Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Fairness of the Fairness Doctrine

Serendipity offers a nice recitation of the battleground's history, but may throw in too quickly with the Democrats' purported desire to thrust fairness on the right-wing radio infrastructure:

For the last two decades, Rush Limbaugh, and his many clones that dominate our airwaves, have grown increasingly bolder in their vilification of opponents. A constant stream of extremist Right Wing propaganda is offered (free-of-charge) 24-7 throughout the frequency range of radio.

In many areas (such as Western Pennsylvania) there is no alternative voice available. Huge conglomerates like Clear Channel and Sinclair Broadcasting have used the powers of monopoly to keep competitors outside of the market. The costs of setting up an operation to rival the corporate media giants are prohibitive. Nutty "conservative" programming runs rough-shod over a vulnerable segment of the populace that is more than willing to accept the lies on offer. Something needs to change, and the "Commons" of the air restored to The People.

I become very nervous when it comes to the exercise of FCC authority and its unwieldy rules and regulations. I become especially nervous when the FCC starts to take exception with the content of certain messages, backed by a frothing mad Democratic Congress eager to settle some old scores.

If there is a demand for liberal voices, such demand will ultimately drive the marketplace. If Clear Channel could make more bucks showcasing Randi Rhodes rather than Rush Limbaugh, it would not waste another megahertz of radio bandwidth on conservative banter.

Rush Limbaugh exists because millions listen to him. Randi Rhodes hardly exists because hardly anyone listens to her, relatively speaking.


Defective Pants said...

I have to agree with Iron WAP here. Information and opposing viewpoints are readily available to those who seek them out. It's a series of tubes! Government mandated opposition to the opposition is a concept that makes me very uncomfortable. The Dems won Pennsylvania. Their messgae got through. Voices like Rush that offer no real answers will lose authority. Let the system run its course. Enough with the bailouts and government intervention.

Warm Apple Pie said...

Agreed, DP.

By the way, there was another comment from some liberal, but I deleted the message. No one wants to hear that sh*t.

Merge Divide said...

Easy for you guys to say... I've got a forty-five minute commute to-and-from work, and I'm too damn cheap to get satellite radio. If Terry Gross is doing, say, a three-part series about the sociological import of heavy metal... then I'm f****d.