Fairness? Let them go first


If the Congress is serious about resurrecting some form of The Fairness Doctrine, I say “fine.” As long as it doesn’t start and stop with Radio.

Here are a few ideas on where the Congress might begin…

While it is fresh in our minds we can agree that it was certainly not ‘fair’ for The Steelers to win their sixth Super Bowl when the Arizona Cardinals don’t have a single NFL championship to their name.

There should have been The Super Bowl #43 Fairness Doctrine: Play the game at University of Phoenix stadium, a home game for the Cardinals. In Quarters One and Three, the Steelers would field only players with even-numbered jerseys. In the second and final quarter, only odd-numbered Steelers would be allowed on the field. This way, the game-winning touchdown pass from Big Ben to Santonio Holmes would never have happened and fairness would have ruled the universe for that Sunday (#7 to #10, by the way).

We are long past due for The View Fairness Doctrine (almost 3,000 episodes overdue). Four or Five Women host the show … zero Men. Three or four Liberals, one Conservative. Hardly ‘fair.’  So, henceforth, the Congress should mandate the ladies not only discuss but be sympathetic toward only Conservative male guests and issues Mon. thru Thurs. while Friday, they would be allowed to be on their own. After episode 6000 the doctrine could be reviewed.

Newspapers. This bunch is almost always near the front of the line editorializing for ‘fairness’ in Radio and TV. Well, they can go walking a mile in our shoes with the Newspaper Fairness Doctrine. For every read from Arianna Huff-and-Puff they would be required to print a column from Ann Coulter. When they run Bill Moyers they’d be obliged to print one from Dick Morris, or George Will, or Michelle Malkin – their choice. A Keith Olberman rant? That would earn a fine of three-for-one from either Rush or Newt.

Personally, I am anxious to live in the world of the Politicians’ Fairness Doctrine. Since we can assume ‘fairness’ transcends political affiliations, this version of the doctrine will take some getting used to up on Capitol Hill.

Let’s begin with the Senator who is making all of this Fairness noise lately, Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow. If a major goal of a ‘fairness’ doctrine would be to expose both sides of an issue to scrutiny — if the Senator believes so strongly in ‘fairness,’ — shouldn’t she have mentioned that her husband, Tom, was a founder or executive at three Liberal talk networks? That sounds fair to me.

But, you see, Senator, we in the media did not need a Fairness Doctrine to uncover that other side of your story all on our own. Which makes me think things are just fine without your ideas about ‘fairness.’ I think I hear the Economy calling you back to work.

But, if you persist, let the Congress, Super Bowl, View, and Newspapers go first. Give it a couple of years and get back to us.  OK?

— Bob Harper, Consultant  www.bobharper.com