Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Do we need the Fairness Doctrine back?

I don’t know exactly what California Congresswoman has in mind to replace the old Fairness Doctrine, killed in 1987. But, contrary to MSLBs who insist we’ve moved far beyond its days, due to the wonderments of the Internet, I disagree.

First, there’s no guarantees about what the future of the Internet will be, vis-à-vis Net Neutrality and other issues.

Second, folks like Steve Benen spin this out from the viewpoint of the left-hand side of the two-party duopoly, instead of looking at additional viewpoints beyond its left and right hands that need protecting.

For example, wouldn’t it be great for a socialist — a REAL one, and not you, Sen. Bernie Sanders — to have had access to the airwaves to talk about the lenders’ bailout?

Third, despite some shrinkage on traditional network TV, the cable news networks continue to grow. And, a network, whether old-time broadcast like NBC, newer cable like CNN, or newer yet cable-Net fusion like MSNBC, still has cachet that some third-party or fourth-viewpoint website doesn’t.

Unfortunately, it is 20 years too late. As the comments on the Press Club blog post show, 20 years of a free ride for Rush and dittoheads mean that they're cluelessly infantile about the First Amendment, among other things, as the Fairness Doctrine clearly WAS constitutional.

I’m not saying we need the same Fairness Doctrine today, but we need something. We don’t often get a lot of TRULY different information out of the left and right hands of the two-party duopoly and its emissaries and most people don't even know of something like Pacifica.

The Iranian philosopher Idries Shah says there are never just two sides two an issue. But, a real FD would protect the three or more sides.

No comments: