yourself the respective popularity & profitability of Air America vs Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Rielly, Mike Savage, etc.

Left wing talk radio doesn't sell. So forcing radio stations to carry equal amounts of right wing and left wing radio makes them lose money, so they drop it altogether.

Now like most internet forums, Slashdot is teeming with lefties. I imagine most of you will be fine with this cause talk radio is just a bunch of right-wing hate mongers, right? Eh? No harm in silencing that, huh?

Unless, of course, you happen to think freedom of speech and property rights stands for something.

The obvious counter is that the airwaves are public property, and you're right. You're also ignoring that the leftist point of view permeates most broadcast TV quite thoroughly (Yes, except for Fox). If you don't realize it, it's for the same reason fish don't realize they're wet.

Truth is the elimination of the fairness doctrine made the airwaves more fair, because presenting a right wing point of view became profitable when you weren't burdened with the left wing. It wasn't be the first government policy that had the precise opposite of it's intended effect, and it won't be the last.

If you support the return of the fairness doctrine after actually paying attention to the history of it, you might as well say "Free speech for me, but not for thee."

Re:Fairness Doctrine silences right talk radio (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17633880)

Left wing talk radio doesn't sell. So forcing radio stations to carry equal amounts of right wing and left wing radio makes them lose money, so they drop it altogether.

That's because only retards listen to radio.

We're not retarted. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17634156)

As a long time talk radio listener, it's real-time streaming.

I don't understand podcasts as they are time shifted. It works fine for some things but "news" is only news if it is "new".

Not to Burst your Bubble (2, Insightful)

allscan (1030606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633784)

Too bad this won't do a thing for cable news networks and documentary channels. Remember "broadcast" means free over the air, as in antenna; not cable coming into your house. Now, granted, the Democrats could likely change the wording this time around to include everything and most likely will. Oh well, just another kick in the nuts for free thinking society.

doubtful constitutionality (4, Insightful)

Petrox (525639) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633788)

While the media has clearly been irresponsible in recent years and all-too accommodating for the abuses of power with which the country must now grapple, I tend to doubt that the reinstatement of the fairness doctrine would be either constitutional or even a good idea.

The constitutionality of the 'fairness doctrine' was upheld by the Supreme Court in the case Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC (1969) on the basis that the FCC content-based regulation of broadcast television programming was appropriate in light of scarce broadcast resources and its mandate to act in the public interest for limited broadcast airwave frequencies. In other words, with only so many frequencies to dole out, it made sense at the time for the FCC to have some role in ensuring that a diverse array of viewpoints had access to broadcasting.

In this day and age, where over-the-airwaves broadcast TV is mandated to be replaced by digital TV receivers (where interference and broadcast scarcity are much less of an issue) quite soon, and where cable, satellite, and the Internet have opened up innumerable avenues for mass and niche media and communication, the rationale for Red Lion just totally falls apart. This was essentially the rationale of the FCC in the 1980s when it did away with the fairness doctrine for precisely the reason that it felt it was no longer justified in light of the then-contemporary media environment (an environment that has only become more numerous and fragmented than it was then, and certainly compared to the days where all there was were the 'big three' networks).

Plus, do we really want FCC bureaucrats editing TV programming for political content? That just seems like a system ripe for abuse.

IANAL (though I very recently passed the bar exam and so I'm very close to being one...)

Re:doubtful constitutionality (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634422)

Excepting that in today's world there is a proliferation of 'news sources' which present unverified information as fact and people in general are completely aware of this now so are skeptical about using 99% of the 'news sources' out there as a primary authority.

Which brings us to the situation today where the major networks and media outlets are still and rightfully seen as primary authorities for news coverage. There are only a handful of these news authorities that have credibility with the public as far as the accuracy and veracity of the news coverage they provide... which does not mean they have credibility as far as their bias, which is what this Fairness Doctrine would cover.

So yes, there are thousands of sources of news information, each with it's own level of accuracy and bias... but who does the public turn to when they want the full story backed by an organization big enough to have something to lose if they misrepresent the facts or outright lie?

The big media outlets.

The Fairness Doctrine worked out great last time (2, Informative)

calbanese (169547) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633806)

Anyone interested in the results of the Fairness Doctrine from the first time around should check this book out [] . It was a bad idea then and a bad idea now.

My fellow Slashdotters (5, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633818)

Fox News is not broadcast media.

That is all.

So, now Slashdot will be required to have dupes? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17633820)

With different headlines????

This is two decades past due (0, Flamebait)

Dracos (107777) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633840)

The end of the fairness doctrine is what allowed corporate news outlets to project their owner's agenda onto the public, and allowed the birth of Fox News. You think Fox could continue to exist unchanged if the Fairness Doctrine was reinstated? Unlikely. O'Reilly's "shut up" and "turn his mike off" rudeness would be the first thing to go... good riddance. Subtler changes would certainly follow at the other news networks.

