There is little fair in the Fairness Doctrine
The Fairness Doctrine, today, is anything but fair or good.
The Fairness Doctrine was enacted in 1949 by the Federal Communications Commission who ruled that publicly licensed airwaves must grant air time for controversial issues and air time for opposing viewpoints on those issues. At that time there were only three television networks and the radio network had only started to expand. It was designed to keep a handful of communication outlets from controlling widespread thought.
That was a good thing in 1949.
As information outlets grew, the need for this forced effort diminished. The Fairness Doctrine was repealed in 1987 under the Reagan administration.
Move forward to 2009.
The world is a radically different place with information coming from countless outlets. In fact, it is like being a restaurant - instead of being fed the special of the day and asking for more options, now the buffet is so huge people are selecting what they want to consume. That is a great thing. The more there is free thought, the more free the society.
Now there are those who want to come in and control the buffet.
Under the guise of "fairness", they want to force the electronic media to provide opposing viewpoints on all stations under a new Fairness Doctrine. They forget that today's multimedia allows people to choose what they want to listen to or watch. If we don't agree with a program, we have the choice to turn the channel or shut it off. And advertisers will not support stations that people don't like, so those outlets will close. The people themselves control the flow of information.
To support this free flow, U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) has introduced the Broadcaster Freedom Act Feb. 19 as an amendment to the upcoming D.C. Voting Rights Bill.
Why should we care?
Any time a government wants to control information and thought, that is not good or fair.
It is a short jump to squashing those airwaves if those in power don't like an opposing view. It is also a short jump to controlling the Internet. Then, what happens when someone wants to tinker with the First Amendment - freedom of speech?
Those in power should never be given control over our nation's information sources. The media has often been given the title of being "The Fourth Estate" - the watchdog over government.If the people of the United States want fairness and freedom, then keep government out of information outlets. Keep many, many outlets of thought unbridled. Keep the free market of opposing views.
That is what is truly fair.