The unfairness of a doctrine


A reader points out why nobody should want the Fairness Doctrine to come back to life.

If we really need a Fairness Doctrine, shouldn’t we have one that’s really fair? Was ABC-TV’s Boston Legal essentially an hour-long commercial for Barack Obama on the night before Election Day? Did the crew of The View really swoon over Barack Obama, then roll their eyes and make fun of John McCain? Was Chris Matthews at MSNBC just "reporting the news" when he talked about feeling "a thrill going up my leg" after hearing Obama speak? Did NBC-TV’s Saturday Night Live intentionally turn Sarah Palin into a national joke? If she had been a Liberal Democrat and Barack had picked her as his running mate, would her treatment have been any different? Were these shows paid for by the Obama campaign as stealth political advertising, or were they merely campaign contributions made by big corporations? Would the Fairness Doctrine have forced Air America to give equal time to Rush, Sean, Glenn, and other conservative voices?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m excited to see the first African-American President and I wish Barack Obama well in his new job. But let’s be fair. Would the outcome of this election been any different if the treatment of the two candidates had been reversed on prime-time television, cable news networks, newspapers, and the Internet? Even if Congress does manage to kill political opposition on the radio, I’ll still listen — even if I’m forced to download illegal podcasts of Rush’s show from a foreign web site.

Joseph J Knapp

President, A-Ware Software, Inc.