Edward R. Murrow has been spinning in his grave for 20 because of this. Can someone check if he's slowed down yet?

Re:This is two decades past due (1)

Ian McBeth (862517) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634034)

What? Are you saying that poor little NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, PBS and NPR aren't good enough for poor lil you?
That no matter how much you disagree with the "right" you cannot allow them one lil cable tv voice of their own?

If the fairness Doctrine were truly fair O'Reilly and other conservative personalities would get an hour on each of those liberal dominated networks, for each hour of liberal tripe they broadcast.

BTW Since Fox News is a cable TV channel, if you don't like it, Don't watch it. If enough people stop watching it, it will go away because advertisers will stop advertising on it. If you really hate it, boycott the companies that advertise on it. Instead of whining for Government intervention when none is needed.

Re:This is two decades past due (1)

avalys (221114) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634256)

You are incorrect.

The Fairness Doctrine affected only broadcast media - i.e., not cable. Any attempt to influence Fox News' content would be unconstitutional - it is a private news station carried on private networks (cable and satellite). The FCC only has authority over the broadcast media because the airwaves are considered public property.

Regardless, this is a bad idea, pure and simple. How would you feel if a Republican candidate were advocating the Fairness Doctrine, on the basis that NBC, CBS, and ABC were liberally biased? You'd go nuts and start screaming about censorship, I bet. The only difference here is who's doing the censorship.

And here we see the motives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17634406)

of the people who support the "fairness doctrine". To have the government silence those they disagree with.

Dennis Kucinich (0)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633848)

He's still the only worthy candidate put up by the democrats. But the status que will never let him near the white house. If he was to win, he'll end up as dead as the Kennedys. And it is the people's fault for not putting qualified candidates on the ballot. They had a chance to put a good man in charge, and they completely blew it. This is why the world says, "WTF is wrong with you people?"

Quote from TFA (2, Insightful)

petehead (1041740) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633886)

"FCC Commissioner Michael Copps was also on hand at the conference and took broadcasters to task for their current content, speaking of "too little news, too much baloney passed off as news. Too little quality entertainment, too many people eating bugs on reality TV. Too little local and regional music, too much brain-numbing national play-lists."

Nice to see this from the FCC chair, but what can he do about it?

Foolishness (1)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633888)

I'm no fan of the major news outlets but this sounds like foolishness if for no other reason than the fact that the concept of "what's fair" is entirely subjective, if not in theory then at least in practice. If we aren't getting the whole story from standard media outlets then there will always be a market for someone who will give us the rest of the story. Just because that someone might not be a 24 hour news network shouldn't be a reason to regulate what people can and can't say.

Furthermore, a measure like this would only relegate the regulated mediums to a less relevant role as consumers and journalists would migrate towards the internet, or other uncontrolled mediums, where people can report things as they see them rather than how the current powers that be see them.

Define "fair" (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633898)

How could this possibly be enforced? Does this mean all religious discussions must include scientology? And all National Geographic programs on the origin of the universe must talk about creationism? Or am I misunderstanding this?

The Wikipedia article on Fairness Doctrine [] is marked as being non-neutral. Ohhh the irony!!!

From the Supreme Court ruling upholding this:
"There is nothing in the First Amendment which prevents the Government from requiring a licensee to share his frequency with others.... It is the right of the viewers and listeners, not the right of the broadcasters, which is paramount."
What? Did they just say the first ammendment applies to the LISTENER not the SPEAKER? That's just wrong. I don't have the right to LISTEN to any viewpoint. I have the right to SPEAK any viewpoint. I can only hope that quote was taken out of context.

Re:Define "fair" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17634104)

What? Did they just say the first ammendment applies to the LISTENER not the SPEAKER?

I believe the point is that the broadcaster has no First Amendment right that supercedes the rights (from other sources) of listeners.

All Channels Aren't Created Equal (2, Insightful)

ZipK (1051658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633910)

The Republican rebuttal argument:

"To say that this is an antiquated concept in a time of several-hundred-channel cable TV, satellite TV, satellite radio, and of course our little Internet, is to state the obvious."

Fails to acknowledge that not all communication media are created equal. Broadcast frequencies, which are easily received by inexpensive, common televisions and radios, are fundamentally different than satellite channels that are vended by select providers, which are in turn wholly different than Internet channels that mostly blend into the wallpaper.

Perhaps a better approach would be to reverse the concentration of private ownership of public frequencies, and to revoke the lifelong leases of public frequencies given to corporations. Why, for instance, can Clear Channel buy and sell these allocations? Why is there a secondary market for public resources? Why doesn't this money flow back to the owners of the airwaves?

How is something deemed fair? (1)

SparkyTWP (556246) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633916)

How do you deem something fair? Have a democrat and republican banter about? What about other parties, even the crazy ones?

