June 27, 2007

Mike Pence, Fairness Doctrine Live Blog

Rep. Mike Pence met with a number of bloggers this morning about the effort just starting to develop to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine. He's offering legislation to oppose that in the House by stripping the FCC of any ability to dictate content. His bill will be filed at the end of this week, and he will team with Jeff Flake and Hensarling to offer an amendment to the FCC's appropriation that forbids any use of funds to enforce the Fairness Doctrine, if revived.

Pence says it represents an "existential threat" to the conservative movement, and believes that the aim isn't for "fairness" but for the silencing of conservatives. The problem is that the threat is that government retains this ability, either by legislation or executive order. We have to very aggressively explain that the high legal and administrative costs of the FD would simply choose not to carry any political talk radio at all.

Pence points out that the FCC actually has the authority on its own to reinstate the FD, without any action from Congress or the Presidency. They have chosen not to do so, but if the FCC wants to, they could reinstate it tomorrow. The judiciary may have a say in this eventually, but Pence's bill would strip the FCC of that ability altogether. That doesn't mean that Congress can't pass future legislation to do it, but it would have to do so openly.

The American public likes fairness, but we defend freedom. We don't want government determining what political speech can be conducted where and when, and we don't need them interfering in a free market. We need to defend freedom rather than making government the arbiter of the content of political speech.


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Comments (10)

Posted by Mark | June 27, 2007 10:03 AM

Are elected conservatives choosing to go extinct? Other than Pence where is the outrage on this? This is completely outrageous and if the GOP had tried this on the MSM the Dems would rightfully be throwing fits.

GET ON OFFENSE about this!!

Posted by Scott Malensek | June 27, 2007 10:06 AM

If they bring back the fairness doctrine, does MSNBC replace Olbermann or Matthews with Ann Coulter?

Posted by NoDonkey | June 27, 2007 10:17 AM

I've never received the answer to this question:

Why would the Orwellian "Fairness Doctrine" only apply to broadcast radio?

Why is broadcast television (the kind you don't need cable or satellite to get) seemingly exempt?

I know the real answer, it's because the left likes their toadies on TV, but why aren't the Republicans making this point in highlighting Democrat hypocrisy. Make them explain why what's good for radio, is not good for TV.

Oh right, they're Republicans. Any argument that works for them, they discard immediately.

Posted by Paul A'Barge | June 27, 2007 10:21 AM

Any law initiated by Republicans at this point has the same chances of passing as finding a snowball in hell.

And, when the American people elect a DHIMMIcRAT in 2008, things will just get worse.

Republican legislators and leaders have no one to blame for this but themselves. If these morons really wanted to protect the freedoms of Americans, they should have listened to Conservatives before the 2006 electoral tsunami.

Posted by steve | June 27, 2007 12:09 PM

The fundamental problem with the fairness doctrine is that they want to use it for media only.

In order to be truly "fair" you would have to also make other govt funded organizations and organizations which make use of scare public property balanced as well.

Mainly this includes public schools - whose teachers vote predominately democrat and whose views on the average lean to the left.

You cannot selectively impose balance. It is illogical to only try to balance one area without looking at other areas.

It is similar to how the democrats in 2000 Gore Bush election wanted to selectively choose the districts to recount ballots. That is fundamentally unfair. If you recount you must recount as a whole - not just the places you know you are going to find votes.

In the same vain you cannot selectively decide what areas to "balance". You must strive to balance all areas - otherwise you are selectively giving one political party the advantage. And scarcity cannot be used as argument to only deal with talk radio. If you live in a community where the next public school is 30 miles away - while the one public school is down the street ( which employees liberal teachers ) then scarcity applies here as well.

I believe the supreme court will zero in on the fundamental illogical arguments of applying fairness to only one area for political advantage.

Posted by Carol Herman | June 27, 2007 12:16 PM

DRUDGE leads with the face of Gigolo John [karry] on this new desire for "fairness," and vietnam days.

Hardly likely to appeal.

I mean, if the Bonkeys had enough fingers and toes they'd be able to count. The Gigolo John went down by giving the GOP monkey, Dubya, an excess of 4-million votes.

Even when you have to pick between smells, people will hold their noses; and vote against the WHIGS, just the same.

Yes, I'm surprised that the senate fell for Teddy, he's floated a big one, now, kennedy's, bill. Where will the surprises land?

Because the senators have taken it all and struck it against the fan. Did they think all the "good reporters" left for summer vacation? Did they think we've really got "slow news days" left, anymore?

Anyway, Mitch McConnell and Trent Lott like one thing more than most. They like to sit perched on their fancy cushions. And, they treat the public like we're all Alice in Wonderland.

Seems to me adults who know how to read, also know nonsense when it's passed off as legislation.

Farting in the general direction of your base sure has blowback written all over the shifting winds.

Posted by Ignatz | June 27, 2007 12:37 PM

Doesn't the government have an obligation to ensure we understand and think fairly? Surely, every child deserves a fair teacher.

Why would "fairness" apply to public air waves but not to public universities?

Posted by Jeepster | June 27, 2007 1:19 PM

Not surprising that the dems would choose this path; after all, they are following the lead of their brother-in-arms Hugo Chavez. If all you want to do is selectively shut down the voice of opposition, you must very carefully structure the argument, lest it be applied to your allies as well.

Posted by KauaiBoy | June 27, 2007 4:15 PM

These idiots in Congress just don't get it. Time to sharpen the pitchforks and head on down to DC for a good old fashioned bloody coup. Some lawyer needs to find a way to sue these bastards for the pain and suffering they are inflicting on the citizens of this country; let alone sedition, gross negligence, fraud and sodomy.

Posted by MarkJ | June 27, 2007 4:43 PM

"Some lawyer needs to find a way to sue these bastards for the pain and suffering they are inflicting on the citizens of this country; let alone sedition, gross negligence, fraud and sodomy."

All I can say is if the revolution comes, and there's (hetero) "sodomy" involved, I'll be standing tall with the rest of ye's on the barricades!