Fairness Doctrine to walk the plank in August


FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, in response to inquiries from Republican leadership in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, has said that the Commission plans to scrub the Fairness Doctrine from its regulations in August, and said that other outdated regs will get the axe as well.

Another topic of concern in the committee has been its perception that the FCC crafts rules without any thought to their potential costs and benefits. Genachowski said, however, that it is already standard operating procedure to conduct just such an analysis when considering a new rulemaking.

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) applauded Genachowski’s comments, which came in response to their inquiry of 5/31/11.

“We are pleased that Chairman Genachowski has finally set a target for striking the Fairness Doctrine from the rulebooks once and for all,” said Upton and Walden. “The rules are outdated, unnecessary, and needlessly endanger our sacred freedoms of speech and the press. The Commission says it plans to eliminate these obsolete rules through a streamlined, delegated-authority process, and we will continue to monitor the issue until they are fully repealed.”

They also commented on FCC plans to target other regulations. “The committee appreciates Chairman Genachowski’s agreement that burdensome regulations—even those not subject to President Obama’s Executive Order—should be subject to a rigorous cost-benefit analysis before adoption,” said Upton and Walden. “We are also dedicated to assisting the FCC’s efforts to eliminate burdensome regulations in order to unleash private sector investment, spur growth, and create jobs for the American people. The committee urges the FCC to coordinate its plans to review and repeal job-crushing regulations with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.”