Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hooray! FCC Sweeps Away "Fairness Doctrine"

An Investors Business Daily editorial reports and comments on the Federal Communications Commission's decision to do away with the "Fairness Doctrine" once and for all.

...While the Supreme Court upheld the doctrine in 1969, it concluded in 1974 that it "inescapably dampens the vigor and limits the variety of public debate."

Later, in 1987, the FCC itself said the doctrine "had the net effect of reducing, rather than enhancing," the discussion of controversial topics. It voted that year to overturn the rule, and hasn't enforced it since.

A later FCC chairman said that "the Fairness Doctrine doesn't belong in a country that's dedicated to freedom of the press and freedom of speech."

The result of the 1987 decision was an explosion of political speech, most notably on AM radio, but also across cable networks and the Internet.

So guess who's spent the past 24 years trying to revive this free-speech-killing rule? Self-proclaimed open-minded liberals.

In 1987, Democrats approved a bill that would have codified the Fairness Doctrine into law. Reagan vetoed it, despite the fact that doing so gave the existing TV networks even more freedom to trash his administration....

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