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Thread: The "Fairness Doctrine/TalkRadio Reform" Discussion Thread

  1. #1
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    The "Fairness Doctrine/TalkRadio Reform" Discussion Thread

    For some basic information on what the Fairness Doctrine was.

    [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairness_Doctrine[/url]

    Currently in Congress there is something of a push to bring back at least portions of the Fairness Doctrine in regards to Political Based Talk Radio.

    In a (short and vastly simplified) nutshell, the gist is to implement legislation that would/could limit ownership of multiple radio stations within a single listening market, and to mandate that any Radio Show that discusses Politcal Issues do so in a "Fair and balanced" (lol) way, i.e. to give equal time to both sides of any issue, or face Govt. regulation.

    The question then is this: How do you feel about this? We are all Politcal followers, and likely many of us tune in to at least some Politcal Talk Radio each week, some more than others of course.

    Do you think this, or some variation of this, is a good idea? Do you have any reservations regarding free speech issues? What do you think on this issue?

  2. #2
    the government has no place deciding what is and what isn't fair and balanced

    it's borderline censorship and a slippery slope

    if the American citizen want to listen to a monkey fart into a microphone for 3 hours a day it's not the place of congress to say that's right or wrong

    as for the monopolistic aspects of it, shouldn't that be the domain of the FCC or SEC? definately competition is a good thing, but again the market will dictate.

    JMO the reason why conservative radio is so successful and liberal radio isn't is because the conservative mindset likes people telling them what to think.

    the liberal mindset resists that on principle (and would probably rather listen to hippie jam bands or what have you).

    not saying one is better than the other it's just the way it is. Cons are church going military people and follow the heirarchy of society at all costs. Libs fight that heirarchy, probably to a stupid extent. Either way one format translates well into AM talk radio and the other doesn't.
    Last edited by bitonti; 06-21-2007 at 10:31 AM.

  3. #3
    Radio stations will face mandatory government regulation if they do not demonstrate a balanced viewpoint of an issue? I think this is an absolutely ridiculous idea.

  4. #4
    [QUOTE=bitonti]the government has no place deciding what is and what isn't fair and balanced

    it's borderline censorship and a slippery slope

    if the American citizen want to listen to a monkey fart into a microphone for 3 hours a day it's not the place of congress to say that's right or wrong

    as for the monopolistic aspects of it, shouldn't that be the domain of the FCC or SEC? definately competition is a good thing, but again the market will dictate.[/QUOTE]


    "borderline" censorship? It IS censorship.

  5. #5
    Very complicated issue, as I have two instincts on it.

    My first instinct is an aversion to any regulation of political speech, period. The First Amendment gives people the right to say what they want and it gives media companies the right to air/publish viewpoints that sell in the marketplace.

    My second reaction, though, is that there is a fundamental difference between what's published in print and online and what's broadcast over airwaves owned by the government -- which is the case in broadcast television and terrestrial radio.

    In theory, at least, the public airwaves --and they are the public's airwaves-- shouldn't be used for one-sided political propoganda. The trick is defining what "one-sided political propoganda" is.

    To someone with my viewpoint, what Sinclair Broadcasting did by airing that absurd --and totally disproven-- Swift Boat movie before the 2004 election was a clear case of a broadcaster using the public airwaves for the sake of a partisan attack. But I'm sure there are people who will argue that the movie was just news programming relevant to the campaign.

    So, for me, if a standard can be reached via bipartisan consensus, I'm for it. But I have my doubts over whether such a standard can actually be reached.

  6. #6
    [QUOTE=bitonti]the government has no place deciding what is and what isn't fair and balanced

    it's borderline censorship and a slippery slope

    if the American citizen want to listen to a monkey fart into a microphone for 3 hours a day it's not the place of congress to say that's right or wrong

    as for the monopolistic aspects of it, shouldn't that be the domain of the FCC or SEC? definately competition is a good thing, but again the market will dictate.[/QUOTE]

    The market doesn't dictate who gets broadcasting licenses.

  7. #7
    [QUOTE=Warfish]For some basic information on what the Fairness Doctrine was.

    [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairness_Doctrine[/url]

    Currently in Congress there is something of a push to bring back at least portions of the Fairness Doctrine in regards to Political Based Talk Radio.

    In a (short and vastly simplified) nutshell, [B]the gist is to implement legislation that would/could limit ownership of multiple radio stations within a single listening market[/B], and to mandate that any Radio Show that discusses Politcal Issues do so in a "Fair and balanced" (lol) way, i.e. to give equal time to both sides of any issue, or face Govt. regulation.

    The question then is this: How do you feel about this? We are all Politcal followers, and likely many of us tune in to at least some Politcal Talk Radio each week, some more than others of course.

    Do you think this, or some variation of this, is a good idea? Do you have any reservations regarding free speech issues? What do you think on this issue?[/QUOTE]

    The Bold is good, the rest is ****.

  8. #8
    [QUOTE=jefethegreat]The Bold is good, the rest is ****.[/QUOTE]

    There is already a law limiting ownership of stations in individual markets. It was relaxed in 1996, but in big markets no company can own more than 8 radio stations.

  9. #9
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    why limit it to talk radio???

    why not make sure the "Fairness" doctrine is implemented in every editorial staff of every newspaper???

    every news anchor team of every TV station???

    every production team of every news show on TV????

    etc, etc, etc.....

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola]Very complicated issue, as I have two instincts on it.

    My first instinct is an aversion to any regulation of political speech, period. The First Amendment gives people the right to say what they want and it gives media companies the right to air/publish viewpoints that sell in the marketplace.

    My second reaction, though, is that there is a fundamental difference between what's published in print and online and what's broadcast over airwaves owned by the government -- which is the case in broadcast television and terrestrial radio.

