Back in September in my posting titled Radio or Not, I took issue with the Post’s George Will over his assertion that a Democratic Presidency would mean the return of the so-called Fairness Doctrine. I wrote that such a notion is bunk since conservative talk radio is cheap to produce. Will’s colleague Michael Gerson has brought it up again. They probably share a new corner of the Post’s commissary and both wrote that in 1987 President Reagan “eliminated” (Will) or “overturned” (Gerson) the 1949 FCC regulation.
No the president did not. The FCC overturned the regulation. By the way, as an independent regulatory agency, the FCC has the power to reimpose the fairness doctrine at anytime without action by either the executive or legislative branches. What Reagan did was veto a congressional attempt to make the regulation a law. The Supreme Court set the stage for the FCC dumping the regulation in 1984 (FCC v. League of Women Voters, 468 U.S. 364). The regulation has come up since then, but congress would not support it and nor did the Clinton administration.
The broadcast media of 1949 is a chapter of history, as will be the Internet. So who keeps coming up with the fairness doctrine (beware, brother, beware) with respect to the newly elected administration, other than Will and Gerson? I am going to guess they got it off of talk radio. Besides, other than the Palin worshipping Rush Limbaugh, who cares? That is unless Gerson and Will have information that the Obama administration plans to “pack” the FCC.
Anyway, there you have the “This” part. Now, here is the “That.” I have previously written that both “W and Cheney deserve a place in history – in a penitentiary.” I call on all US citizens to urge the president-elect to offer no blanket pardons to Misters Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld or Rove. I urge their prosecution for “high crimes and misdemeanors” (Constitution, Art. II Sec. 4).
Here is another by the way. “High,” according to Jon Roland of the Constitution Society, “does not mean ‘more serious’. It refers to those punishable offenses that only apply to high persons,” more specifically public officials. I have posted a poll on that topic at http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=4143 You can vote and see the results for the next few weeks. I will be writing about what we find later.
And now, here is “the Other Thing,” also known as the Alaska Senatorial race. As of this posting, with 60% of the vote counted, Democratic challenger Mark Begich leads the incumbent Republican convicted felon Ted Stevens by 1022 votes. To check them, go to http://www.elections.alaska.gov/08general/data/results.htm .