The Fraud of the Fairness Doctrine

Besides the fact that the Fairness Doctrine is all but unenforceable, there are many other flaws with the concept of dictating political fairness to a free media.

First off, the Fairness Doctrine only refers to the obvious and would require an Alan Colmes for every Sean Hannity. But what about less obvious political partisanship? For example, how would the biased agenda setting of a network like CBS be addressed? In this way, the Fairness Doctrine would be superficial at best, allowing more classic forms of political bias to slip under the government radar undetected. Unless the government plans on require hiring practices based on political party affiliation in the news rooms of every television and radio network, this is doomed to failure.

Secondly, how would an individual’s personal politics be determined? There are Conservatives who lean liberal on certain issues and liberals who happen to skew more conservative on some issues.

Those who say that the Fairness Doctrine will bring about a return of “media democracy” are selling you a bill of goods, as a matter of fact, the effects of the fairness doctrine would be quite the opposite. A return to the Fairness Doctrine would take control of program content from the listener, and put it in the hands of a government regulatory commission. Under private ownership, the public determines what the public interest is. That relationship between the public and content can not exist with overburdensom regulations. It’s enough that the FCC combs the airwaves for indecency do we really need them combing for ideology?

Let’s face it, the government can’t even control the blaitant bias of the publically financed PBS and NPR.

For more on The Fairness Doctrine, American Thinker’s Selwyn Duke makes a good case against it:

Of course, many may wonder why I’d take issue with fairness.  Shouldn’t we give the “other side” its day in court, one may ask?  

The problem is that this regulation would be applied to talk radio but not arenas dominated by liberal thought, a perfect example of which is the ever-present mainstream media (which presents the “other side”).  This is because talk show hosts trade in red meat commentary, whereas the mainstream press is more subtle in its opinion-making. 

Fine then, say the critics, that’s as it should be.  We don’t have to worry about “responsible journalists”; it’s those acid-tongued firebrands who pollute discourse with their pyro-polemics who bedevil us.  And on the surface this sounds convincing, which is why I tell you of the talker and the shill.

The dirty little secret behind the Fairness Doctrine is that it punishes the honest.  Think about it: Radio hosts are the talkers; they wear their banners openly as they proclaim who and what they are.  Sure, they may be brash and hyperbolic, loud and oft-sardonic, but there is no pretense, little guile, and you know what they want you to believe.  You know what they’re sellin’ and if you’re buyin’.


12 Responses to “The Fraud of the Fairness Doctrine”

  1. seejanemom Says:


    How would this apply to Mr. Wilkow?

  2. seejanemom Says:

    The Kos kids have found seejanemom, rizzuto!!! I am getting a blogburst of flummoxed liberals—-and all from RATIONAL THOUGHT!!!!

    Thank Andrew for me, since I can’t catch his famous ass in the email anymore! 😉

  3. rizzuto Says:

    Will do Jane. BTW to answer your question, the Fairness Doctrine would not apply to Andrew on Sirius, seeing as it’s a pay service.

  4. seejanemom Says:

    I am blogging John Edwards Tax Hike scheme along the Political Munchausen Syndrome angle today. He broke it with his law suits, and now he wants us to fix it.

    Check the time stamp on it…I’m so proud Andrew is going down this road today.

  5. Ed Darrell Says:

    One dirty little secret of Nick Rizzuto is that he tilts at windmills — the Fairness Doctrine was dissolved by the FCC in 1987.

    There has been no Fairness Doctrine for an entire generation, and radio and television political reporting is much the worse for its lack. Rush Limbaugh is no Paul Harvey. Bill O’Really? is the opposite of accuracy-meister Eric Sevareid. No one comes close to Edward R. Murrow.

    Why are you railing at dead policies?

  6. seejanemom Says:

    Mr. Darrell,

    Your fairness frat brother, Dennis Kucinich believes that there IS a reason to revive the Fairness Doctrine precisely because there still exist SOME ignorant Americans who actually believe Rush Limbaugh CLAIMS to be Paul Harvey—which he most certainly DOES NOT—Mr.Rizzuto wants us all to be aware of the grumblings of sore losers….**ahem**AIR AMERICA**ahem.

    Thank God no one comes close to Edward R. Murrow. And the only guy who thought himself a close second is now eating a giant slab of humble pie and wiping his mouth with a SHEAF OF FORGED DOCUMENTS!

    Crawl back in your echo chamber Mr. Darell….maybe someone will listen to you in there.

  7. seejanemom Says:

    And Nick—where you been ???

  8. Ed Darrell Says:

    Well, now we see the true colors: Happy no one comes close to Murrow? Yeah, a war veteran, flag-waving American unafraid of standing up to political bullies, who has a weekly microphone with a third of the nation listening, would change the color of panties all over conservative-dom.

  9. seejanemom Says:


    You might be funny if you were the LEAST BIT COHERENT.

    Step away from the bong, and come back when you’re lucid.


  10. waitmyturn22 Says:

    I hope this will make my Partisan stocks go up so I make some money on it 🙂

  11. Jay Stewart Says:

    You are a fucking fascist. Fuck off and die fascist pig.

  12. Jay Stewart Says:

    Please kill yourself

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