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Monday, June 18, 2007

Trent Lott Wants to Reign-In Talk Radio: Fairness Doctrine

Cross-posted from guest blogger and contributor, Maggie at Maggie's Notebook

U.S. Senator Trent Lott, Republican from Mississippi, has crossed the line. He's threatening my free speech and yours. If ever we needed term limits, it was eight years ago, at least. This from The New York Times:
Comments by Republican senators on Thursday suggested that they were feeling the heat from conservative critics of the bill, who object to provisions offering legal status. The Republican whip, Trent Lott of Mississippi, who supports the bill, said: “Talk radio is running America. We have to deal with that problem.”

At some point, Mr. Lott said, Senate Republican leaders may try to rein in “younger guys who are huffing and puffing against the bill.”
About six (6) months ago there were rumblings that Democrats were gearing up to bring The Fairness Doctrine back into being. Liberals hate the fact that Conservatives listen to the outstanding talk radio hosted by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Laura Ingraham, Michael Reagan, Neal Boortz (sometimes), and a new find for me, Monica Crowley to name just a few.

Conservatives tune-in and listen to hosts who research endlessly and actually get their interests out in a civilized manner. Listeners appreciate it! We don't march to any drum but our own - it's the gold standard for a Conservative. When we like what we hear, we support the position. When we don't like it, we call the host and hold their feet to the fire. We do not genuflect to the host. We participate in the discussion, we call, we blog, we write, we fax. We're coherent. Liberals hate it!

Now we have Trent Lott warning that he "may" reign-in any voice that refuses to accept his betrayal of Republicans, Conservatives and America. Can't you just see him saying this? I can. Here's the Republican Minority Whip supporting the Democrat desire to re-institute the Fairness Doctrine and shut-up conservative talk radio.

Below is a reprint of an article I posted in January. There are additional links at the bottom of this post to more in-depth information on the Fairness Doctrine. Take a look at the statements made by the FCC:

What the FCC and the Media has in Mind for You

Reading between the lines, there's some reason to believe that the term "Fairness Doctrine" is on the way out, with FCC Commissioner, Michael Copps' term, "American Media Contract," the new nuance. To see the FreePress article and the headline, click on American Media Contract, and for more in-depth background on the original doctrine, how it came to be and why it isn't around anymore see, The Fairness Doctrine: A Chilly Effect.

If the Fairness Doctrine (or some version of it) becomes law, here's some tid-bits from the Jan. 12-14-07 National Conference for Media Reform in Memphis, and what the FCC wants for you and me:

This from FCC Commissioner Michael Copps' speech:

"We expect these:
1. A right to media that strengthens our democracy
2. A right to local stations that are actually local
3. A right to media that looks and sounds like America
4. A right to news that isn’t canned and radio playlists that aren’t for sale
5. A right to programming that isn’t so damned bad so damned often"

My questions about Copps' expectations are this:
1. Who decides what America looks and sounds like?
2. Who decides the news is "canned" or not?...and most importantly,
3. Who decides what strengthens our democracy, or doesn't?

This is how Mr. Copps describes the television you and I have access to now:
"And what do the American people — who own the public airwaves, by the way — get in return? Too little news, too much baloney passed off as news. Too little quality entertainment, too many people eating bugs on reality TV. Too little local and regional music, too much brain-numbing national play-lists. Too little of America, too much of Wall Street and Madison Avenue...."

Guest speakers for the conference were Jane Fonda, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Danny Glover, Helen Thomas, Geena Davis, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Bill Moyers as keynote. There were others but I do not have background on them.

Go to The National Conference for Media Reform to read it on their website, which is also a FreePress URL.

Additional links for information on the Fairness Doctrine:
Fairness Doctrine: "A Chilling Effect"
The Fairness Doctrine, The 1st Amendment and all that...
The Fairness doctrine: Hush Rush