Minnesota Democrats want air time


The Majority Leader of the Minnesota Senate claims the Republican Governor is using his weekly show on CBS Radio’s WCCO-AM to push his own political agenda. So, the Democrats are calling for some rebuttal air time.

The tradition of a weekly talk show by Minnesota’s governor on WCCO began in 1999 with Jesse Ventura, an independent, and there have been provisions at times for the governor’s opposition – in Ventura’s case, both the Democrats and Republicans – to make their case on the air.

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller sent a letter a few days ago to CBS Radio Market Manager Mick Anselmo. “We are requesting your station provide a periodic segment following the governor’s show for lawmakers of the opposing party to provide a different point of view,” wrote the Senate leader of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL), as the Democrats are called in Minnesota.

A spokesman for the governor told the newspaper that Pawlenty devotes nearly half the one-hour show to calls from citizens and noted that several prominent Democrats have been guests. So, the spokesman insisted that it was “factually incorrect” to suggest that only Republic views are presented.

The Star Tribune noted that Anselmo did not respond to a request for comment. Likewise, he has not yet answered an email from RBR/TVBR.

RBR/TVBR observation: It’s always good to have all reasonable points of view expressed on the public airwaves. But it’s also good that the licensee, in this case CBS Radio, has the responsibility of deciding when and how to present those views. Were the misnamed Fairness Doctrine to be brought back, it would be an unmanageable mess. Democrats would demand equal time to respond to Republicans. Folks from the Green Party, Libertarians and every other party, not to mention folks not aligned with any particular political group, would make their own demands for airtime. And, of course, new topics would creep in, so the Republicans and Democrats would be back wanting to rebut those broadcasts as well. Why does anybody in Washington think this is a good idea?