Friday, June 29, 2007

Fairness Doctrine: What's Fair About It?

I have never heard so many whiny babies in all my life, even in Washington. "Talk radio runs this country." "Talk radio must be stopped." "Talk radio must be balanced." Wahhh, wahhh, wahhh!

And that's just the Republicans.

What has happened over the past few months with the attempted passage of the illegal immigrant amnesty bill is that the "powers that be" in Washington started to see that they weren't "the Almighty" that independently formulated and passed legislation upon "the sheep".

When you threaten a politician's grasp on power, you had better duck because the knee-jerk reaction will be to start firing in all directions in an attempt to regain control. Immediately after the chaotic knee-jerk will be a hurried attempt to place blame on a group or individual, i.e., The Religious Right, the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, the anti-abortionists, the homophobes, etc. You get the picture.

In their rush (no pun intended) to point the finger of blame, they have mistakenly targeted talk radio. As I pointed out in the previous post, the American people defeated the illegal immigrant amnesty bill. Talk radio simply echoed the sentiment of the American people.

Liberals used the word "dittohead" in a derogatory manner. What's funny about that is the term is a joke that is used as an entertainment/marketing tool. Even funnier is that there is a higher percentage of independent thinkers who listen to Rush Limbaugh than who listen to the network news.

Fortunately, someone in Washington understands that. Yesterday the House of Representatives passed the Pence Amendment (309-115) which prohibits the FCC from using government dollars to impose the Fairness Doctrine on talk radio. Here are Congressman Pence's remarks after the vote:

“Today the House of Representatives affirmed that freedom will continue to reign on the airwaves of America. Thanks to the support of 308 of my colleagues, Congress has ensured that the Fairness Doctrine will remain in the grave for now. This was a resounding victory for free speech.

“However, the fight for freedom on the American airwaves is not over. With many still hoping to resurrect this archaic doctrine of unfairness, we must continue to stay on the offense. Tonight I will introduce the ‘Broadcaster Freedom Act’ to ensure that the victory we experienced on the House floor today extends to future generations.

“I thank all my colleagues, especially the Republican leadership in the House for delivering this resounding victory for the freedom of speech.”

Make the celebration a short one. The talk radio haters will be back. But in the end, free speech will win.

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