Liberals had no interest in balance before the advent of conservative talk radio. They don't have any interest in balance now; indeed we're finally approaching a balance: new media versus old media. But to them "balance" means dominance, just like "bipartisanship" means Republican capitulation.
With the Fairness Doctrine liberals would use government to micromanage the content of talk radio, realizing that they simply can't compete on an equal playing field in that medium. Notably, they aren't advocating balancing the messages of the major print or broadcast media giants.
The reason liberals can't compete in talk radio, besides their hosts being boring, oppressively cynical and pessimistic, is that their would-be audience is already fed through the mainstream media.
Conversely, conservative talk has been successful, not just because it is more entertaining, professional and optimistic, but because conservative audiences were starved for a likeminded message.
The liberals' goal is not balance, but to destroy conservative talk radio by requiring that each nano-segment of every show contain the counterbalancing liberal viewpoint, instead of relying on other shows or other media to deliver that viewpoint. What will they demand next: that political candidates present both sides of every issue to ensure balance?
Such draconian hyper-monitoring would destroy those programs. Besides, there is no fair, sensible or practicable way to regulate content. Objectivity is impossible over such subjective matters.
What do the paternalistic proponents of the regulations mean by the representation of "all sides?" Would the terrorist viewpoint deserve equal time? Don't laugh, many believe that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter and liberals routinely sympathize with tyrannical dictators like Fidel Castro and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
What is truly scary is that liberals believe that media outlets predominately presenting their viewpoint are not biased. To them, the liberal viewpoint is objectively correct -- the only proper way to view the world -- and the conservative one, aberrant and reality-challenged, not even deserving of First Amendment protection. Perhaps a slight exaggeration, but not much.
This arrogant mindset is what has troubled conservatives for years. It's not just that the mainstream media has presented a monolithic liberal message; it's that they denied their bias and purported to be completely objective in their selection and reporting of the news and commentary. At least with conservative talk, the hosts admit their bias and are honest about when they are editorializing.
The Fairness Doctrine must be stopped again, dead in its tracks.