Saturday, January 15, 2011

I've advocated a return of the Fairness Doctrine for many years ...

And every time I bring it up, I get shouted down by short-sighted owners and managers who have never understood that the guy who frames the argument is the guy who gets to set the argument.

So I have never presented my idea of what a 21st Century Fairness Doctrine would be.  It appears that I'll never be able to do it.  You guys who could have won the most have already lost the advantage.

Now the issue is on the table again, with this kind of thinking from the third-ranking member in Congress:

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in Congress, said Sunday the deadly shooting in Arizona should get the country thinking about what's acceptable to say publicly and when people should keep their mouths shut. Clyburn said he thinks vitriol in public discourse led a suspect to open fire at an event Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords held for her constituents in Tucson, Ariz. Six people were killed and 14 others were injured, including Giffords, says the Charleston Post and Courier.

The shooting is cause for the country to rethink parameters on free speech, Clyburn said from his office, just blocks from the South Carolina Statehouse. He wants standards put in place to guarantee balanced media coverage with a reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, in addition to calling on elected officials and media pundits to use 'better judgment.' Clyburn used as an example a comment made by Sharron Angle, an unsuccessful U.S. senatorial candidate in Nevada, who said the frustrated public may consider turning to 'Second Amendment remedies' for political disputes unless Congress changed course. Clyburn isn't alone.

Prompted by the shootings in Arizona, the National Hispanic Media Coalition plans to press the FCC to act on its longstanding petition on hate speech. NHMC President Alex Nogales said the group would also push the National Telecommunications & Information Administration to update an almost two-decades old report on the effects of hate speech, and would press Congress to make sure NTIA got the money to do so, reports B&C. NHMC has been urging the FCC to investigate what it sees as the link between extreme rhetoric and hate speech on radio and cable TV and real world violence and hate crimes.

Looks to me like you radio guys are screwed.

Especially with Executive Orders passing for law.  And now the FCC, with Clyburn's daughter Mignon as a member, is poking the camel's nose under the formerly sacred tent of programming.

BTW:  who names their daughter after a piece of beef?

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