Commentary on the Fairness Doctrine


One of the first things tyrannical governments do when they grab power is to silence the opposition by seizing control of the media.  It could plausibly be argued that attempts to control media content is itself a sign of a soft tyranny because it muffles contrary viewpoints.  In recent weeks we’ve been hearing a not so distant growing drumbeat of reviving the Fairness Doctrine, a misnomer if ever there was one. 

Like all that government does, it has consequences, both intended and unintended.  The intended consequence is that it will silence the only consistent broadcast forum for conservative opinion in the name of "fairness."  Unintended, but no less likely, it will spell the death of AM radio where the talk format has been the only really bright spot. 

As likely opposition grows to reinstating the Fairness Doctrine in its old form, those who favor it will likely avoid the spotlight of reviving it with new legislation and instead use stealth tactics of administrative regulations imposed by the FCC.  Either way, it will be a disaster for the broadcast industry, particularly for radio, but most of all it will be an attack on free speech.  Be alert, the assault is coming. 

— Jim La Marca CEO Unity Media, Inc.