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Is the "Fairness Doctrine" Fair?

Mirage

Secret Agent
Staff member
V.I.P.
The Fairness Doctrine is one that would require radio programs/stations equal air time for both sides of views. Basically the liberals are sick of having talk radio dominated by Republicans and Right Wingers.

The Fairness Doctrine

I'll admit I haven't researched the fairness doctrine a ton, but from what I know it sounds like a blatant violation of the 1st Amendment.

Personally I don't see how this is even an issue. People in the US have the right to say whatever they want. By telling somebody that they must allow both sides to have their say on a radio program, the host (or station, whatever it comes down to) is also being told what they cannot say, considering they can only talk half the time.

Where are the liberals when it comes to every major TV news network being far to the left? Nobody seems to care about that.
 
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Kazmarov

For a Free Scotland
Is it fair? No.

Is it a good idea? Quite likely. Our media is, and it's not really even the partisanship, very low-information volume. Creating a debate of at least some kind makes for at least a chance of intellectual exchange, and for all people to be aquainted with both sides in a non-hostile way.
 

MenInTights

not a plastic bag
The Fairness Doctrine is one that would require radio programs/stations equal air time for both sides of views. Basically the liberals are sick of having talk radio dominated by Republicans and Right Wingers.

The Fairness Doctrine

I'll admit I haven't researched the fairness doctrine a ton, but from what I know it sounds like a blatant violation of the 1st Amendment.

Personally I don't see how this is even an issue. People in the US have the right to say whatever they want. By telling somebody that they must allow both sides to have their say on a radio program, the host (or station, whatever it comes down to) is also being told what they cannot say, considering they can only talk half the time.

Where are the liberals when it comes to every major TV news network being far to the left? Nobody seems to care about that.
Its one of the oddest things in politics that legitimate politicians actually discuss the fairness doctrine without being laughed off the stage. I've heard Kerry, Edwards, Durbin and others talk about the need to bring back the fairness doctrine.

Thankfully both Obama and McCain have spoken out against this piece of garbage legislation.
 
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Kazmarov

For a Free Scotland
Its one of the oddest things in politics that legitimate politicians actually discuss the fairness doctrine without being laughed off the stage. I've heard Kerry, Edwards, Durbin and others talk about the need to bring back the fairness doctrine.

Thankfully both Obama and McCain have spoken out against this piece of garbage legislation.
Call me whimsical, but I'd much rather have talk radio be more NPR than Mad Money.
 

MenInTights

not a plastic bag
Call me whimsical, but I'd much rather have talk radio be more NPR than Mad Money.
I like the full spectrum of talk radio. NPR, Mad Money, politics, news, sports. I don't see where it needs to be bothered. Particularly with the advent of satellite radio where you can apparently listen to absolutely anything anytime of day from what I've heard.
 

Sim

Registered Member
It's absurd to claim just because there are two parties, and they disagree on different issues, they deserve equal broadcasting time.

Take, for example, creationism vs. evolution. The former is pseudo-scientific crap and defies reason and intelligence, and just because one party makes it a topic, it doesn't deserve merits and equal airtime in a debate. "It's not science" is really all that ought to be said about creationism, and good journalists with the duty to inform and educate their readers and viewers should do their duty by ending any debate with that one sentence.

Arguments deserve merit because of their quality, their inherent logic and their momentousness, not because of partisan affiliation. When one party advances a good argument, the other party a bad argument on the same issue, it's the damn duty of responsible journalists to call the bad argument bad, the good argument good and not to give both of them equal airtime.


This extreme partisanship is one of the reasons why American discourse is so fucked up. People don't judge arguments for their merits and quality, but according to party affiliation of the argument.

That's why the absurd impression arises major networks are "liberal", which they aren't. They just don't go with the irrational BS talking points the right brings up, but call their arguments bad, as it should be. "Reality has a liberal bias". A network does not have a political "bias", when they are critical towards right-wing politicians, they do their job as responsible journalists by being critical.

On the other side you got FOX News, which is nothing but a big propaganda machine for the right, instead of being critical. THAT is bad journalism.

The main problem, though, with private networks is their bias towards luridness, the lowest common denominator and advertisement. They depend on maximum viewership, so they dumb down every bit of news, tell people what they want to hear instead of critically informing them, and reduce every complex argument to a five-second-line.
 
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Mirage

Secret Agent
Staff member
V.I.P.
On the other side you got FOX News, which is nothing but a big propaganda machine for the right, instead of being critical. THAT is bad journalism.
But look at CNN, ABC, NBC, etc. Fox might be more conservative, BUT, the rest are so far left that I'm not sure why people pick Fox to complain about. If everything was liberal people wouldn't be complaining, at least not the same people.

But as for the fairness doctrine, how is it not a violation of freedom of speech? I think presidents like this would only lead to more and more restrictions on free speech.
 

ExpectantlyIronic

e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑
Let me try to explain the Fairness Doctrine a bit. You see, the government decided that they would only allow so many people to broadcast on the radio. To some, it seemed unfair that the government would serve as the muscle to keep a small handful of companies in dominion of the airwaves. Enter the Fairness Doctrine, which made it so that even though the government would ensure that these companies would not have to worry about any schmuck with a transmitter trying to broadcast all over their frequencies, such companies would have to broadcast opposing viewpoints to those their employees express.

It should also be noted that this requirement to keep a broadcasting license did not mandate that equal time be given to opposing viewpoints. A station was free to present such opposing viewpoints in the manner of their choosing. So those too poor to afford a broadcasting license (read: you) were given a tiny voice if they happened to be dissed, but certainly not an equal voice. Fairness Doctrine or no, nobody would dare say that money cannot buy privileged access to the publics attention, so no worries there.

Edit: As far as freedom of speech goes, I'm not so sure that people mean by it a situation where the government must not use part of the airtime they would otherwise sell to the highest bidder to give folks a chance to respond to attacks on them. Though, perhaps I misunderstand the concept.
 
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