Thursday, June 28, 2007

Fairness Doctrine? -- Updated

by shamanic

I guess I misunderstood the Fairness Doctrine. I understood it to mean that news organizations, such as the 30 minutes the networks devote each evening, would be required to give equal time to all sides.

Today the House killed a measure that would have required talk radio stations and networks to balance a Rush Limbaugh broadcast with a Sam Seder broadcast.

That seems very intrusive to me. Rush and Sam are entertainers and pundits, not journalists. Journalists do have an obligation to the public to present balanced work (though even this has been eaten away, in particular by a court ruling that Fox News won, finding that news organizations are not required to report the truth. Pretty amazing, no?) While talk radio does use the public airways, I would hazard to guess that every market that carries Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity also has a public radio station providing balanced coverage of the news for those who care about that sort of thing.

And I was only recently making fun of Jeff Goldstein for running with the "Democrats will legislate talk radio away!" story. Apparently he had a few kernels of truth in there after all.

Found via Allahpundit.

Updated: Sorry, I misread. This wasn't Democratic legislation. Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) sponsored this amendment that would prohibit the FCC from funding a Fairness Doctrine. In other words, this is another Republican fixation that doesn't appear to have anything to do with reality, and certainly nothing to do with the priorities of the American public. Color me surprised.

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