Getting rid of the Fairness Doctrine was absolutely crucial to the rise of the right-wing media empire. Fox News and right-wing talk hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage wouldn't exercise the influence that they do now and many of them probably would not exist as broadcasters (or only as very fringe "journalists") because they would be forced under the Fairness Doctrine to provide opposing views on their shows. This would, of course, destroy their ability to make up stuff and shamelessly distort. They can only influence the political landscape as much as they do because they don't have to be exposed to contrasting views on the spot. The Fairness Doctrine's restoration would be the equivalent in the political arena of having tobacco ads aired side-by-side with anti-tobacco ads.
The fact that Obama is opposed to restoring the Fairness Doctrine isn't the good news. It's the VERY bad news.
Reviving the Fairness Doctrine would probably be the single most important and effective means of curbing the power of the right wing extremists in this country. It would mean far, far more than any Democratic electoral victories (the significance of which pales, especially when you consider how very little different Obama is showing himself to be from the Bush White House) because it would mean that the frames that dominate the public policy arena that are now shaped profoundly by right-wing media outlets - which the rest of the mass media and the Democratic parties feel impelled to mollify and make concessions to, accepting as they do the major interpretive frames advanced by the right wing media and the GOP - would be dramatically altered.
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