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Old 02-13-2009, 07:53 PM   #1
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Censorious Democrats

They can't use a populist medium so they want to beat it down
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WASHINGTON (CNN) — More and more Democrats in Congress are calling for action that Republicans warn could muzzle right-wing talk radio.

Representative Maurice Hinchey, a Democrat from New York is the latest to say he wants to bring back the "Fairness Doctrine," a federal regulation scrapped in 1987 that would require broadcasters to present opposing views on public issues.

"I think the Fairness Doctrine should be reinstated," Hinchey told CNNRadio. Hinchey says he could make it part of a bill he plans to introduce later this year overhauling radio and t-v ownership laws.

Democratic Senators Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Tom Harkin of Iowa added their voices recently to those calling for a return of the regulation.

Republicans oppose the Fairness Doctrine, arguing it would be wrong for the federal government to monitor political speech on the airwaves, in order to require opposing views.

Republican Congressman Greg Walden, a former owner of five radio stations in Oregon including a "classic rock" station joked that the Fairness Doctrine is "the musical equivalent" of "every time we'd play a classic rock song we'd have to play a polka!"
CNN Political Ticker: All politics, all the time Blog Archive - Dems target right-wing talk radio - Blogs from CNN.com

As much as we all hate talkback radio, and as much as we all have to loath right wing commentators, and tell each other how stupid people only believe what they hear on the radio, what is the FYM consensus on having the state regulate political discourse on the airwaves? Would it be alright to extend this to the internet, given that is where a lot of people get biased opinions these days.
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:11 PM   #2
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I don't believe in state regulated political discourse on radio or on the internet. I may not agree with a lot of what the right-wingers say, but the fact is many Americans listen to Limbaugh, O'Reilly and so on. I think leftist politicians who complain about that are crying sore loser. What are they afraid of? Why are they so threatened by right-wing talk shows being so popular when the Democrats won big last November?

Anyway, I believe any law that says how much time or how many websites should be dedicated to either political spectrum, is taking a step towards removing freedom of speech and thought.
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:48 PM   #3
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I don't know why people are calling this censorship, no one is being told they can't say certain things...

The problem is going to be who decides what? Believe me I'd like to see a more informed group run and listen to am radio, but the truth is, it's just not going to happen.
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Old 02-13-2009, 10:31 PM   #4
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I think the elephant in the room here is inflammatory speech. Eliminationist speech, even. I mean, what are liberals afraid of, guys, only a bunch of rightwing radio hosts who routinely malign their patriotism and from time to time hint that maybe taking violent action against them would be a good thing. Like, we don't agree with killing liberals, but.
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Old 02-14-2009, 03:10 AM   #5
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I could understand that if people of the same ideology owned all the tv stations and radio stations and only ever presented one point of view. But that's not the case. It's easy enough to find a variety of views even on talk radio. I'd rather see an objective fact check at the end of each broadcast, but don't think either side would be too happy with that.
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Old 02-14-2009, 11:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BonosSaint View Post
I'd rather see an objective fact check at the end of each broadcast, but don't think either side would be too happy with that.

Now that would be interesting...
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Old 02-14-2009, 06:50 PM   #7
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The Fairness Doctrine may have made some sense in 1949, but there is no scarcity of media choices in 2009.

Let's leave radio to the personalities who generate ad revenue. With all the problems this country is facing, Congress should have bigger fish to fry than Rush & Company.
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Old 02-15-2009, 12:09 AM   #8
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Comparing it to the internet is just silly. This topic could be rewritten as: "People granted free use of public airwaves by government might actually have to do things for that privilege". But I don't think the Fairness Doctrine should be revived, diversifying radio ownership is a better means. Both for politics and for non Clear Channel music!
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