For years now, ever since Air America Radio first went bankrupt, when they learned that there wasn’t a viable market out there for their product, the Left has been longing for the return of the so-called Fairness Doctrine. As is always the liberal left’s way, if you don’t like the message, you shoot the messenger. In this case it goes like this, if you can’t compete in the market place, you kill the market. Not satisfied that the Left has hit the trifecta, the House, the Senate, and The White House without the Fairness Doctrine, the probability of its return has never been greater.
The truth is, the Fairness Doctrine does not need any legislators or votes for it to return. It was only suspended back in the eighties. All the FCC Commissioners have to do is to decide, on its own, to reinstate it. And all they need to do that is to have a majority of Commissioners on the FCC to make that decision. Right now there is an open seat and the FCC is split evenly with two Republicans and two Democrats.
Now there is nothing stopping President Obama from picking a Democrat to fill that vacancy, and nothing from stopping a 3-2 decision to reinstate it. Nothing except the Broadcaster Freedom Act of 2009 (S. 34) introduced by Sen. Jim DeMint (D-SC).
Not surprisingly, not one of the 28 co-sponsors have a ‘D’ beside their name. The Broadcaster Freedom Act of 2009 does only one thing. It would prevent the Federal Communications Commission from repromulgating the fairness doctrine, and nothing else.
‘SEC. 303A. LIMITATION ON GENERAL POWERS: FAIRNESS DOCTRINE.
‘Notwithstanding section 303 or any other provision of this Act or any other Act authorizing the Commission to prescribe rules, regulations, policies, doctrines, standards, or other requirements, the Commission shall not have the authority to prescribe any rule, regulation, policy, doctrine, standard, or other requirement that has the purpose or effect of reinstating or repromulgating (in whole or in part) the requirement that broadcasters present opposing viewpoints on controversial issues of public importance, commonly referred to as the ‘Fairness Doctrine’, as repealed in General Fairness Doctrine Obligations of Broadcast Licensees, 50 Fed. Reg. 35418 (1985).’.
Elections have consequences, and the possible curtailment of freedom of speech as described above is one of them. This ought not be a partisan issue. This is a freedom of speech issue, a constitutional issue.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) says . . .
the Left’s intention and goal is to silence millions of conservative Americans who disagree with the Left’s warped vision for America.
“Democrats want to impose an unfair doctrine that destroys talk radio and silences the voices of millions of Americans who disagree with their vision for America. But the First Amendment of our Constitution guarantees the right of free speech, regardless of political affiliation…”
The entire text of the bill is one of the shortest considering that it will protect the free speech rights guaranteed to all of us in the First Amendment of our Constitution.
Time is now to petition your senators to voice your support for the Broadcaster Freedom Act of 2009 (S. 34)