Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Thoughts on the Fairness Doctrine

Evidently (h/t bunches of people, BTW) Chuck Schumer has figured that regulating political speech is about the same as preventing pornography. Apart from the obvious absurdity of that comment, he adds (digs) further by claiming that everyone would want the media to be "fair and balanced", as decided by a government bureaucrat. Let's test that theory.

Assume I have a talk radio show where I consistently argue that the "fairness bureaucrats" ought to be fired for participating in a blatantly unconstitutional activity. Am I to assume that the "fairness bureaucrats" will agree when I tell them that it's fine if up to 50% of media reports say they should be fired? Or is it more likely that they'll decide my speech is "unfair" and threaten to take my radio stations' licenses if they don't fire me?

The answer should be obvious; the Fairness doctrine isn't about "fairness," but rather about removing opinions unfavorable to those in power. Hopefully it remains as dead as it is today, or even more so.


pentamom said...

Or, let's flip it around. Suppose I have a radio show on which I argue that people who support current speech policies should have the freedom to do so.

Who's going to be the bureaucrat in charge of enforcing it so that they make sure that someone is advocating firing people for supporting current policy? And who's going to be the congressman convening the hearings when the bureaucrats fail to enforce it? Jiminy Cricket? Congressman Birdsong?

Bike Bubba said...

And then does the government budget for promoting current policies (like those asinine letters we get from Socialist Insecurity every year) count as part of the "balance"?

Well said.