Friday, May 8, 2009

A "stealth enactment" of the Fairness Doctrine

Watch for the "Fairness Doctrine" debate to be replaced by the term "localism." Though this is nothing new per-se Judicial Watch has the documents from the FCC showing it has not gone away and is still very much a consideration:

While President Obama is on record opposing the return of the Fairness Doctrine, which is viewed by many as an attempt to squelch the free speech of conservatives in the media, these documents show that the FCC is considering alternative proposals that may also regulate free speech in the media under the professed goal of "diversity."

For example, in December 2007, the FCC proposed new "localism" measures to force broadcast stations to offer programming more "responsive to the needs and interests of the communities that they are licensed to serve." These proposed measures, highlighted in a document entitled, "The Report on Broadcast Localism and Notice of Approved Rulemaking," included a requirement that broadcasters, "provide 3 hours per week of locally-produced program," and that licensees establish "permanent advisory boards (including representatives of underserved community segments)." The FCC noted that these measures would become part of the application renewal process to make sure broadcasters "meet their responsibilities."

Problems with "localism" are highlighted in a legal memo written by Kathleen Kirby of the law firm Wiley Rein and submitted to Rosemary Harold, serving as legal counsel to FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell. In the document, which was distributed internally at the FCC, Ms. Kirby advises that the Fairness Doctrine "would do well to stay dead." Ms. Kirby then turns her attention to "localism," advising that such a policy could represent a "stealth enactment" of the Fairness Doctrine. (more)


Euripides said...

Isn't that the liberal way? Take a bad concept, rename it with some innocuous sounding name, then push it out into the public while reviling any opposition to their idea as shortsighted, un-American, or bigoted. This process happens again and again. It is a rule of tyranny.

kkollwitz said...

I'm reminded of listening to the shortwave 25 years ago. Radio Moscow, Radio Albania, Voice of the DDR....they were so bad, I listened just to marvel at the badness.

If we do get the Fairness Doctrine (FD) back, liberals may get airtime, but if anyone wanted to listen to liberals on the radio, they'd already be there. No one will listen except to laugh, liberals will look stupid, the shows will be at least as bad as Air America, which is/was so bad I stopped listening even for the schadenfreude. The FD will provide Wayne's World for Progressives.

The liberals' problem with radio isn't lack of 'fairness,' it's that conservatives are on the radio. I doubt anything can be done about that,