Friday, July 20, 2007

Fairness is unfair

By Capt. Fogg

Marie Antoinette never really did say "Well let them eat cake," but Mark Fowler, former head of the FCC evoked the spirit of arrogant royalty when he said "Well, let them have unfettered access to information" in response to the attempt to re-instate the "fairness doctrine" that once required broadcasters to provide air time for rebuttals to editorial content.

The fairness doctrine was eliminated in 1987, under the wise leadership of another George Bush and the excuse was that anything designed to protect the people from distortions and propaganda espoused by the few people who own the media was unwonted interference with corporate free speech. 20 years later, we have even fewer people in control of what we hear and more of them are ultra conservative corporations with an ever deeper involvement in the editorial policies of media outlets.

To Fowler, "unfettered access to information" would suffer if the fairness doctrine were to return and people like Bill O'Reilly had to listen to their lies being analyzed by someone not hand picked by Rupert Murdoch.

An anti-Fairness doctrine bill introduced by Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minnesota was beaten back by Senate Democrats this week despite arguments such as Coleman's assertion that "There is no limitation on the ability of anyone from any political persuasion to get their ideas set forth." Of course that sentiment ignores the 400 pound corporate gorilla that controls much of what people do hear and that is well insulated by its size, wealth and government support, from public accountability.

Of course the internet has done something to provide an alternative source of information, at least so far, as a free internet is an idea rapidly being undermined by telecommunications interests, but as it is now, several million blogs can hardly compete with the platform given to people like Limbaugh, or Coulter or Hannity or O'Reilly. It's not about freedom of speech, it's about freedom to profit from without responsibility to the country that provides that profit.

(Cross-posted at Human Voices.)

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  • I don't see what the complaints are about balance. Any one can start a newspaper, TV station, or radio program. If people think there is too much Republican thought on the airwaves, competitors should emerge. Surely Democrats have money to pump into this enterprise. Notice how Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are out-fundraising the Republicans.

    For this reason, liberals should stop complaining about Talk Radio. Liberals have control over most main stream TV networks (ABC, NBC, PBS)and most newspapers (Boston Globe, New York Times)anyway.

    By Blogger TorchofLiberty, at 2:40 PM  

  • LiberalLiberalLiberalLiberalLiberal - it's like the jungle noise sound track for some cheap Tarzan movie. When you have no argument, just chant LiberalLiberalLiberal like some monkey in a tree. Maybe that you are here doing that is in itself an argument for a fairness doctrine - you're getting equal time here and you're using it and that doesn't help your case against it.

    Sure, you can start a car company and compete with Toyota. Of course you can. Just build a better car, like Preston Tucker did. You can open a store and compete with Wal-Mart. All you have to do is move to dream land. Sure, when Fox jumps on some Swift Boat slander campaign, all it takes is a few hundred million to fight their propaganda. That's the only place mom and pop are going to compete with the international cartels - dreamland.

    If you think Clear Channel, Rupert Murdoch, the Disney Corporation, the General Electric corporation and Sun Yung Moon are Liberals, you're not thinking but repeating the claptrap they put in your head. PBS may be the least biased but that's why the Republicans have been trying to shut them down for decades.

    A fairness doctrine would help keep the broadcast media a little more honest if they had to give away some 60 second spots now and then. They would have incentive to actually be fair and balanced rather than entertainers and propagandists and shills for corporate interests. They might be more reluctant to air slime and garbage just to get ratings.

    I don't think there's a downside for the public and I think the only people that oppose it have a personal or corporate interest in lying, covering up and propagandizing.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 5:22 PM  

  • Ad Hominem doesn't really count as a good argument.

    In your response, all you do is make baseless claims and malign people's motives.

    It doesn't matter who owns the media outlets. All these people care about is profit, not ideology. The CONTENT of the news is what counts and journalists decide that.

    Most journalists are Democrats. See Exhibit A for just some evidence.

    Exhibit A:

    By Blogger TorchofLiberty, at 3:11 PM  

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