Thursday, June 24, 2010

Censorship and Broadcast "Equality"

I recently read Brian Jennings' 2009 book Censorship: The Threat to Silence Talk Radio. Embarrassingly, I was not aware that the so-called Fairness Doctrine has been in place since 1949 when the FCC began requiring "broadcasters to provide 'fair-and-balanced programming' on the public airwaves. The doctrine was repealed in 1987 during the Reagan Administration on the grounds that it was no longer necessary because of the diversity of voices heard in the media marketplace...and that such a regulation might well be unconstitutional".

Mandating broadcast equality to diverse opinions clearly violates the First Amendment.

It makes running a TV and radio business anything but financially rewarding. Making sure one covers opposing viewpoints for every 'hot topic' would drive a producer insane, considering how many opposing viewpoint would like to be shared. The result was little in the way on controversial topics being addressed publicly. Instead, radio and TV news was amazingly boring. When the ban was lifted, talk radio and TV news as we know it today began to take off.

Business personnel and investors could actually provide a product that specific target markets were interested in hearing or seeing. Ads could be sold. Money could be made in broadcasting. But because one aspect of broadcasting -- conservative talk radio -- was becoming big business, those that could not compete; i.e., the liberals, attempt to regulate it out of existence.

The Fairness Doctrine means boring radio and TV news. It means less jobs because the appeal of this class of media would diminish. It means less freedom for everyone.

Most media leans towards the liberal side of politics. In many cases, it survives because it is subsidized by the government.

The intent of "fairness" regulation is designed to control freedom of speech. The nation's minority of liberal-leading voices are trying to silence any opposing viewpoints. This has been tried to the detriment of many societies from the Soviet Union and Communist China to Chavez-lead Venezuela and similar-leaning Latin and African nations.

What we see going on here is the well-established liberal agenda: 1) get into power through any means possible and 2) protect that power based with stifling and enslaving regulation and legislation.

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