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Friday, July 13, 2007

Stop Liberal Censorship

FIRST AMENDMENT: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (Via FindLaw)

Please remember that as you go through this post.

A couple of quick updates, one of which, regarding the "Fairness Doctrine". (Hat Tip to Captain's Quarters)

The NRSC has a site and a petition opposing the Fairness Doctrine, the site is called Stop Liberal and what follows is the wording of the petition:

Free speech is under attack.

As Democrats in Congress eagerly line up to legislate what you hear on the radio it begs the question: what's next? Newspapers? There's no end in sight to their power grab.

Democrats like Al Franken have tried to compete with the liberal talk radio Air America; yet they failed miserably and the network collapsed into bankruptcy.

And why did they fail? Because people chose not to listen. In this country's Free Market system radio stations succeed and fail based on their content. If people do not like the content of the program, they turn it off. Our marketplace guarantees your freedom to choose what you want to listen to; and that freedom is what doomed liberal talk radio to collapse.

Realizing that their ideas couldn't compete in the Free Market, Democrats schemed for ways to crush conservative talk radio's success.

Their answer? The so-called “Fairness Doctrine.”

Revival of the “Fairness Doctrine” would have the chilling effect of censoring conservative talk radio by requiring radio stations to air liberal content. Air liberal content or your station license will be revoked.

It's unfortunate that Democrats are willing to trample on our First Amendment rights for political gain.

What part of Congress shall make no law doesn't Hillary Clinton and Al Franken understand?

If you agree with those words please take a quick moment to go sign the petition.

This debate is going on in the Senate and Norm Coleman is fighting for our rights under the first amendment:

Mr. Coleman: Mr. President, I’ll respond to the final question here. Very clear disagreement here. The government does not -- does not -- have the responsibility to regulate content of speech. That's what the first amendment is about. It's exactly what the first amendment is about. Government's not supposed to be regulating content. And in a time in 1949 when you had three network TV stations, basically, when had you limited channels of communication, I presume there was a legitimate concern on the part of some that, in fact, government needs to step in and ensure balance. But now we're in 2007. We're at a time where we've got 20,000, you know, opportunities for stations and satellite, where you have cable, you have blogs, you have a whole range of information. I think it would be -- I -- I can't even conceive -- I can't even conceive that the market could not provide opportunities for differing positions because it does. And in the end -- in the end, consumers also have a right based on the market to make choices. And so if they make choices that say we want to hear more of one side than the other, that's ok okay. And I think it's very dangerous, I say to my -- my friend from Illinois, I think it's very dangerous for government to be in the position of deciding what's fair and balanced. Because as we see on the floor of the senate, oftentimes amongst ourselves, learned -- hopefully learned individuals who've the great humble opportunity to serve in the US Senate, we have differences as to what is fair and balanced. And so the reason I think we have a First Amendment is that we get government out of -- out of the -- the measuring, controlling, dictating, regulating content and that's my concern. ...

John Kennedy stated, "we are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people." Mr. President, I’m not afraid of of -- of the people. I'm not afraid of the people having access to the in information, ideas that they want to have access to. But I am afraid of the government stepping in and regulating content. We have a first amendment. That's the underpinning, the foundation of all the other amendments. The fairness doctrine flies in the face of that. It was rejected. It was rejected in 1987. The idea of bringing it back today is a very, very bad idea. This amendment specifically includes the Armed forces network. Our folks are out there on the front line fighting. They should be able to tune into whatever they want to tune into and they shouldn't be thinking that back home someone at the FCC is listening and monitoring and deciding what is fair and what is balanced. Let the people decide. Let the market decide. Let the first amendment flourish.

Mr. President, with that, I yield the floor.

The NRSC has another site showing us the cost of the Democrats, please go take a look at all the useful information there.

NewsBusters shows us with our politicians own words, who is trying to take our rights away and who is fighting, tooth and nail, to protect our First Amendment Rights.

The transcript kindly provided by NewsBusters as well as the video of the exchange in the Senate, tells the whole story.

We will keep you updated as news comes out.

[Update] It looks like the President will see to it this archaic doctrine stays where it belongs, in the trash, by vetoing it if it comes before him.

Allan Hubbard, director of the National Economic Council, announced that the president would veto any legislation attempting to revive the Doctrine. Hubbard's letter to all "interested parties":

As you probably know, some Members of Congress have recently indicated their desire to seek legislation to regulate what is said on the radio by reinstating the so-called Fairness Doctrine, which was abolished in 1987 after the FCC concluded that "a multiplicity of voices in the marketplace assured diversity of opinion" on our airwaves. Since then, the multiplicity of voices has significantly increased — and the case for the Fairness Doctrine is weaker than ever. Reinstating the Fairness Doctrine would muzzle political debate and free speech. I therefore want you to know that the President would veto any legislation reinstating the Fairness Doctrine.

Good. Gotta love the veto power.