Ken Blackwell

New York Congressman Maurice Hinchey is on a mission. His Website prominently quotes the congressman’s call to arms, “A diverse American media that presents a wide array of ideas from all sides of the political spectrum is essential to the maintenance of our democracy. If the media becomes corrupted then we've begun the erosion of the American political system and the American democracy.”

Before we begin the chorus of amens, it’s important to note the congressman isn’t talking about the evening news on ABC, CBS and NBC. He isn’t talking about the New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, San Francisco Chronicle or even the Cleveland Plain Dealer. And no, he doesn’t care about CNN and MSNBC either. They don’t bother the good representative. He is talking about Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager and Michael Medved.

You see, Congressman Hinchey is a liberal and liberals are good at several things. They make entertaining movies and write catchy toe-tapping songs. They even make delicious all natural ice cream. But they can’t figure out talk radio. In fact, they are terrible at it. Al Franken never really competed with Rush Limbaugh as he had promised. And Air America Radio became a better punch line than bottom line.

While liberals hold a virtual monopoly on broadcast television and print news, many on the left just can’t stomach the reality of a dominant conservative presence on talk radio. They want to give Mr. Franken and his pessimism and rage-filed talk radio comrades something they could not obtain on their own – market share.

This is why liberals are so eager to bring back a roundly rejected and blatantly unconstitutional piece of government intrusiveness know as the Fairness Doctrine. And Hinchey is ready to do the heavy lifting with his Media Ownership Reform Act, which includes reinstatement of the doctrine. If it passes, the legislation would force radio stations that air conservative talk shows to also air liberal shows – regardless of listener interest or sponsor support.

It’s a tried and true strategy intended to silence voices with whom Hinchey and his liberal brethren disagree.

The doctrine was created by the Federal Communications Commission in 1949 to bring “balance” to political debate over the public airwaves.


Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at Townhall.com, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
 
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