Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

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, July 26, 2007

FCC Chair And the Fairness Doctrine

From Wired:

(Hat-Tip: Bryan @ Hot Air)

The Federal Communications Commission has no intention of reinstating the Fairness Doctrine imposing a requirement of balanced coverage of issues on public airwaves, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said.

Martin, in a letter written this week to Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., and made public Thursday, said the agency found no compelling reason to revisit its 1987 decision that enforcing the federal rule was not in the public interest.

Several Democratic lawmakers suggested that Congress take another look at the doctrine after conservative radio talk show hosts aggressively attacked an immigration reform bill when it was on the Senate floor, contributing to its defeat.

Pence and other Republicans in both the House and Senate countered by introducing legislation to bar the FCC from reinstating the rule.

Under the doctrine, first instituted in the late 1940s, broadcasters could lose their licenses if they failed to give free airtime to opposing sides on controversial issues.

Martin, in his letter, said government regulation was not needed to ensure public access to a wide range of opinion. "Indeed, with the continued proliferation of additional sources of information and programming, including satellite broadcasting and the Internet, the need for the Fairness Doctrine has lessened even further since 1987," he wrote.

Pence, in a joint statement with Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., welcomed Martin's position but said Congress should still pass his legislation so that no future administration or FCC chairman could revive the doctrine without an act of Congress.

While many may breathe a sigh of relief with this announcement from the head of the FCC, we agree with Representative Pence: There needs to be legislation in place to ensure that it will not be brought back to life. As Bryan notes in his post, FCC Chairmen come and go. The last thing we want to see is an "independently-thinking" sort of chairman that shows up and deems that the Fairness Doctrine is necessary for the Left to get their message out. They do. They have the MSM, and we have our alternative media. Both sides get represented rather fairly already, so there is no need for this sort of heavy-handed tactic.



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