Monday, January 29, 2007

The “Fairness Doctrine” is a Fraud!

The “Fairness Doctrine” is a Fraud!

First... the Fairness Doctrine for Broadcasters… and then… the Internet!

Just a few years after I was born the Government yoked the broadcast Industry, in the USA, with the insufferably heavy burden of the so-called “Fairness Doctrine”. To maintain your license as a broadcaster, if you put anything on the air, which was controversial, you absolutely had to put on the “other side” of the issue. The “Other Side”, in the real world, comes in multiples of more than two… believe me on this!

Many AM broadcast stations only have “x”-number of hours they can broadcast in a single day. Now, if one must air the “other side” of the controversial subject that station decides to put on its air, much of the day is spent. And, folks, I have to tell you, the most difficult programming to sell, for any broadcaster, is the so-called “Public Affairs” programs. Why? Because, hardly anybody listens to that type of program. Listeners stay away in droves! If a broadcaster, not supported by the government, relies upon sales of commercial time to exist… then the Fairness Doctrine will play havoc with that stations revenue.

So, what did broadcaster do from 1949 to 1987? They aired as little Public Affairs programs as they could and still hold their licenses.

In the late 1980’s the Fairness Doctrine was rescinded. AM broadcast stations, which had been hanging on by the skin of their teeth, suddenly found that people would listen to conservative talk radio programs. Those stations grabbed that life preserver with all their might and Talk Radio took off and saved the AM Broadcast Industry.

There was a problem, however. Listeners would listen to right wing, or conservative, talk radio. But, when a station placed a left wing, or liberal talk show on, the listeners tuned out. Any period of time, in a broadcast station’s day, which has no listeners cannot be sold. So, broadcaster dropped those left-wing shows like hot potatoes!

The AM broadcast market was reborn!

However, the problem with liberal talk shows irks the living daylights out of the left wing politicos in America and they have been on a slow burn since the late 80’s. They have been waiting for an opportunity to re-impose the Fairness Doctrine… not to balance the programming of broadcast stations, as they claim, but to force the AM Market, especially, to drop the right wing talk shows. And it WILL work.

In order for the stations to continue to air such shows as Rush Limbaugh, they will be required, by law, to put on left wing shows which will cost them listeners and money, and… reduce their income. So, the stations will be forced to remove the right wing talk shows to stay within the law… THAT is the “Fairness Doctrine”.
That’s what the re-imposition of the Fairness Doctrine is all about. Not to get more left wing, liberal, talk radio shows on the air… but to get the already existing right wing, conservative, talk shows OFF THE AIR! And… it WILL work!

How do I know? I spent a 30-year broadcasting career having to find ways to work around that hated requirement in order to stay within the law. It was a miserable way to do business.

Selwyn Duke, over at "The American Thinker", has an excellent piece on this subject. We recommend you take the time to read it at:

The Democrats never change. It’s always the “same song next verse”. And that’s what we have here. They’re going to force this piece of legislation on the nation’s broadcasters and the American public. You see, they must. It is the way they insure their hold on power. They MUST control YOUR sources of information. The Mainstream Media is basically the “Media Wing of the Democrat Party”. The independent broadcasters, and the community stations, and the company owned chains of stations, must be brought to heel… and the Fairness Doctrine will do it.

Next, they will be coming after the Internet. They have no choice. We bloggers are a danger to them… so we must be silenced. Get ready. It’s coming!



Frank said...

With all the media consolidation going on it is hard to find an opposing view to anything, ole friend..... I think there should be a "Truthfull Doctrine" instead especially when it comes to political adds. Thatway anyone who runs "Swift boat liars" adds can loose their liscence..... Bush "Swift boated" McCain and Kerry and now Hilary will "Swift Boat" Obama.

BTW: I love your Samuel
Adams quote, reminds me of the Blue bloods of the Republican party.

Longstreet said...

Frank, I don't expect those stations had any choice in the matter. You see, federal regulations say that if a station accepts the first political ad... that station must accept them all. It cannot pick and choose which political ads it will run. Plus, the candidate gets the lowest rate for that length of spot the station charges. Plus, a station may not edit a political ad in any way. That station must run it AS IS. They are not allowed to change it in any way.

If the station gives free commercial time to a political candidate that station must give free air time to all of them.

Then, there are the forms which must be filed with the Federal and State agencies.

The whole thing is a three ring circus.

I hated to see the political season come around!