Fairness warnings still in the air


Even though there has been no steady drumbeat to revive the Fairness Doctrine that we are aware of, there has been a steady drumbeat opposing such a move. The latest rimshot appeared in an opinion piece from Michael Barone that details the aggressive media pushback strategy being used by the campaign of Barack Obama. Barone details instances where Obama supporters have flooded broadcast stations with emails and phone calls when instructed. He speculates that the campaign’s intolerance for the airing of opposing viewpoints may well translate into a return of Fairness Doctrine under an Obama administration.

One celebrated incident took place over the summer, when Tribune’s iconic WGN-AM hosted a guest who discussed the relationship of Obama and William Ayers. Barone also notes the campaign’s loudly stated objection to certain ads run by 527 groups.

RBR/TVBR observation: Barone mentions only one Congressional Democrat by name, David Obey (D-WI), and notes that Obey opposes a return of the Doctrine. He doesn’t mention anybody in favor of bringing it back. There is a lot of smoke from opponents of reinstatement, but as yet we still aren’t seeing much fire from proponents. But should some Hill-dwelling Doctor Frankenstein be found hooking up the Fairness Doctrine to a lightning rod in an attempt to bring it back to life so that it may return to ravaging the broadcast free speech countryside, we suspect Mike Pence (R-IN) and a large and loud posse will be ready to beat the effort back.. And the guys and gals who were the black robes, otherwise known as the judiciary, will likely have Pence’s back.