WASHINGTON, July 30, 2007—AIM editor Cliff Kincaid said today that Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin’s strong statement in opposition to the Fairness Doctrine was welcome but not enough, considering the stakes involved in the First Amendment fight and the political environment that faces conservative talk radio under a liberal President controlling three of five members of the FCC.
Kincaid made his comments after Rep. Mike Pence, the sponsor of the Broadcaster Freedom Act in the House, released some remarks that Martin had made in a letter. In the remarks, featured on Pence’s website, Martin declared that, “In my judgment, the events of the last two decades have confirmed the wisdom of the Commission’s decision to abolish the Fairness Doctrine. Discussion of controversial issues over the airwaves has flourished absent regulatory constraints, and the public now enjoys access to an ever-expanding range of views and opinions. Indeed, with the continued proliferation of additional sources of information and programming, including satellite broadcasting and the Internet, the need for the Fairness Doctrine has lessened ever further since 1987.”
While welcoming the comments, Kincaid said the only certain way to stop an FCC under the control of liberals from re-imposing the Fairness doctrine is to pass the Broadcaster Freedom Act in the House and Senate while George W. Bush is president. But that is a very difficult task with liberals in control of Congress. A fall-back position, the AIM editor said, is for the FCC to complete one or more studies on the benefits of media freedom that would make it more difficult for a liberal-controlled FCC to bring back the dangerous policy and see it survive a legal or court challenge.
The AIM editor added, “It is time for the FCC to lay the facts out on the table, about the blossoming of new media and the value of talk radio, so that those trying to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine are seen as the censors they want to be.”
Accuracy in Media is a citizens’ media watchdog organization whose mission is to promote fairness, balance, and accuracy in news reporting. Founded in 1969, AIM is the oldest non-profit press watchdog group in America. For more information, please visit http://www.aim.org.