Silencing your enemies for political and financial gain.

freespeechI find it really funny that Senator Stabenow is really interested in bringing back the Fairness Doctrine, especially considering that her husband Tom Athans was a VP for Air America radio, the failed radio station dedicated to liberal politics.  Yes Air America  couldn’t compete in the market so she wants to punish the radio stations that people actually want to listen to because of her husband.  He is also the founder and producer of other liberal talk radio programs.  I guess she wants to do everything possible to keep him employed so he has less time to spend with hookers, or at least doesn’t spend her money on them.

Anyway the Fairness Doctrine is BS.  Who is the one to decide what is fair or non-biased and what isn’t?  Some people might think Keith Olbermann is a fair and unbiased reporter.  While I am amazed that there are people think he qualifies as a journalist let alone sane.  I’m not saying we need to silence Keith he has the right to go on his longwinded illogical tirades all he wants and if you don’t want to hear it turn it off or change the station.

Another question is what is balance?  What ideas or political opinions are legitimate and should be mandated to get equal time?  Should an article against something like child sexual slavery be “balanced” with an article that is pro-child sexual slavery?  I know that sounds like an extreme case and it is but that is what could happen when the Fairness Doctrine is taken to it’s conclusion.

Another thing to consider is why does Conservative talk radio get so much support while liberal talk radio does not have the same amount of audience?  Air America had large amounts of money and used it to get themselves into the national market but they still failed because people didn’t listen to them.  Could it be that people just don’t want to hear liberal talk radio?  Yes there are a lot of liberals out there who would but their were not enough to keep Air America afloat.  That doesn’t mean that there are not a lot of liberals out there it just means that they are much less likely to listen to talk radio.  Plus it’s not like you can’t get on the Internets or watch a movie and get the liberal opinion on things.

Take this example:

You love a TV show, just pick a regular sitcom, there isn’t enough viewers of the show so the network cancels it after one season to avoid losing more money.  Now you loved this show but now it’s gone because it couldn’t compete on TV so you start a campaign and get the government to force the network to start the show back up.  Now people still don’t watch the show other than you and a couple of other people so it still loses money only this time the network can’t take it off the air because the government will not let them.  This takes money away from the network so they cannot bring in new programming that people will watch and that will make money.  While one show might not make the whole network fail it will keep other shows that could have made it off the air.  Now doesn’t this all sound silly right?

Well that is what the Fairness Doctrine does only in the name of political fairness.  Liberal talk radio is usually a money loser on the national scale.  It’s not that people don’t have liberal views it’s that not enough people really listen to liberal talk radio to make any money from it other then in small scale operations and in select markets.

In arguing for the reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine in 2005, Steve Rendall has this to say:
“The most extreme change has been in the immense volume of unanswered conservative opinion heard on the airwaves, especially on talk radio. Nationally, virtually all of the leading political talkshow hosts are right-wingers: Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Oliver North, G. Gordon Liddy, Bill O’Reilly and Michael Reagan, to name just a few. The same goes for local talk shows. One product of the post-Fairness era is the conservative “Hot Talk” format, featuring one right-wing host after another and little else.”

Now think about that, he wants liberal talk radio programs to give an answer to conservative talk radio and wrote this over a year after the launch of Air America.  Considering the abject failure of Air America it would look like the only person on this planet that actually wants to listen to Air America is Mr. Rendall.

You can agree or disagree with Rush  Limbaugh but there are a lot of people out there who really enjoy listening to his show.  That is why he makes so much money at it.  I don’t  listen to the radio very often  so I almost never listen to Rush’s show.  I would rather put on a Misfits CD when I’m driving to work since I prefere music while driving, or at work.  I don’t have a problem with Rush I just like music a lot more than talk radio.  Then there is Al Franken, even if he still had a show and I did listen to the radio I wouldn’t listen to his show.  It’s not even the fact I disagree with his politics it’s his voice. Trying to listen to Stuart Smalley give me political advice or just speaking is about as annoying as you can get.  I think I would rather claw out my own eardrums than have to listen to the guy talk.  To say the least he makes Fran Drescher sound like Audrey Hepburn, or Bobcat Goldthwait sound like Morgan Freeman.  Janeane Garofalo who had a show on Air America, and also a complete twit, at least has a nice speaking  voice if you can get past her irrational hatefilled ranting and complete break from any concept of reality.  Franken however sounds like you are listening to someone grind all the gears on their transmission, nails on a chalkboard and screeching howler monkeys all at the same time.  But I digress…

James L. Gattuso arguing against the reinstatement  of the Fairness Doctrine in National Review Online he said:

“The Fairness Doctrine required broadcasters to air contrasting points of view on controversial issues. It was repealed some 20 years ago, after the commission concluded that the rule was actually stifling, rather than fostering, coverage of disputatious issues.

