Many close observers of Washington, particular those who are or admire conservative radio Talkers, suspect that a Democratic attempt to revive the Fairness Doctrine is afoot. Not so, said Democratic FCC Commissioner Michael Copps.
In Baltimore as part of the commissioners’ DTV outreach program, he told a host at Hearst’s WBAL-AM that the Doctrine in its old form was unlikely to be revived. He did, however, acknowledge that the airwaves were doing a less than ideal job of bringing important matters to the attention of the public, and that beefed up local public interest requirements could be an alternative to a new Doctrine.
RBR/TVBR observation: The Fairness Doctrine cannot work, if only because it presumes that there are only two sides to each and every issue. There are massive problems associated with the FCC’s localism proceeding as well – and it’s not the goal so much as it is the lack of a regulatory structure that can effectively realize the goal. We’d say watch out — once we’re past the white spaces controversy, the localism effort may move closer to the front burner.