“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Fairness Doctrine: Phooey

Ya'll know I am diametrically opposed to the un-"Fairness Doctrine". It stinks like the pig poop in Animal Farm. It's 1984, Atlas Shrugged and... the end of freedom of speech in our great country. The Democrats are going to pass the blasted thing if they have the votes. They are short sighted in their thought process if they think it will not bite them in their own backsides at some point. It will be the thread that, once pulled, unravels all that protects free speech. As far as I'm concerned, they're killing America with this one.

OK. Now that you have been reminded how badly I hate the bizarro-fairness doctrine (BFD), here's a tiny bit of light in the distance... a teensey bit of hope... maybe... that I missed, quite possibly because I wasn't paying attention to the issue way back when Mike Pence introduced the Broadcaster Freedom Act.

I know the BFD came up for a vote, was shot down and now it's been revived (arrgghh). Maybe the release below came out during the time it was dying the first time? Doesn't matter, like the living dead, it's back again and this time the voodoo priests control the Congress so it just may go through if we don't fight it with every possible weapon we can muster.

Pence has a page where he's updating info on the BFD, I've copied the page at the end of this release. I know I must have heard something about this before, must have!
“There is Nothing Fair about the Fairness Doctrine”

Washington, Jun 27, 2007 - WASHINGTON, DC—In remarks to be presented on the floor of the U.S. House today, U.S. Congressman Mike Pence, a former radio talk show host, will discuss a bill he plans to introduce that would prevent reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine:

"The American people love a fair fight, especially where the issues of the day are debated. In a free market, fairness should be determined based upon equal opportunity, not equal results. As some voices are calling for Congress to enforce their idea of ‘fairness’ upon the American people, it would be good for us to proceed with caution whenever some would achieve their ‘fairness’ by limiting the freedom of others.

"Beginning in 1949, the Federal Communications Commission and its precursor developed and enforced the so-called Fairness Doctrine. The Fairness Doctrine required broadcasters to present controversial issues in a fair and balanced manner. However, because of the lack of clarity in the Commission’s ruling, broadcasters opted to offer non-controversial programming in lieu of hours of paperwork or countless legal fees.

"Thankfully, the FCC began to overturn its own ruling on the Fairness Doctrine in 1985. And, following that change in policy by the FCC and President Reagan’s veto of attempts to reinstate it, the results have been dramatic. The lifting of the Fairness Doctrine has opened the public airwaves to free and vigorous discussion of controversial issues by individuals of all political stripes.

"Since the demise of the Fairness Doctrine, talk radio has emerged as a dynamic forum for public debate and an asset to the nation.

"Unfortunately, in the name of fairness, there has been much talk in recent days about the need to level the playing field of radio broadcasting by restoring the Fairness Doctrine.

"A liberal think tank recently condemned what they called the ‘massive imbalance’ on the radio airwaves.

"Some elected officials have said that Congress should ‘deal with that problem’ and others are ‘looking at’ bringing back this outright regulation of the American political debate.

"Bringing back the Fairness Doctrine would amount to government control over political views expressed on the public airwaves. It is a dangerous proposal to suggest the government should be in the business of rationing free speech.

"Congress must take action to ensure that this archaic remnant of a bygone era of American radio does not return. There is nothing fair about the Fairness Doctrine.

"During my years in radio and television, I developed a great respect for a free and independent press. Since being in Congress, I have been the recipient of praise and criticism from broadcast media, but it has not changed my fundamental belief that a free and independent press must be vigorously defended by those who love liberty. It is with this in mind that I will introduce the Broadcaster Freedom Act.

"The Broadcaster Freedom Act will prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from prescribing rules, regulations, or policies that will reinstate the requirement that broadcasters present opposing viewpoints in controversial issues of public importance. The Broadcaster Freedom Act will prevent the FCC or any future President from reinstating the Fairness Doctrine. This legislation ensures true freedom and fairness will remain on our radio airwaves, and I would encourage my colleagues to cosponsor and support this bill.

"John F. Kennedy stated, ‘We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.’”

Fairness Doctrine Update

Story HERE.
Congressman Pence's response HERE.
Click HERE for a link to the discharge petition. Current count: 202 signatures (218 needed). *Note* actual count may differ from number of signatures due to the removal of resigned or deceased Members from the official count
Click HERE for a copy of the Broadcaster Freedom Act.
Click HERE for a copy of "Myth Vs. Fact" about the so-called "Fairness Doctrine"
Talking Points on the 'Fairness Doctrine.'
Quotes from Democrats about the 'Fairness Doctrine.'
More information and past updates are available HERE.
"Radio Independence Day" Press Conference - 6-11-2008
Members who voted for the moratorium but have not yet signed the discharge petition

p.s. For those who never read Superman comic books, you may need to go look up Bizarro World!)
p.p.s. I signed up for updates from Mike Pence on his site, you might want to do the same. http://mikepence.house.gov/

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