And history proved the FCC right. The years following repeal saw the birth of modern talk radio, a phenomenon that brings brash public debate into the homes of America daily.

Not all have been pleased with this development. The greatest successes in talk radio have been unapologetically conservative voices. And that has made talk radio made a thorn in the side of the left.

Not surprising, then, that almost immediately after liberals regained power in Congress, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D., Ohio) called for restoring the long-dead Fairness Doctrine. The “idea of uninhibited exchange of ideas in the marketplace” he said, “needs to be looked at in the era of media consolidation…

The attempt to reinstate the Fairness doctrine “was a political mistake of the first order. Conservative radio-talk-show hosts from Rush Limbaugh to the smallest local personality hit back hard against the idea. It seemed near impossible to turn on your car radio without hearing about the issue. But it wasn’t just incensed conservative talkers who quashed the idea. No one seemed to like it. Even the normally liberal-leaning blogosphere produced few defenders of a Fairness Doctrine revival. It was just too obviously an attempt to stifle speech”.

Freedom of speech is what matters most and it’s not like anyone has never heard a liberal political argument in some other media source.

Another problem with the Fairness Doctrine is that it is very easy to abuse and it gets imposed arbitrarily by whoever is currently in power.  When the Fairness Doctrine was still in effect Presidents would use it to go after their political rivals and shut them down or at least silence them through government sponsored harassment .

Free Speech is all about debate, however the public is under no obligation to actually listen to the speaker and the government cannot force people to do so.  Granted it would be nice if more people listened to people like Thomas Sowell then currently do but it’s not the governments job to force them too.  It’s not like Mr. Sowell can’t get his message out to the public, but some people don’t agree with him (I have no idea why, but it’s true), so they are under no obligation to buy his books or read his newspaper columns.  The Fairness Doctrine is about censorship, that’s it and nothing more.  While it claims to be used only to promote all ideas what it really does is stifle the free expression of individuals by taking time away from them in order to promote other ideas, ideas that can easily be heard in other places and through other mediums.  How long until people start looking at regulating the content of web pages?  I understand regulating pornography on the internets because you are trying to keep children away from it, but we are talking about ideas and no matter how much you find an idea offensive you cannot justify it’s censorship.  If you don’t like an idea counter it with your own ideas and views, but it is intellectual cowardice to try to censor other opinions and ideas no matter how offensive you find them to be.  If you cannot debate your opponents views then maybe it’s your own opinions that are somehow lacking.

Think about this; how hard is it really to get a large divergence of opinion in the media?  Every other kid in high school has his own blog where they can give their opinion but I am supposed to believe that without the reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine people will never be able to hear the other side of any debate?  All this is is censorship in the name of “fairness”.  Or in the case of Senator Stabenow to figure out a way to have the government to force radio stations into keeping her philandering husband gainfully employed.   All she is really doing is trying to silencing her enemies for political and financial gain.

fairness doctrine


1 Comment

  1. “That doesn’t mean that there are not a lot of liberals out there it just means that they are much less likely to listen to talk radio.”

    Oh you are being too kind to them Letters, the problem with leftists is that they are like small children. Have you ever tried to get a child to listen to some fellow on the radio, it’s the same thing. Leftists are by and large not very smart, they have limited attention spans, are lazy and can’t concentrate. Talk radio is only for folks who can listen, process, analyze and think. That pretty much rules out most lefties. You can take away TV, books, magazines and all other mediums and leftie talk radio would still fail.

    The fairness doctrine has nothing to do with fairness, the left already control much of the MSM, the internet and movies. If we wanted to apply the fairness doctrine to all that, just you watch their yearning for ‘fairness’ suddenly evaporate, the truth is that lefties hate free speech and those that don’t think like them, so they’ll do anything, even lie, to try and stifle those opposing voices.

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