Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fairness Doctrine

There is some effort in congress to re-instate the "fairness doctrine" at the FCC as reports have it that there are people on the radio who are not at all supportive of the new administration. It is also generally conceded that this approach probably won't fly. Instead, there's a program referred to as "localism" which allows locals to bitch about a radio stations content, and have the FCC harass the station into either giving up the content, or having its lisence not renewed.

More likely is that the left will use the subtle, silent, and creeping tool of government bureaucracy to strangle conservative talk radio. The enforcement of "localism" regulations, as described in a 17 November 2008 American Thinker article by Jim Boulet, would use a system of complaints to the FCC and community advisory boards to attack conservative radio. A few tweaks in FCC regulations can require radio stations to submit time-wasting and expensive reports, hold public meetings, and create panels of local residents, led by community organizers, to evaluate programming. If the bureaucrats and peoples' panels are not pleased with a radio station's compliance, they'll be able to take away the station's license. The goal would be to attack conservative radio in obscurity, without an open showdown.
If such a thing comes to pass, the quick solution will be to have form letters of complaint regarding the local TV stations and perhaps newspapers, available at conservative gatherings for the attendees to pick up, fill in, and send to the FCC. Sauce for the goose, after all.

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