Republican platform echoes the sounds of silence


This is not to suggest that the 2008 Republican Platform has nothing to say, it just doesn’t have much to say about broadcast issues. In fact, our examination turned up one, and only one sentence that had a direct application to domestic broadcast regulation. Here it is: “We support freedom of speech and freedom of the press and oppose attempts to violate or weaken those rights, such as reinstatement of the so-called Fairness Doctrine.”

Beyond that, the platform expresses continued support for our foreign exporters of democracy, Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty and Radio and TV Marti. And it generally supports defense of intellectual property and to battle piracy, a broad category which includes much more than the theft of music or television programming.
While having slightly more on the topic, the Democratic platform made no mention of reinstating the Fairness Doctrine. It suggested working toward more media ownership diversity, clarification of broadcasters’ public interest obligations, encouraging parental content control tools with an eye on the First Amendment, and seeking free political air time on radio and television.

RBR/TVBR observation: Same old, same old. Broadcast issues in Washington can be white hot, and relevant hearings in both the Senate and the House often become SRO affairs. But these same issues barely register, if they come up at all, in the rhetoric of campaigns for federal office at any level.