Bringing Back The Fairness Doctrine

Brian C. Anderson of the Manhattan Institute has published the book "A Manifesto for Media Freedom."

Anderson was on Dennis Prager’s radio show last week.

He writes in the New York Post:

The Fairness Doctrine was an astonishingly bad idea. It’s a too-tempting power for government to abuse. When the doctrine was in effect, both Democratic and Republican administrations regularly used it to harass critics on radio and TV.

Second, a new Fairness Doctrine would drive political talk radio off the dial. If a station ran a big-audience conservative program like, say, Laura Ingraham’s, it would also have to run a left-leaning alternative. But liberals don’t do well on talk radio, as the failure of Air America and indeed all other liberal efforts in the medium to date show. Stations would likely trim back conservative shows so as to avoid airing unsuccessful liberal ones.

Then there’s all the lawyers you’d have to hire to respond to the regulators measuring how much time you devoted to this topic or that. Too much risk and hassle, many radio executives would conclude. Why not switch formats to something less charged – like entertainment or sports coverage?

Professor Cass Sunstein "will head the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Obama administration." He wants to regulate the internet. He has previously proposed forcing websites to put links to opposing point of views

Dennis: "Why not require universities to abide by the Fairness Doctrine?"

Anderson argues that the Fairness Doctrine is unconstitutional, a form of prior restraint on speech. "It is a cynical effort by Democrats to cut down on the medium [critical of them]."

"Obama supports net neutrality. It sets up the FCC as a regulator of internet traffic, and forces the providers to treat the traffic equally. Internet providers can’t slow down certain things, speed up others. By setting up a bunch of regulators in Washington, you are going to slide towards content, a Fairness Doctrine for the web, as crazy as that sounds."

"Campaign Finance Reform is the third big threat to free speech."

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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