Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bring Back the Fairness Doctrine

A couple of weeks ago all of the monolith of right wing radio was
literally hysterical about the possibility that the Fairness Doctrine
might be brought back. And then all of a sudden on Feb 26, 2009, with
no other warning, a nauseatingly named and so-called "Broadcaster
Freedom Act" was passed as an amendment to the DC voting rights bill
in the Senate. It happened so fast that none of the congressional
bill tracking sites have an update on this yet.

We're of the opinion that the handful of hostile corporations who
have such a death grip on our political speech right now don't need
any more "freedom" to suppress even paid commercials they don't agree
with, and to coordinate secret advertiser boycotts of the few
progressive outlets in the so-called "free" market. The only point of
Broadcaster Dictatorship provision is to make the current extreme
wingnut bias of our media permanent, and to hold the DC voting rights
provision for ransom to do it.

Action Page: http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum943.php

Probably never before has such a hideously misleading provision been
snuck into a totally unrelated bill on such flimsy pretext. And had
the ideological greedheads behind it not also pushed for adding the
additional groaning baggage of an enshrinement of wild west gun
ownership rights into the same bill, it might have already been
passed into law. Please contact your members of Congress with the
action page above and tell them to make sure the Broadcaster Freedom
to Monopolize Our Airwaves Act does not make it into law.

The reason why the right wing is so petrified about the return of
real fairness to our media is that it is only by perpetuating
monopoly over the major news sources that they can effectively
exclude alternative viewpoints from public debate. For example, the
widely supported (by the public) proposals for transforming our
national health care into a vastly more efficient single payer system
are not even allowed to be discussed on most outlets. It is their
last ditch attempt to stop the march of people's democracy.

Curiously, many of our progressive radio talkers seem to bend over
backwards to put an inordinate number of abusive right wing jerks on
the air, perhaps to demonstrate that eventually they can lose
arguments to loudmouths who just keep repeating the same discredited
talking points over and over, kind of a self imposed quasi Fairness
Doctrine. Or perhaps they themselves are compelled to do so by their
own corporate overlords.

But just as nobody in the right wing would ever put on anyone who was
an effective advocate to the left of them, save for an occasional
token punching bag, you can be sure NONE of the so-called liberals on
the air right now would ever put on anyone who challenged them for
taking too many right wing positions themselves. Even now, when truly
progressive candidates run for office they are literally blacked out
of coverage even on so-called progressive channels.

Only by in fact bringing back the Fairness Doctrine can we cure the
current de facto and oppressive censorship of truly progressive
views.

Action Page: http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum943.php

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