Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Anything But "Fairness"

This topic has been making its way through the blogosphere. Captain Ed Morrissey and Allah @ Hot Air are dealing with the story that Senator James Inhofe has circulated about Senator Clinton and Senator Boxer dicussing a need to control talk radio. For those not keeping score, that is an allusion to reinstituting the "Fairness Doctrine" to muzzle talk radio.

While this may seem rather alarming, the two liberal senators who were discussing this right in front of Senator Inhofe are not the ones we necessarily have to worry about. We know their slick trick will not come about unless the Democrats retake the White House, and expand their hold on the Congress. If someone like Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, or Fred Thompson is elected president, they will surely veto the bill.

No, ladies and gentlemen, we need to worry about people like Trent Lott and Lindsey Graham. These are two of the GOP's "prized pigs" in the Senate. They like working behind closed doors, and seem rather appalled that America weighs in on anything. They blame talk radio for the public being made aware of certain things that occur in Washington, DC. I would also note that they seemed to have no problem at all when talk radio benefitted them. Now that attention has been brought to bear on them, they are offended and they are lashing out at talk radio.

Thomas made a valid point yesterday, and it bears some reflection. Simply put, the modern conservative movement owes a great deal to talk radio. Not only did conservatives have a place to go to find out news and information that was not being circulated by the press, but talk radio also helped spurn more grass-rootsa movements. As time went along, blogs begane to sprout up. Today, according to Technorati, there are over seventy million active blogs. A fair majority of them sit ont he center-right side of issues.

While DailyKos may be one of the more popular blogs to read, with hits numbering in the hundreds of thousands or millions, per day, he cannot compete with the elites on our side of the aisle. Total up visits to Michelle Malkin's site, Hugh Hewitt's, Instapundit's, Little Green Footballs, Captain Ed Morrissey's site, and Hot Air, and I am betting they have more visitors than he does. But without talk radio, blogs probably never would have existed, nor would they have gained the following that they have.

Now many blogs are moving onto three other mediums: Vlogging, or video-blogging (such as The Vent on Hot Air); podcasting, like those done by Glenn Reynolds and his wife over at Instapundit; and Blog Talk Radio, like what Captain Ed Morrissey is doing right now. Again, none of this could have been possible without talk radio. It helped create a new genre of political talk.

To utilize the Fairness Doctrine, it would end talk radio. As Captain Ed explains it, AM radio would revert back the self-help or promotional malarkey that we typically here ont he weekends. Gardening shows, legal shows, medical shows, etc., AM radio would wither and die. (Though he does note that sports talk may make a resurgence, and that may be the only thing that saves it from a gruesome ending.)

The Fairness Doctrine is a pipe dream, much like the idea that someday we will all live in a utopia. For to be truly fair, all viewpoints must be represented. There are not enough radio stations in any given market to achieve this. Seriously consider the fact that the Fairness Doctrine would not just have to have an outlet for conservative and liberal viewpoints, but also viewpoints shared by a fair amount of nuts int his country. (Though I do believe they have their outlet on Art Bell's show at night.) Brian Maloney, AKA The Radio equalizer weighs in on the new study about talk radio, and notices the glaring omissions made with regard to the liberal side of the medium. For the Left to proclaim they have no voice, it is apparent to us they simply are not listening. Their utopias are on the dial, but as radio is a market-driven outlet, those that do not succeed are dumped.

According to ABC News both Senator Clinton's and Senator Boxer's offices called them and topld them the conversation never took place. Senator Boxer went fso far to say that "Senator Inhofe needs to clean his glasses or get his ears checked." So, it is a toss up as to whom you believe.

What is not up in the air is the fact that some in the Senate believe it is time to bring the Fairness Doctrine back. As I said above, the Democrats will not try it unless they retake the White House. But the Republicans may try it, and if they do, we know Lott and Graham will be leading the charge. I seriously doubt that they will cobble together a caucus big enough to get it passed through the Senate, let alone the House. They may even be hoping that President Bush wopuld sign it, much the same way he signed McCain/Feingold, which curtailed our freedom of speech in 2001.

Either way you look at it, this is a fool's errand. It targets only talk radio, and is designed to silence it.



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