The Fairness Doctrine does not officially exist any more, but Rep. Mike Pence (R-IL) is making another attempt to shut it down before it can spring back to life. The Doctrine was shut down during the Reagan presidency, and its demise gets at least partial credit for paving the way for political talkers like Rush Limbaugh.
This will not be the first time Pence has tried to get similar legislation through the House.
He already has a number of co-sponsors, including one key co-sponsor – Greg Walden (R-OR), chair of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet. Walden will have it within his power to put Pence’s bill on the calendar. Pence’s vice-chair Lee Terry (R-NE) is also aboard, as are a number of other Republicans and at least one Democrat.
RBR-TVBR observation: Every now and then a lonely Democrat will pine for the days of the Fairness Doctrine, but it is hard to find a group of Democrats that will do so publicly, and there has been no organized attempt to revive it. So it’s a bit of a mystery why this topic keeps on coming up. On the other hand, since there is no real opposition, it’s a bit of a mystery why the rest of Congress doesn’t just let Pence have his bill.