Waxman says conservative radio not under scrutiny


American Spectator published a story noting a two-pronged plan among Democrats to exploit the recent remarks of Rush Limbaugh. One is to use his comments as a basis for a fund-raising effort. The other is to investigate Limbaugh and other conservative Talkers with an eye toward exhuming the Fairness Doctrine. However, fingered Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) says the latter story simply is not true. Waxman was concerned that the story not only was published, but was picked up by numerous other media outlets and demanded a retraction. "The American Spectator report is completely false and was written without any documentation or attribution," charged Waxman’s staff in an item posted on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. "There is not now nor has there ever been any investigation of this subject."

RBR observation: One of Waxman’s committee colleagues, longshot presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), is chair of the committee’s Subcommittee on Domestic Policy. Back in January, he promised to hold hearings on rules restricting broadcast/print cross-ownership, which he thinks should remain strong, and the Fairness Doctrine, which he believes should be reinstated. He said he’d do this despite being aware that this is basically Ed Markey’s (D-MA) Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet turf. However, since then we have not heard so much as a peep about actually holding the hearing. Meanwhile, Mike Pence (R-IN) and Greg Walden (R-OR) have been pushing for legislation that would guarantee that the Fairness Doctrine remain in its mausoleum, which would be fine. But in fact, although the idea of reviving it is mentioned from time to time, there has been no serious attempt to re-animate it, and we suspect it would be a difficult sell if there were an attempt, even with Congress under Democratic control. At any rate, the Democrats using Limbaugh to energize their own fundraising understand his true value to their cause.