Saturday, January 31, 2009

President Obama reportedly does not favor a return of the Fairness Doctrine

At least, not in it's old form. But new incarnations remain a possibility:

Citing Obama Opposition, McDowell Warns Against Fairness Doctrine
FCC commissioner Robert McDowell had a message for Democrats, or anyone else contemplating trying to reimpose the fairness doctrine: The move could undermine the justification for existing localism and children's TV regulations, and could be used against public radio.

He also suggested it would not come back wearing a big sign saying, "it's me, the fairness doctrine," but would likely instead be rebranded.

Those were some of the observations McDowell provided Wednesday in a speech to The Media Institute in Washington, which is a strong opponent of the doctrine.

The fairness doctrine, which was scrapped by the FCC as unconstitutional in 1987, required broadcasters to air both sides of controversial issues.

In the speech, McDowell cited candidate Barack Obama's statement to B&C--through an aide--that he did not support the doctrine, adding that the new administration has a terrific opportunity to enunciate its strong opposition to anything resembling the fairness doctrine.

He spoke at length about the doctrine's origins and its use by both Democrats and Republicans against their opponents. He said he did not know whether recent calls for its return would bear fruit, felt it was a good time to talk to his audience--of media executives, lobbyists, journalists and others--about its creation, its historical abuses, and the legal difficulties involved with restoring it and trying to enforce it. [...]

I've said before that many Democrats don't like it because it cuts both ways. This article talks about some of those ways. But the idea that it could be "rebranded" and reintroduced in different form(s), is another idea the article looks at. Something to be alert for, as our Brave New Word... "progresses".

Related Links:

Is the Fairness Doctrine even doable anymore?

Obama Cults, Shrillness & the Fairness Doctrine

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