The "Unfairness Doctrine"
I’ve been reading that Al Gore and his friends at the Center for
American Progress think it’s time to bring back the so-called "Fairness
Doctrine." When I hear goofy ideas like this I don’t know whether to
laugh or cry.
What was the "Fairness
Doctrine?" It was a law that said a radio (or TV) station had to give
equal time for FREE to anyone who disagreed with an on-air editorial or a
talk-radio host. That meant that radio stations had to give away
air-time that others need to pay for. This law nearly destroyed AM
radio, and it was anything but fair.
market place is not perfect, but it is about as fair as is possible on
this side of heaven.
Consumers (that’s you and I) get to "vote" with
their dollars as to what they want to hear on the radio. It certainly is
a lot more fair than letting some bureaucrat or other third party
decide what’s best for you and I to hear.
the catch is that liberals like Gore have not been successful in
competing in the marketplace of ideas, so they want to force radio
stations to give them time for free to get their point of view across.
Obviously, the existing liberal monopoly on television, newspapers and
news magazines isn’t good enough for the left. Apparently they have
decided that the only way to get their way with public policy is to
silence their critics through the power of government.
have made numerous attempts to counter talk-radio through efforts like
Air America, but after pouring millions of dollars into Air America, it
has failed and failed again. So, what else is a liberal to do, but to
use government to force people to not only listen to their liberal ideas
on ABC, CBS or NBC, but also for FREE on the radio across the nation.
course, liberals strongly object to the idea of a biased news media,
even in the face of countless studies and reports showing their bias. In
fact, liberal bias exists and the fact that it masquerades as objective
news makes it all the more less than honest. At least talk-radio hosts
make no bones about the fact that they have an agenda and a point of
view. They don’t pretend to be unbiased observers.
Al Gore, in his latest book, expresses concern about the danger and
threat of Americans being led astray by talk show hosts that don’t
happen to agree with his perspective. He thinks something must be done
and clearly he believes what must be done is the re-imposition of the
"Fairness Doctrine." John Halpin, Senior Fellow at the Center for
American Progress said that the current policy, "…does not meet any
reasonable public-interest standard."
both Mr. Gore and Mr. Halpin feel they are qualified to decide what is
and what is not in the public interest. In truth, neither Gore nor
Halpin have any concept of freedom or fairness.
is fairness? Fairness is when I create a radio program that draws
listeners, causing commercial sponsors to pay for air time, resulting in
a profit for both of us. Unfairness is when you use the government to
force the radio station to give you FREE time to respond to my ideas
because you can draw neither an audience nor sponsors.
I own a theater that hosts musical entertainers. You are a talented
musician and draw a full house, making money for yourself and money for
me as a theater owner. Another person who thinks of himself as talented,
but does not have an audience, complains, feeling he is at a
disadvantage. So he gets government to force me to accommodate him in my
theater for FREE. Just how long do you think I would stay in business?
That’s really what the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" is all about.
reality is that liberal ideas can’t compete in an open and fair
marketplace, so they want to use the power of government to impose their
views on you and I – they don’t want any competition. They honestly
think it’s for our own good.
they believe they are a bit smarter and wiser than you and I are and
that they know how to run our lives better than we do. They consider
themselves to be more enlightened and more sophisticated, and therefore
they should make decisions about our lives that we are just not
competent enough to make.
and short of it is that liberals just don’t trust the common man. It’s
another good reason to oppose re-imposition of the unfair "Fairness