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(5,019 posts)
9. Knew that this was going to come up
Mon Mar 18, 2024, 11:07 AM
Mar 2024

it always does.

The Fairness Doctrine is not some magical pixie dust that makes the truth materialize out of nowhere.

Its constitutional underpinnings (scarcity of the broadcast spectrum and the FCC's licensing power) have pretty much gone the way of the dodo.

Honestly, how much of your information comes from over the air, FCC licensed sources?

If you are like most people, you get your information from the web or cable outlets both of which are beyond the FCC's regulatory power and very little from the three major broadcast networks.

As I mentioned earlier, the scarcity argument is no longer valid. Back then, you had TV networks ABC, NBC, CBS and later Fox (not the news network but the entertainment side) and a spread of radio stations.

By the 1980s, cable penetrated and provided new sources (CNN and its ilk) and then came the internet which provides a consumer virtually unlimited sources. These technological changes wiped out the constitutional justification for its existence,

Bringing back the Fairness Doctrine, especially if it was expanded beyond the FCC's mandate, would draw innumerable 1st amendment claims which would more than likely be upheld and the expanded Fairness Doctrine would die.

I would like you to put on your "look into the future" goggles:

How would you like to see a place like DU to be required to have opposing (rightwing conservative) viewpoints? Freepers would have to be accepted, their postings accepted and not tombstoned.

Lots of fun, huh?

Anecdotally, I worked in radio during the waning days of the Fairness Doctrine. You might remember that radio stations were mostly music (AM or FM, it didn't matter). There was a reason for that: Stations were not obligated to carry any news so, to avoid FD complaints, they didn't. They addressed their public interest obligations by putting religious shows and noncontroversial public affairs program recounting the city/town/county legislature actions and, in certain areas, providing ethnic programming (we did Polka music with a Polish speaker).

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