If Fairness Doctrine is OK for radio, then it must be OK for CBS, NBC and ABC
On Fox News today, the head of the Senate campaign committee, Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat from New York, endorsed the "Fairness Doctrine" for radio, just as the Democrat Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, Diane Feinstein did last year, as well as a Senate Republican leader, Dick Durbin from Illinois. Senator Schumer was saying just as Fox News claims to be "fair and balanced," America needs a "fair and balanced" talk radio playing field.
To take their argument to the next level, a playing field which has been totally unfair and unbalanced for decades -- since way before Walter Cronkite ruled the television airwaves -- also needs to be balanced. For every liberal anchor or commentator on CBS, NBC and ABC -- to use Schumer's, and Feinstein's and Durbin's argument against them -- they should require a conservative anchor or commentator.
Senate Rules Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) according to today's "The Hill" said last year, “I believe very strongly that the airwaves are public and people use these airwaves for profit. But there is a responsibility to see that both sides and not just one side of the big public questions of debate of the day are aired and are aired with some modicum of fairness.”
Senator Schumer was asked on Fox News if he is a supporter of telling radio stations what content they should have, Schumer used the fair and balanced line, claiming that critics of the Fairness Doctrine are being inconsistent. He explained, "The very same people who don’t want the Fairness Doctrine want the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] to limit pornography on the air. I am for that… But you can’t say government hands off in one area to a commercial enterprise but you are allowed to intervene in another. That’s not consistent.”
According to today's "The Hill," conservatives fear that forcing stations to make equal time for liberal talk radio would cut into profits so significantly that radio executives would opt to scale back on conservative radio programming to avoid escalating costs and interference from the FCC. They also note that conservative radio shows has been far more successful than liberal ones.
In 2007, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), a bosom buddy of Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama (D-Ill.) told "The Hill," “It’s time to reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine. I have this old-fashioned attitude that when Americans hear both sides of the story, they’re in a better position to make a decision.”
One wonders if Senators Schumer, Feinstein and Durbin will then apply to the 3 major television broadcasters what they want applied to talk radio broadcasters. In this election, it was determined that 70% of those involved in the media were favoring Obama for president. However, watching and listening to the commentary and reporting on CBS, NBC and ABC this past year, you have to think that well over 90% on those networks "reporting the news" wanted Obama to be elected president.
If the Democrats insist on passing a law applying the so-called Fairness Doctrine to radio, then let them also enforce the Fairness Doctrine on CBS, NBC and ABC, which -- after their disgracefully-biased performance during the 2008 presidential election -- certainly owe the American people some fairness for the first time in decades. What's good for the goose, is good for the gander.