Saturday, February 21, 2009

"Fairness Doctrine" and Islamicism

The so-called, and misnamed, “Fairness Doctrine,” is rearing its ugly head again. The Fairness Doctrine is a throwback to the day when there were three broadcast channels on television. Its intent was to ensure that FCC-regulated TV and radio outlets provided both sides of the story in their news and commentary. Those of us who remember how the three television networks controlled the flow of news and information recall how “well” the “Fairness Doctrine” worked. It was jettisoned during the Reagan Administration. Certain members of Congress are clearly interested in reviving the Fairness Doctrine. Given the glut of information one can get today on any issue from virtually any political perspective, it’s hard to see why it’s necessary. Unless they want to shut down “speech” they don’t like. In the American Spectator piece below, we draw your attention to one particularly chilling paragraph:
One idea Waxman's committee staff is looking at is a congressionally mandated policy that would require all TV and radio stations to have in place "advisory boards" that would act as watchdogs to ensure "community needs and opinions" are given fair treatment. Reports from those advisory boards would be used for license renewals and summaries would be reviewed at least annually by FCC staff.It doesn’t take much imagination to see how such “advisory boards” would be on the front lines in enforcing political correctness – especially when it comes to the issue of Islam. Done, of course, in the name of providing “fair treatment” – or else lose your broadcast license. If the Fairness Doctrine were revived, and with it anything that smacks of “advisory boards,” we’d be handing over the power to censor our TV and radio broadcasts to the Islamists who are intent on gagging all speech that dares to criticize Islam. They already have a UN resolution calling on countries to prohibit “hate speech.” The British government cowers before their threats and deports Dutch MP Geert Wilders. Austrian officials convict an Austrian legislator for “defaming” Islam. Mark Steyn is dragged before the Canadian Human Rights Commission to answer Muslim charges about what he wrote in his book America Alone. And they already have much of the “establishment media” parroting their talking points and readily labeling as an “Islamophobe” anyone who criticizes Islam. The Fairness Doctrine will be a nail in the coffin of free speech about Islam. It’s time to draw a line in the sand.

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