Thursday, June 28, 2007

The (Un)Fairness Doctrine

How crazy and unattached from reality are politicians? Earlier this month Republican Senator Trent Lott said, “Talk radio is running America. We have to deal with that problem.” Now we've got Democrats such as Diane Feinstein and John Kerry wanting to bring back the Fairness Doctrine.

According to this article at WND, Senator Kerry says:
… one of the most profound changes in the balance of the media is when the conservatives got rid of the equal time requirements and the result is that they have been able to squeeze down and squeeze out opinion of opposing views and I think its been a very important transition in the imbalance of our public eye.
Feinstein adds:
Well, I'm looking at it, as a matter of fact … because I think there ought to be an opportunity to present the other side. And unfortunately, talk radio is overwhelmingly one way.
In the words of the incomparable John Stossel, "Give me a break!" Talk radio is not squeezing out opinions - it gives the average Joe an opportunity to voice his opinion. Nobody's stopping opposing views from being spouted on the radio (or on TV, for that matter). It's just that evidently nobody wants to listen to liberal crap. There's a reason that Air America Radio filed for bankruptcy after two and a half years. Heck, even Madison, Wisconsin, a hotbed for all things liberal, dropped Air America in favor of all sports radio. Other stations have done likewise:
As of April 2007, Air America programming was carried on 60 terrestrial broadcast stations (40 broadcasting a majority AAR programming). AAR counts any station that carries their programming as an affiliate, similar to syndicates like ESPN Radio.

Several progressive talk stations, carrying some Air America programming, have changed to formats like oldies, sports talk, or even conservative talk (such as the AAR station in Columbus, OH). Clear Channel's WKOX and WXKS in Boston changed to "Rumba", a Spanish-language music format; Akron's WARF went to sports, and WTWK in Plattsburgh, NY, dropped progressive talk for the Greenstone Media women's talk network.
So Senators Feinstein, Kerry, and others: face it, there's not a market for liberal radio. All the Fairness Doctrine would do would be to shut down talk radio altogether. Gee, I wonder if they already know that?

1 comment:

NomDebPlume said...

Well said, jwd! Nothing fair about the 'Fairness Doctrine'.

Why don't Kerry and Feinstein focus on the fact that 9 out of 10 media people contribute to Democratic political candidates, or that a 2004 Pew Research Ctr survey showed that 5 times as many national journalists called themselves liberal vs. conservative? (see:

I guess THAT sounds fair to them.

- Debi from The Political Desk at