How do you even begin to enforce it? It's free speech, it doesn't have to be fair or even remotely factual.

If you don't like how a radio or TV station is broadcasting its news, then you boycott it and convince others to do the same. It doesn't matter anyway, I think most people are realizing that getting the news online is quicker and easier than watching it on TV, and this law wouldn't (Or at least couldn't practically) cover that.

I just love being told what to do (1)

CharliePete (923290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633940)

Don't you just love it when the Feds tell us what to watch, listen, even say? Doesn't it make life so much easier when we can let some else do our thinking for us?

What does the Constitution say? (5, Insightful)

pentapenguin (904715) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633950)

What ever happened to the First Amendment [] ?
Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech
What part of that is so hard to understand for modern politicians?

That's hardly a fair counter-example (4, Interesting)

cfulmer (3166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17633988)

So, the Fairness Doctrine was rooted in the idea that if you're using the public airways, you needed to do so in a manner that benefited the public. It's the same basic idea that forced TV and radio stations to put on public interest shows that nobody watched. It's a bad idea for a number of reasons:

(1) The public has already chosen what they like to listen to and watch -- the market can, and does, give people what they want.

(2) This is really just a back-door attempt to squelch a format where liberals have been unsuccessfully trying to penetrate for years: talk radio. The idea is to FORCE radio stations to pick up the next "Air America" if they're going to continue to broadcast Rush Limbaugh. But, (going back to #1), if nobody listens, is there a benefit? To Liberals there is -- by forcing "fairness," a Radio station will have to silence about half of its conservative voices.

(3) It's not like there's a paucity of available opinions -- the Internet has made it possible for every side to get its message out, with very little budget. Plus, things have changed since the days where CBS, NBC and ABC rules the TV airways. There are now hundreds of television stations.

(4) What about the First Amendment? Sure, the fact that they're public airways means that they are subject to some restrictions, but do we really want to add more limits on speech?

(5) Despite what Commissioner Copps said, it's not going to get rid of garbage TV (I'm thinking NBC's "Fear Factor" as a great example), because those shows don't espouse any political opinions.

The Democrats are beginning the process of making sure they're not re-elected in 2 years. Did any candidate run on the Fairness Doctrine?

Incidently, the differences between the Fairness Doctrine and Net Neutrality are: (1) one is content-based and one isn't and (2) Net-Neutrality regulates the information pipes, not the sources.

Re:That's hardly a fair counter-example (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634374)

(1) The public has already chosen what they like to listen to and watch -- the market can, and does, give people what they want.

No, no it doesn't. The market can and does give people things that intersect what they want, and what the market wants to give them.

Concrete example: How much media coverage was there when the FCC was deciding to abolish rules limiting the number of media outlets a single corporation can own in a given market? I'll tell you, there was JACK SHIT... and Jack left town.

And who will say what is fair and balanced? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634040)

Simple question. This is in effect a form of censorship. Unlike a lot of people on Slashdot I don't all forms of censorship are wrong but what else can you call it when the Government gets to say what is fair and balanced? I am sure that in China they have the exact same law on the books.

Get to the root: Tax net assets (2, Insightful)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634070)

People keep targeting the wrong problems since they can't get to the root problem: Concentration of wealth.

There is every reason to charge a use fee for property rights that would not exist in the absence of government and very little reason to tax domestic economic activities.

The failure to tax the right thing results in an accumulation of wealth in the hands of those already wealthiest and this results in increased centralization of ownership of everything including the means of indoctrinating the populous.

Moreover, as people increasingly recognize on both the right and left, it is important to avoid replacing centralization of wealth with centralization of political control. Tax revenues should be evenly dispersed to the citizens without any prejudice in a citizens dividend so they can enjoy the kind of yeoman class independence that created people like Newton and the Wright Brothers.

Re:Get to the root: Tax net assets (2, Insightful)

cryfreedomlove (929828) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634402)

Citizens already have the ability to enact property taxes. Many states do this. Many choose not to. Its a voluntary system. Are you suggesting that the people cannot decide this one for themselves?

Who decides what is fair? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17634096)

A progressive response to neo-conservatism seems like more of the same old same old. How about socialists? Libertarians? Anarchists?

I suspect fairness as defined by the neoconservative-progressive duopoly will be far from fair. Much like the bipartisan version of campaign finance reform that merely guarantees that we either get more nonsense from both the Dems or Republicans.

