People argue now that Rush is just entertainment now, just because the content of his show is political and socially oretenated then he should be subject to the fairness doctrine. Should there be a set standard i.e. 40% political commentary would make a show fall under fairness doctrine. Or only if it has a talking head?Originally posted by: MovingTarget
Well, as I said before, it is pretty clear that Boston Legal and West Wing were purely entertainment. Sure, they can express political views, but they don't pretend to be a place for real debate and/or news reporting to occur. You seem to be missing my point there. I don't want to "go after specific people" as you claim, just allow others to have a foot in the door so they aren't completely shut out.Originally posted by: shrumpage
That doesn't sound like you are interested in fairness at all, just going after specific people and not the idea of presenting political discourse.
I can produce and hour long episode of West Wing promoting gay marriage, and showing how dumb the argument is of the other side. Presenting conservatives as idiots and morons who can't defend themselves. Be seen by millions of people over the public airwaves - but it wouldn't count? In reality it would count, because over half the people who saw it would complain and channel would have to allow a rebuttal or fear fines from the FCC.
Boston Legal presents current news items from a liberal view point, with the conservatives opinion portrayed as idiotic. It has a very one sided political point of view that would qualify it for the fairness doctrine.
People just assume the fairness doctrine would affect conservative talk radio, it wouldn't. Anything that promotes ANY political or social idea broadcast over the airwaves would have to allow for its rebuttal, period. If shows like the Daily Show and the Colbert Report were on broadcast they would be neutered, and quickly. Because of the dissenting view points they would have to allow to 'be fair.'
What would be easier: toning down their political pieces, or providing air time? Guess which one is cheaper, guess which one the profit orientated broadcast companies will choose.
And the worse part is who decides what that dissenting view point is? In the end a government bureaucrat. That is the last person i want deciding what kind of political discourse gets heard.
All the fairness doctrine would do is make the airwaves a lot more bland, and a less lot interesting. Which would be fair to who?
How do you officially determine what show is what? Another government agency? You can't be arbitrary you must have predefined guidelines. And onc those guidelines are in place how soon is it before every show changes itself to be in those guidelines and then goes about spouting the same stuff?
An hour long drama on gay marriage, political satire skit on SNL, a David Lettermen ant-McCain monologue, and an opinion by Rush. How can you say only one of those opinions is allowed to be responded to by the fairness doctrine?
A government bureaucrat will be the decider of what is a valid political opinion. Besides the obvious abuse that will take place - why do you want government dictating political speech on the air?The FCC should show some backbone and not cave into every request of bias without fully investigating it. The number of callers complaining shouldn't matter if they are WRONG. Shows that aren't direct debates, political opinion speeches, news items, etc. would be exempt from this kind of "rebuttal". You seem to be confusing a station "allowing" time for a rebuttal and the station allowing for any party that wants to rebut, the chance to buy equal airtime to do so at the same rate. Besides, the government isn't supposed to decide who represents the dissenting view. Any party that disagrees and wants to pony up the resources for the airtime should be allowed to. No government beurocrat decision there.
Ah now you start getting at it "tone down their political opinion pieces" that is the key. It will be easier and more cost affective do tone down, then allow the KKK to present their opinion of why Obama is a bad choice.Besides, if you are concerned about for-profit boradcast companies having to make a decision to either tone down their political opinion pieces or provide air time, they are still allowed to raise their rates for purchasing airtime, as long as they do so equally for all groups. Heck, you could even make a business case that INCREASING their political content would be better for them as opposition groups would be all the more willing to pay for such a rebuttal. Purely news coverage is a bit different as they are required to do so in a non-biased manner, and this is part of their community service for obtaining the license.
You also leave it open so that only the rich can respond, leaving poorer folk unable to voice their response - it will make it even more difficult with rates going up.
So basically you accomplish LESS POLICITCAL discourse all in the name of promoting it? Brilliant!
I didn't realize that there is a forced requirement of a community service via news.
Fairness doctrine neutered talk radio that is why it didn't take off in till after it was removed. I'd love you to show that there was more range of discussion on the air during the fairness doctrine.Rush and his ilk will be fine. They were on the air many years while this doctrine was still in place by the FCC. There is plenty of precedent about the fairness doctrine not killing off political discourse. They prospered. If anything, since the demise of the fairness doctrine and the Clear-Channelization/consolidation of media companies, the airwaves have become dangerously homogenized. I think it is time for a return.
You do realize that there is rarely a purely two side argument about issues right? What about the varying degrees of opinion do they all get equal time? Or is it once again left to a government bureaucrat to decide that tom, dick and harry's opinion is OK but rob's isn't?
There are more choices now on the air, free to everyone then ever before and there is still room! But what you want is a government agency to decide what is a permissible content before a show is demeaned worthy of being balanced. And then you need that same agency to determine what is allowable political speech.
All that law will do, is what it did before, lower the amount of public discourse on the air. it will also force satire, comedy, and drama's to think twice before presenting a political issue.