Who defines 'fair and balanced?'

Rick Moran
The D.C. Examiner asks that question of Senator Chuck Schumer today in an editorial on the reinstitution of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine."

Apparently, Schumer was asked recently on Fox News whether he and the Democrats would try and bring back this anti-free speech rule. The Examiner editorializes:

Question for Chuck Schumer: Who appointed you  - or anybody else in government for that matter to decide what qualifies as "fair and balanced" political news and commentary on radio and television? The question arose earlier this week when the Democratic senator from New York was asked during an interview on Fox News whether he supports restoration of the Federal Communications Commission's Fairness Doctrine: "I think we should all be fair and balanced, don't you?" That's an especially rich retort coming from one of the most zealously hyper-partisan members of the Democratic caucus in the U.S. Senate.

The truth is that Democrats like Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, have been talking up bringing back the Fairness Doctrine because they hope to use it to stifle conservative dissent, particularly that which is heard daily from the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Examiner columnist Michael Reagan on Talk Radio. The Fairness Doctrine empowered the FCC [to] regulate political content on broadcast airwaves, including radio and television. Instead of protecting the public interest in hearing a diversity of political commentary and perspectives, however, the Fairness Doctrine was used by JFK and LBJ to shut religious and conservative commentators out of radio. The Nixon administration later tried to use the FCC to browbeat the television networks to be less critical of Viet Nam policy. Former CBS News president details these abuses in his landmark book, "The Good Guys, the Bad Guys and the First Amendment." President Reagan repealed the Fairness Doctrine in 1987.

There are a lot of truly execrable ideas that the Democrats plan to shove down the American people's throat. Card Check, higher taxes, auto industry bailouts, trillion dollar deficits are just a few.

But without a doubt, the most dangerous idea to liberty would be a reincarnation of the Fairness Doctrine in one form or another. Oh, it won't be called "The Fairness Doctrine," don't worry about that. It will be called "The Freedom in Broadcasting Act" or some such Orwellian formulation in order to give the perpetrators a veneer of deniability.  This is a favorite game of the left who never tire of redefining basic terms and changing language to suit their political needs of the moment.
But we have been forewarned. And as the saying goes, being forewarned is being forearmed. I know of at least 3 online coalitions that are already forming to fight this menace. I suggest you look around and join one. And if the opportunity arises, I would also suggest that you give generously to any request for funds.
Only by standing united against the danger can we hope to prevail.
The D.C. Examiner asks that question of Senator Chuck Schumer today in an editorial on the reinstitution of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine."

Apparently, Schumer was asked recently on Fox News whether he and the Democrats would try and bring back this anti-free speech rule. The Examiner editorializes:

Question for Chuck Schumer: Who appointed you  - or anybody else in government for that matter to decide what qualifies as "fair and balanced" political news and commentary on radio and television? The question arose earlier this week when the Democratic senator from New York was asked during an interview on Fox News whether he supports restoration of the Federal Communications Commission's Fairness Doctrine: "I think we should all be fair and balanced, don't you?" That's an especially rich retort coming from one of the most zealously hyper-partisan members of the Democratic caucus in the U.S. Senate.

The truth is that Democrats like Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, have been talking up bringing back the Fairness Doctrine because they hope to use it to stifle conservative dissent, particularly that which is heard daily from the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Examiner columnist Michael Reagan on Talk Radio. The Fairness Doctrine empowered the FCC [to] regulate political content on broadcast airwaves, including radio and television. Instead of protecting the public interest in hearing a diversity of political commentary and perspectives, however, the Fairness Doctrine was used by JFK and LBJ to shut religious and conservative commentators out of radio. The Nixon administration later tried to use the FCC to browbeat the television networks to be less critical of Viet Nam policy. Former CBS News president details these abuses in his landmark book, "The Good Guys, the Bad Guys and the First Amendment." President Reagan repealed the Fairness Doctrine in 1987.

There are a lot of truly execrable ideas that the Democrats plan to shove down the American people's throat. Card Check, higher taxes, auto industry bailouts, trillion dollar deficits are just a few.

But without a doubt, the most dangerous idea to liberty would be a reincarnation of the Fairness Doctrine in one form or another. Oh, it won't be called "The Fairness Doctrine," don't worry about that. It will be called "The Freedom in Broadcasting Act" or some such Orwellian formulation in order to give the perpetrators a veneer of deniability.  This is a favorite game of the left who never tire of redefining basic terms and changing language to suit their political needs of the moment.
But we have been forewarned. And as the saying goes, being forewarned is being forearmed. I know of at least 3 online coalitions that are already forming to fight this menace. I suggest you look around and join one. And if the opportunity arises, I would also suggest that you give generously to any request for funds.
Only by standing united against the danger can we hope to prevail.