Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (1 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   3 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Obama and the Fairness Doctrine: A Rejoinder

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 2/18/09

In Salon.com on February 18, 2009 columnist Alex Koppelman writes the following in a story entitled: "Can We Stop Talking About the Fairness Doctrine Now?"

"For months now, the right has been in a frenzy over the supposedly imminent return of the Fairness Doctrine, an old FCC regulation that mandated equal time for opposing viewpoints on public airwaves. Recent statements by a handful of Democrats who said they support the idea of reinstituting the rule, or something like it, have only fueled conservatives' fear that liberals are planning to censor talk radio and the Internet.

"Of course, as I've pointed out before, the chance the doctrine will actually make a comeback is right around nil, as it has been since the first time this became an issue, back in the Clinton administration. Certainly the Legislative Branch is decidedly unlikely to do anything -- when I asked him about it in 2007, Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, told me, 'To be honest, I barely even know what it is.' (A quote Manley gave to the conservative Washington Times earlier this year was even better; he told the paper, 'We have enough real problems facing this country that we don't need to invent ones that don't exist.')

"So lately conservatives have been focusing on President Obama and the FCC as the instrument through which the Fairness Doctrine will make its inevitable comeback -- nevermind that it didn't happen during former President Bill Clinton's eight years in office. But on Wednesday, a spokesman for Obama made clear that the administration has no such plans, telling FoxNews.com, 'As the president stated during the campaign, he does not believe the Fairness Doctrine should be reinstated.'

"Unfortunately, the latest news is unlikely to put an end to all this manufactured outrage..."

*** 

What Koppelman is doing here, of course, is aiming his fire at the GOP for making a mountain out of a molehill and he is congratulating Obama for his opposition to the Fairness Doctrine. But in "defending" Obama against the right-wing crazies, what Alex misses completely is the essence of what's going on.

The news isn't that the right-wing are worried about the Fairness Doctrine's restoration. They are, in fact, right to be worried about it because it does, in fact, pose a major threat to their influence.

The news here is that the Democratic Party and Obama in particular are opposed to the Fairness Doctrine. That is a HUGE problem.

Obama's and the Democratic Party leadership's opposition to the Fairness Doctrine (or utter ignorance about the FD) is as clear a sign as any of the nature of the Democratic Party circa 2009 vs. the New Deal Democratic Party. It is as clear a sign as any of how much like the GOP the current Democratic Party is. It is as clear a sign as any of why the solutions to the problems of our day will not come from following the lead of either the Democratic or Republican leadership and why the people must strike out in another, independent, direction and create a powerful mass movement in the people's and humanity's interest. 

The Fairness Doctrine, believe it or not, is actually properly named. It isn’t about censorship. It is the opposite of this. 

This is the letter that I posted at Salon in response to Alex's column: 

You've missed the point Alex

I'm amazed that you and many of the others who've posted comments here don't recognize the critical importance of the Fairness Doctrine, which for people like Reid's spokesman Jim Manley who says he doesn't even know what it is (shocking in its own right), is the 1949 law that requires broadcasters to air contrasting viewpoints.

As David Brock notes in his book, The Republican Noise Machine, the groups who pushed successfully for the Fairness Doctrine's repeal included the Heritage Foundation, NCPAC's (Nat'l Conservative Political Action Committee) Terry Doln, Richard Mellon Scaife's Landmark Legal Foundation and the so-called "Freedom of Expression Foundation" which "received money from the communications, tobacco, and beer industries, and from the Olin Foundation and Rupert Murdoch." The FEF was headed up by Craig Smith, former National Republican Senatorial Committee official who later served on the Bush Transition Team in 1988.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

http://dennisloo.com

Cal Poly Pomona Sociology Professor. Author of "Globalization and the Demolition of Society," co-editor/author (with Peter Phillips) of "Impeach the President: the Case Against Bush and Cheney." National Steering Committee Member of the World Can't (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

On Naomi Wolf's Sounding the Alarm

Is Voting a Solution?

How Bad Has Bush Been? How Deep is the Ocean? How High is the Sky?

Who is Barack Obama Really? An Examination of Obama's Domestic Policies

If You're Still an Obama Fan...

Is the GOP's "Southern Strategy" Over?

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
3 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)
Dr. Loo, Though few are more outspoken agains... by Gustav Wynn on Thursday, Feb 19, 2009 at 1:40:14 AM
Your rebuttal to Dr. Loo is hollow. This was consi... by John Lorenz on Thursday, Feb 19, 2009 at 2:58:24 AM
Gustav: How does mandating that opposing viewpo... by Dr. Dennis Loo on Thursday, Feb 19, 2009 at 9:26:11 AM