Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fairness Doctrine is Unfair

The concept behind the so-called fairness doctrine is that equal weight, airtime, opinions, etc. should be guaranteed to both sides of an argument. Specifically, the intent is to put the kibosh on conservative radio and blogs.

According to the Rasmussen Reports:
Nearly half of Americans (47%) believe the government should require all radio and television stations to offer equal amounts of conservative and liberal political commentary, but they draw the line at imposing that same requirement on the Internet. Thirty-nine percent (39%) say leave radio and TV alone, too.

At the same time, 71% say it is already possible for just about any political view to be heard in today’s media, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Twenty percent (20%) do not agree.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) say the government should not require websites and blog sites that offer political commentary to present opposing viewpoints. But 31% believe the Internet sites should be forced to balance their commentary.
My first thought was: which idiots did they poll? As expected more Democrats favor media equality than Republicans.

Conservative shows do not hide their agendas. They are clearly opinionated shows. No one is trying to trick the listener. They are on the air because they are successful and advertisers pay for air time. Liberal-labeled talk shows have failed. Not enough listeners and advertisers. Pure business.

The main stream media (aka drive-by media) is certainly more liberal than conservative. Despite general belief, FOX News is more centrist-oriented than it is right-leaning. All of the others -- CNN, CNN HL, MSNBC -- are all left-wing with isolated examples otherwise.

The "doctrine" also has eyes on the blogosphere. Bloggers are one of the great outlets in modern media. You can come from any political persuasion and you can have a voice.

The fairness doctrine is unfair by its nature. It assumes that people are too stupid to distinguish between "sides of an issue." It implies that some governmental agency will be a better barometer than the public.

Right wing radio survives due to market dynamics. It media outlet are forced to cover issues equally, it will turn-off listeners and reduce the value proposition of many media options.

The hidden agenda is that those who favor the fairness doctrine hope to see the demise of right wing voice. They can care less about equality. They know that the conservative voice is mainly limited to AM radio and the Internet. Their fairness doctrine has those two items in its cross-hairs.

It seems those promoting this "doctrine" prefer the Chinese and Russian media model. They prefer to thumb their noses at the First Amendment, believing that "abridging the freedom of speech" is nothing more than an antiquated idea.

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