Apparently some patches of the conservative quilt have gotten their stitches all in a knot at the possibility of a revival of the Fairness Doctrine, an FCC policy ditched back in the Reagan years that required broadcasters to offer opposing viewpoints in any opinions programming. Honestly, with the exception of the broadcasters themselves, I'm not sure why anyone would care about this. Honestly, this would just be forcing a little journalistic integrity on news broadcasters, which would create more work for networks having to ensure their programming meets the rule. It'd actually be good for our intellectually lazy society to be exposed to multiple viewpoints instead of the conservatives being able to hide out at Fox News while the liberals head to some liberal rag like the New York Times (where they can read Bill Kristol) to get their beliefs reaffirmed. I just don't think it's a practical policy. What if Keith Olbermann says something that isn't all that liberal? Does his network have to rush out to find Kucinich to fill a half-hour Fairness Doctrine liberal rant? What about the Green Party or the Libertarians? What if their viewpoints aren't being expressed fairly?
But what's really bizarre about the recent flurry of fuss about the Fairness Doctrine is that many conservatives seemed convinced that it's a way to force their point of view off the airwaves. I'm not sure how one could logically reach this assumption. Sure, Fox News would be forced to add a few guys to their lineups to counterbalance their heavily conservative-leaning lineup of political commentators, but it wouldn't force them to dump their conservative viewpoints entirely. Sure, you may end up dumping a couple of the less popular talking heads to make room for the damned hippies, but Bill O'Reilly wouldn't be going anywhere. More than likely, they'd just turn some of their one-perspective shows into dueling heads or panel formats, which would fit the Fairness Doctrine to a tee by my understanding.
But seriously, if the conservative voices were forced out under the Fairness Doctrine, the liberal voices wouldn't be allowed to replace them. What's the fuss? Want to fight against its resurrection? Go for it. I'm sure you'd find bipartisan support based just on the impracticability of it all. Think that it'll somehow be used by the rest of us to force your voice off the air and you're just a bit touched in the head.
As for that link, I don't know if it's any good or not. I didn't actually read the article. I just skimmed the first paragraph to make sure it's what I'm talking about and copied in the URL. I've just read three articles about the damned fairness doctrine in the past two week and how there's a near panic among certain groups about the possibility of its resurrection lately.