Problem: (2, Insightful)

j3w (860785) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634098)

I have come to believe that Fox News and company hav called themselves fair and balanced so much that they actually believe that they really are, and that somehow that crackpot liberals they bring on their shows to harass actually represent the liberal community at large.
So the problem is fairness according to whom.
Bias is inescapable in the media because people are somewhat oblivious to their own bias and will often present the information, which can only be filtered through the lenses of their existing biases, as fact because thats they way the actually saw the event unfold (within the limits of their biased perceptions).
The fairness doctrine is nice in principal but who is objective and neutral enough to be its enforcer?
No One
What would enivitably happen is that this fairness doctrine would become another buzz word of the day issue of partisan politics wasting everyones time slinging dirt back and forth.
People really just need to be smart enough to recognize the biases for themselves and filter out the useful information out of the news that is presented...all it takes is a grain of salt.
Thats my $0.02

Who defines it and who oversees it (2, Insightful)

DBCubix (1027232) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634132)

The Fairness Doctrine applies to 'controversial' issues by applying equal time to opposing views. First, who defines what is controversial and what isn't? Is the hanging of Christmas decorations controversial? Will we need equal article space discussing several sides? What about really whacked out sides or ideas? Do they need presented too or do we need at least 5% of the population subscribing to the idea? What happens if Air America is sanctioned as non-controversial and does not need to balance their broadcasts and Rush Limbaugh is found to be controversial? Who is to say one is controversial and the other isn't? Second, who oversees this? What about their biases? What happens if the oversight committee is out of touch with reality? Do we accept really skewed programming? Does this amount to a form of government-sponsored censorship? This is just too many problems that I don't feel the government is capable of handling.

Final nail in AM coffin (1)

kaufmanmoore (930593) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634146)

I see this as what may finally kill off AM radio. If a station would have to put on non-profitable shows to counteract the popular shows it would kill them off, talk radio from the right is what saved AM radio. Also, does this mean that a religious AM station would have to put information about evolution to counteract preaching?

Superfluous (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634188)

The Fairness Doctrine was a lovely idea in its day -- that day is now over. Why? You're on it -- the Internet. So, a media outlet provides a biased look at some subject... and within hours, bloggers hither and yon are adding their two cents, bringing up counter arguments, and providing new information to support/refute the story. Some of the information is spurious, moronic, or downright prevarication, but much of it is relevant. People who were part of the story and feel cut out or that their words were taken out of context get to set the record straight. Depending on the societal relevance, it might make it to Wikipedia and be high on Google in a short period of time. In this age, the Internet provides the fairness, though at the price of limited transparency, given that much of the information provided is repetitive.

great way to kill AM radio (1)

Dr Kool, PhD (173800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634296)

Conservative radio has revived the AM band since the death of the Fairness Doctrine. Bringing it back would spell the death of AM radio. Left wing radio just doesn't sell. You get the left's message when you watch the evening news or read pretty much any newspaper or read Slashdot and other political blogs. There's no demand for another source of liberal media.

The Dems would love to silence AM radio because it's the only source of media that isn't dominated by leftists.

In Soviet Russia.... (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634324)

Fair and Balanced Reports YOU!

Fortunately blogs will be mostly exempt (1)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634334)

Those of us with blogs that have open comments and open trackbacks have an inherent openness to "presenting the other side." If you want to disagree, go post it in the comments. Everyone will see it. While "fairness doctrine" is morally despicable, let's face it. The ones who stand to lose the most are the talking heads who don't like the idea of having an open forum where they might be shown up.

Talk Radio is supported by advertisements (1)

dmcooper (899820) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634350)

If radio station owners are forced to give 'equal time' to ideas that never sell, it will run them out of business - or into playing music.

Worse - I would rather not have the government in charge of what I am and am not allowed to spend my day listening to. The government should butt out as a rule. Quit throwing stones in glass houses, they have their own corporate sponsorship to worry about.

"Progressive Agenda" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17634352)

"We know what's best for the mouth-breathing masses and anyone who doesn't agree is obviously a homophobic racist reactionary."

Just an opinion (1)

fastcoke11 (805687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634354)

The press needs to lose its bias and present issues fairly and factually. It's not the government's job to make them do this. In fact, the government is the last organization that should be involved in this process, just due to the obvious hypocritical nature of such an involvement as per our constitution. We won't find the solution in the government, we will need to find it elsewhere. I cannot present an alternative, I can only point out what I view as a misunderstanding of the government's purpose.

A "fairness doctrine" is not needed (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17634408)

Review of the licensing procedures for broadcasters is. This where the problem lies. It's way too political. And since terrestrial broadcasting is always a local phenomena(phenomena, da daaaa da da da...). The local folks should decide who gets the license, and the FCC should only check that two signals don't interfere with each other. In fact that should be the ONLY qualification for a license. The content should be regulated by the guy/gal/kid with the remote. This will be a step to insure that broadcasters follow local standards and is useful to the local communities that receive the signal. But that ain't gonna happen, is it? There's too much money in keeping tings the way they are. Anyway, I hope Kucinich makes another run for the presidency. Looking back at every candidate since Johnson, he seems overqualified, but we need him there to at least make the attempt to keep the others honest.
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