By Scott Tibbs, January 27, 2007
CNSNews.com reported a little over a week ago that some Democrats want to re-establish the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" that the FCC eliminated during the Reagan Administration. Democrats had made some noise about putting the "Fairness Doctrine" back into place during the early days of the Clinton administration, but did not do so.
The "Fairness Doctrine" has major implications for free speech. In the early 1990's, it was rightly referred to as the "hush Rush" law, because it could profoundly restrict the booming business of conservative talk radio. Basically, radio stations would be required by federal law to provide "equal time" to Limbaugh's three hours on the air each day.
It is not a coincidence that Limbaugh's radio program took off after the "Fairness Doctrine" was repealed in 1987. If radio stations had to provide "equal time", Limbaugh might have never gotten a chance to provide his unique blend of analysis and entertainment to the media. The fact that some Democrats want to put the "Fairness Doctrine" back in place shows how effective Limbaugh has been.
It is shameful when politicians try to use the force of government to silence critics. They did it with "campaign finance reform", and some want to do it with the "Fairness Doctrine". Freedom of the press are critical to the survival of a constitutional republic, because it keeps the government in line by making the people aware of what is going on.
Yesterday, Congressman Baron Hill was a guest on the AM 1370 Afternoon Edition. I called into the program with a question: "What is your opinion on the 'fairness doctrine' that some want to reintroduce?" As I expected, Hill did not answer the question.
Where is Baron? Why could Baron Hill not answer a simple question? Does Baron Hill support the "Fairness Doctrine" or not? Even if the legislation dies in committee without ever getting a vote, Hill's opinion on this would be very instructive to his overall world view on freedom and on the importance of the First Amendment. I find it very unfortunate that Baron Hill dodged giving a straight answer to my question.