Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Fair in Fairness

“Dear Mr. Liberal,” wrote an opinion writer in Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinel, “Why do liberals claim they're for free speech but want to bring back the Fairness Doctrine, which could stifle conservative talk radio?” That is the latest drum beat of the self proclaimed center-right. I found the question irresistible. “Mr. Liberal replies,” I responded. “Liberals do not. We [liberals] have better things to do than to try to hush Rush Limbaugh or stifle Sean Hannity, like listening to NPR.” I thought I was being cute, as I bated the commentator.

But, nooooo.

A young Republican shot back, “Yes, but ‘you’ liberals do not write the rules, vote on them, pass them into law...Nancy Pelosi liberals do.” She continued that it “is not about Hannity and Rush, both of whom I loathe. It is about slowly choking off the First Amendment. It is sickening how vocal liberals are with their incredible amount of misinformation.”

Let me share another point of view, that of Michael Reagan in his blog, Michigan Redneck II. “P.S. My dad, President Reagan, killed the ‘Fairness Doctrine.’ As a result, this rule change allowed Rush, Hannity, and me to have radio talk shows — that’s why the new proposal to bring it back is being called the ‘Hush Rush’ bill. Now the liberals are dying to shut us up.” He is seeking contributions, too.

“The Fairness Doctrine is the last of my concerns for broadcast news. I would settle for some proper grammar and sentence construction here and there,” one of my former radio colleagues, Gary Nelson of WFOR TV4 Miami wrote. “About the vitriol on talk radio,” Gary continued, “in doing a piece the day after the election on Bush losing the Hispanic vote, I interviewed a Colombian-American voter who said he had been a Republican all his life and had never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate. He said the ‘mean-spirited’ attacks on Obama changed him. ‘Rush Limbaugh cost John McCain my vote,’ he said.”

“That's why we now have right wing and left wing media. Some are even in the middle,” a voter on my “Fair in Fairness Poll” wrote. “Let people decide who to listen to. It should not be confused, but often is, with the Equal Time rule. The Fairness Doctrine deals with matters of public importance; the Equal Time rule only deals with political candidates.”

Thank goodness for the Internet and 1st Amendment, without which I would have no one to bate (aa-aa watch it!) nor the freedom to do it.

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To view comments on the Fairness Poll, go to

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