A January 26 article by World Net Daily author Bob Unruh makes the case once again that the Obama Administration, by virtue of its emphasis on public interest “obligations” for broadcast entities, will resurrect the Fairness Doctrine and, consequently, “Hush Rush” and conservative talk radio.
“The White House is promising new reviews of the ‘obligations’ to the government by broadcasters who ‘occupy the nation’s spectrum’ just as the president has targeted conservative talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh for a public attack, raising concerns over the possible restoration of the ‘Fairness Doctrine,’ a policy that failed as unneeded and unconstitutional two decades ago.”
Far from new policy, this agenda item appeared on change.gov in early November; it was then transposed wholesale onto the whitehouse.gov website, reading
“Encourage diversity in the ownership of broadcast media, promote the development of new media outlets for expression of diverse viewpoints, and clarify the public interest obligations of broadcasters who occupy the nation’s spectrum.”
And Accuracy in Media has been reporting on this threat to free speech, the Obama Fairness Doctrine, all along.
Last June, we reported that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi favors a return of the Fairness Doctrine.
Before that, American University’s Washington College of Law unfairly promoted pro-Fairness Doctrine viewpoints, stacking the panels nearly unanimously in favor of the Red Lion Broadcasting Corp. v FCC ruling which upheld the “public interest” provisions of the then-active Fairness Doctrine.
In November 2007, the Senate Committee which oversees such matters hosted a panel on “media, localism, and diversity”—strategies the left-wing Center for American Progress believes could combat the “structural imbalance of talk radio.”
Editor Cliff Kincaid then warned that this could signal a push for the return of the Fairness Doctrine.
Later reporting on the panel, this correspondent outlined how this agenda could be designed to silence conservative media sources.
After all, if Congress did not intend to bring back the Fairness Doctrine, why did Congressman Mike Pence’s (R) Broadcaster Freedom Act (BFA), which would have prevented the return of the Fairness Doctrine, never come to a vote?
The previous year, House members unwilling to help the BFA signed into law a one-year moratorium on the Fairness Doctrine. This flip-flopping led some to decry these Congressmen and women as a “Hypocrisy Caucus.”
As Accuracy in Media has documented in The Death of Talk Radio?, this long-running agenda puts free speech at risk and would place broadcast decisions into the hand of bureaucrats. Please help support our efforts to stop the return of the Fairness Doctrine.