    In theory, at least, the public airwaves --and they are the public's airwaves-- shouldn't be used for one-sided political propoganda. The trick is defining what "one-sided political propoganda" is.

    [B]To someone with my viewpoint, what Sinclair Broadcasting did by airing that absurd --and totally disproven-- Swift Boat movie before the 2004 election was a clear case of a broadcaster using the public airwaves for the sake of a partisan attack. But I'm sure there are people who will argue that the movie was just news programming relevant to the campaign.[/B]

    So, for me, if a standard can be reached via bipartisan consensus, I'm for it. But I have my doubts over whether such a standard can actually be reached.[/QUOTE]

    versus what See BS did with 60 Minutes and 60 Minutes II before the 2004 election on a weekly basis???

  11. #11
    flushingjet
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    [QUOTE=bitonti]the government has no place deciding what is and what isn't fair and balanced

    it's borderline censorship and a slippery slope

    if the American citizen want to listen to a monkey fart into a microphone for 3 hours a day it's not the place of congress to say that's right or wrong

    as for the monopolistic aspects of it, shouldn't that be the domain of the FCC or SEC? definately competition is a good thing, but again the market will dictate.

    JMO the reason why conservative radio is so successful and liberal radio isn't is because the conservative mindset likes people telling them what to think.

    the liberal mindset resists that on principle (and would probably rather listen to hippie jam bands or what have you).

    not saying one is better than the other it's just the way it is. Cons are church going military people and follow the heirarchy of society at all costs. Libs fight that heirarchy, probably to a stupid extent. Either way one format translates well into AM talk radio and the other doesn't.[/QUOTE]

    that post was going somewhere but ended up incredibly wrong
    some mighty paternal thinking there re: being told
    what to think

    conservative talk radio is successful because
    normal people dont want to hear how america sucks
    and have social dysfunction pushed on them 24 x 7
    like the rest of the msm try to do

    get a better message and the country will flock to it

  12. #12
    [QUOTE=flushingjet]
    conservative talk radio is successful because
    normal people dont want to hear how america sucks
    [/QUOTE]

    so judging by approval ratings only 30% of America is "normal"

  13. #13
    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY]versus what See BS did with 60 Minutes and 60 Minutes II before the 2004 election on a weekly basis???[/QUOTE]

    Exactly my point: One man's piss is another's lemonade.

    If both sides can agree on a clear standard of what's "fair," fine. But I don't think they can.

  14. #14
    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY]why limit it to talk radio???

    why not make sure the "Fairness" doctrine is implemented in every editorial staff of every newspaper???

    every news anchor team of every TV station???

    every production team of every news show on TV????

    etc, etc, etc.....[/QUOTE]

    It's not limited to talk radio. It's limited to the airwaves because they are public property that is licensed by the government to broadcasters.

    Broadcasters already acknowledge that they have some public-interest obligations because of this, such as airing the Emergency Broadcast System.

  15. #15
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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola]It's not limited to talk radio. It's limited to the airwaves because they are public property that is licensed by the government to broadcasters.

    Broadcasters already acknowledge that they have some public-interest obligations because of this, such as airing the Emergency Broadcast System.[/QUOTE]

    The trouble here is that those who would regulate it would most likely stomp on Conservative Radio, whilst leaving the Mainstream Media (and Air America) alone.

    And while YOU may agree with such a step, since you do not see any bias, there is a good chuck of Americans who would be very unhappy with such an outcome.

  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola]It's not limited to talk radio. It's limited to the airwaves because they are public property that is licensed by the government to broadcasters.

    Broadcasters already acknowledge that they have some public-interest obligations because of this, such as airing the Emergency Broadcast System.[/QUOTE]


    read the first two lines under the link in WF's first post:

    [QUOTE]Currently in Congress there is something of a push to bring back at least portions of the Fairness Doctrine in regards to Political Based Talk Radio.[/QUOTE]

    he is correct about this...I ask again; why limit this to Talk radio???

  17. #17
    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY]read the first two lines under the link in WF's first post:



    he is correct about this...I ask again; why limit this to Talk radio???[/QUOTE]

    The concept of the Fairness Doctrine has historically been applied more broadly.

    I personally think applying it to only talk radio is stupid.

  18. #18
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    [QUOTE=bitonti]the government has no place deciding what is and what isn't fair and balanced

    it's borderline censorship and a slippery slope

    if the American citizen want to listen to a monkey fart into a microphone for 3 hours a day it's not the place of congress to say that's right or wrong

    as for the monopolistic aspects of it, shouldn't that be the domain of the FCC or SEC? definately competition is a good thing, but again the market will dictate.

    JMO the reason why conservative radio is so successful and liberal radio isn't is because the conservative mindset likes people telling them what to think.

    the liberal mindset resists that on principle (and would probably rather listen to hippie jam bands or what have you).

    not saying one is better than the other it's just the way it is. Cons are church going military people and follow the heirarchy of society at all costs. Libs fight that heirarchy, probably to a stupid extent. Either way one format translates well into AM talk radio and the other doesn't.[/QUOTE]


    I agree Bit, but there is something that should be added. Monopolies should not exist in any format, because it is a form of censorship, IMO. If someone owns every media outlet for instance, then they gain control of what is deemed "newsworthy." That is a slippery slope.

    At one time, there was something like 28,000 independent newspapers in the United States in the late 50's, early 60's. Now, the majority of them are owned by something like 28 corporations....yikes.

  19. #19
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    The words "government regulation" and "fair and balanced" do not belong in the same paragraph.

  20. #20
    They want to force right wing radio off the air, because radio america cannot compete. Radio America went off the air because no one listened to them!

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