The Fairness Doctrine, otherwise known as the un-Fairness Doctrine, never seems to go away. The ridiculous notion that radio stations be required to have equal balance of liberal and conservative shows instead of relying on audience and marketing demands is the gist of this legislation.

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), a former talk show host, has campaigned aggressively against reviving the Doctrine but the issue surfaced today when Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow said it was "time to be bringing accountability to the airwaves." When liberal radio host Bill Press asked he she would push the issue, she agreed to do so. It turns out, Stabenow is married to a radio talk show executive as well.

During Eric Holder's Attorney General confirmation last month, it came up as well. When asked if it should be reinstated, Holder said he "wouldn't want to commit myself to something" on the issue. Michael G. Franc writes: "Holder’s evasive responses represent the first hint that the new Administration may re-open what has been 'settled doctrine' within the Department of Justice and in the courts for over two decades."

Obama has said he won't support the revival of the Fairness Doctrine but Reason points out a host of other ways he can influence the airwaves with regulations. Most notably, he can use "localism," an FCC rule invested in "competition and diversity" for service to benefit the local community.
Obama recently nominated Julius Genachowski to replace FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and will "need only three votes from the five-member FCC to define localism his way," according to Human Events.

"I can't think of anything worse than to have government in a position to dictate the content of information going over public radio," said Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe in an interview with Fox News today. "The whole idea is that it has to be market driven. We have a lot of progressive or liberal radio shows but nobody listens to them and every time one tries to get on, they are not successful."

Obama knows taking on the Doctrine causes deafening uproar from conservatives so concerned citizens ought to be paying attention to the other ways in which talk radio may be manipulated.



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