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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Fairness Doctrine Hypocrisy

Derek Hunter writes an excellent piece about the hypocrisy surrounding the Fairness Doctrine. Here is the key portion in my opinion.

Seeing censorship rolling down the tracks, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) introduced an amendment to an appropriations bill last year that forbade the FCC from spending any money this year on Fairness Doctrine enforcement. It was a symbolic vote, since the FCC wasn’t enforcing it anyway, but it put members of Congress on record supporting free speech or opposing it. The amendment passed 309-115.

Pence introduced the Broadcaster Freedom Act to permanently remove the doctrine from the books. Something that overwhelmingly passed for a one-year ban should be easily repealed, right? Not quite.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) blocked the BFA from coming to a vote and has stated her personal support for the return of the Fairness Doctrine. So Pence started a discharge petition, a procedural maneuver, to force a vote. As of now, there are 195 signatories of the needed 218 on the discharge petition.

Currently, all 111 Democrats who voted for the one-year ban have refused to sign the discharge petition, along with two Republicans. These members have the distinction of being the charter members of the Hypocrisy Caucus ( On the issue of freedom of speech, you can’t have it both ways.

Now, originally when Laura Ingraham subbed for O'Reilly and produced this talking points memo.

I thought she was being overly provocative in a self serving manner. Her fears in this particular TPM may in fact be warranted. As the article intuitively points out, 111 Congress people that voted to extend the moratorium on the Fairness Doctrine for a year now refuse to sign onto the discharge petition to bring to a vote a bill that would end the Fairness Doctrine forever. It was good enough to remove for a year but not forever.

It is no secret that many prominent Democrats have been in favor of the fairness doctrine. Here is Dennis Kucinich.

and here is the full interview of Diane Feinstein that Ingraham referenced.

It appears that many Democrats, for political expedience, purged the Fairness Doctrine for a year, and now for the same political expedience, are trying to bury its repeal now that we are about to head into an election campaign.

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