Friday, May 30, 2008

Obama on Free Speech (He's Against It) ...From My Brother, Nathaniel Witmer

Ever heard of the Fairness Doctrine?

It was an FCC regulation put into effect in 1949 requiring broadcast licensees to present controversial issues of public importance in a manner deemed by the FCC to be honest, equitable, and balanced. In practice it requires a political talk show to present both viewpoints of an issue equally. It was taken out bit by bit between 1974 and 2000. Go to for more detailed history.

The result of the Fairness Doctrine is that if you own a radio broadcasting or tv station or political talk show prepare to be sued and or face FCC fines and disciplinary action. Someone will think that you were not presenting a political issue in a "honest" or "balanced" way. It's inevitable. Political talk shows begin to disappear because they are too risky to operate. Political talk stations begin to disappear because there can no longer be "conservative talk" stations and "progressive talk" stations. It's difficult to market your station if you have to provide a mix of opinions that you may need to later PROVE was balanced. Overall, it has a huge stifling effect on political talk shows and is clearly in violation of our first amendment rights.

The Fairness Doctrine has historically been supported by Democrats and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both have voiced their intentions of pushing for legislation to revive the Fairness Doctrine and make it federal law.

Obama is on record saying, "I hope Congress gets to work right away on reestablishing the Fairness Doctrine with the FCC. There needs to be balance on the airwaves again on radio as well as TV and cable."

On his official campaign website it says, "As president, he will...clarify the public interest obligations of broadcasters who occupy the nation’s spectrum."

Dick Durbin, Pelosi, and John Kerry are all recently on record supporting a revival of the Fairness Doctrine as well.

So much for free speech. If you find this deeply troubling please forward it to those who may be supporting Obama or Clinton. If you don't find it deeply troubling then please email me back and let me know why. -Nat

1 comment:

The Seeking Disciple said...

Good post. The fairness doctrine is not fair and is nothing more than a socialist attack against free speech. Listening to the liberal Democrats you would think that we live in China or North Korea since they want to shut down the media in favour of fairness.

BTW, I heard Dick Morris on Fox News yesterday say that if Obama is elected President (which he believes he will) then he believes the liberal section of the Democrats will go after conservative and independent media that they hate such as Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and many other radio programs. Morris said Obama has promised to bring back the Fairness doctrine and he will not tolerate what he sees as intolerance.