FREE SPEECH -- Bruce Fein, writing in the Washington Times, talks about the origins of the Fairness Doctrine, which Democrats appear primed to revive, and which he played a role in repealing more than a quarter century ago.
During the ensuing . . . years, not a crumb of evidence has surfaced suggesting that controversial subjects have been shortchanged in the broadcasting marketplace of ideas - the evil that the Fairness Doctrine purported to address.
Yet House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, in the 111th Congress is planning to exhume and breathe new life into the doctrine by legislative fiat.
Fein cites a respected journalist from the glory days of broadcast network public affairs programing as support for the notion that the Fairness Doctrine has always been intended to suppress right wing opinion on the airwaves.
Martin Firestone, a Democratic Party operative, similarly advised the Democratic National Committee that "right-wingers operate on a strictly cash basis and it is for that reason that they are carried by so many small stations. Were our [Fairness Doctrine] efforts to be continued on a year-round basis, we would find that many of these stations would consider the broadcasts of these programs bothersome and burdensome (especially if they are ultimately required to give us free time) and would start dropping the programs from their broadcast schedule."