Saturday, July 07, 2007

Fairness Doctrine?

Front Page Magazine carries an article, "The 'No Fairness Left' Doctrine", by Don Feder. In it, Mr. Feder discusses the motives of the Left in their attempt to revive the Fairness Doctrine.

There is one area of media that is more conservative than liberal and that area is talk radio. As Don Feder puts it:

Leftists are obsessed with talk radio for a very good reason -- because it's the only segment of the media they don't control. They have CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, PBS, and NPR.
It is more than ironic that the Left says that media isn't balanced because talk radio is mostly conservative. The Left acts as if all media is conservative and that they have to put a stop to that imbalance. Since this is a ludicrous position, it is with great relief that I read that:
Late last week, the House of Representatives -- Nancy Pelosi's House -- voted 309-115 to prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from using federal funds to impose the Fairness Doctrine on stations that carry Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, et. al.
However, we can't get our hopes up that the House, Democrats and Republicans alike, have suddenly become fans of the First Amendment. Don Feder goes on to say:

It's not that the Democrat-controlled House has suddenly become a bastion of First Amendment champions. Rather, after the display of talk radio's effectiveness in the immigration debate, the body -- all of whose members will be up for reelection next year -- feared swift and bloody retribution at the hands of America's most consumer-responsive medium.
What this does tell me is that the public wants to hear all sides of the issues, not just what the liberal media doles out in bits and pieces. It also tells me that the public can contact their Senators and Representatives and make a difference. We can do the same at the state and local level, too. We have to let all those elected to represent us know that we expect them to represent us and not just go off in some direction that is beneficial to them personally in some way.

It exasperates me and amuses me both that the Left is always portraying itself as a victim of some "vast right-wing conspiracy" and that if a conservative says anything at all, then they are somehow unfairly silencing the liberals. This is a joke and we all know it if we are being honest. The Left has far more media putting out their liberal agenda as if it were the only game in town than conservatives have. There are, thankfully, some conservative outlets--talk radio being one, plus a few newspapers and a few blogs and websites. You will find some of those in my links in the sidebar. Even if your views are liberal, it will benefit you to hear or read some different viewpoints and the reasons behind them.

Although there are a few conservatives who are a bit outrageous with their words, most present facts backed up by research and quietly present their views. The Left is more likely to spend their efforts in attempting to trash the Right, rather than detailing their positions, supported by facts and research. Still, all of us could improve our communications by sticking to the issues and the reasons for and against various positions. The public could improve their knowledge by studying the issues themselves and weighing the various positions. I know there is a lot of material out there and it isn't easy to sort it all out, but we must try. Our very nation is at stake, and it is very much worth reviving so that it truly is a government of, by, and for the people.

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At 6:54 AM, Anonymous Barb said...

I crave unbiased news. The founding fathers believed in freedom of speech and that we needed to have all sides of the story out there and in doing so that truth would win out. I hope I am recalling my Milton training from History of Mass Communications. I know that an emphasis on the fact that major corporations own more and more media outlets is sited as having less freedom of speech.

I wanted to mention that Confutus who you may recall from a forum just started a independent learning forum. He also has a web site dedicated to independent learning. Recently he spoke of starting up his current events site again as well. As far as his new forum goes, he is really hoping to attrract people who are interested in independent learning. You can get there from and then click on the forum from the panel. If I did that wrong, you should be able to google confutus.

At 11:09 PM, Blogger Confutus said...

I've noticed that in an atmosphere of controversy, it's very hard to get unbiased news. Each side has a tendency to present the facts that support its opinions, and only those that support its opinions. It's often easier to take sides than to dig out the truth.
Unfortunately, it's also easier to hurl invective and ridicule than to act with charity toward those who disagree with us, and easier to recognize the blindness of other people than our own.
In response to your comment of a couple of weeks ago, Mary, I've found it can be difficult to balance a love of scholarship with a deep concern for current events.
BTW, Barb's directions to the Independent Learning Forum are correct and I'd love a visit.

At 4:04 PM, Blogger Mary A said...

Barb, I would love unbiased news, but it does seem hard to come by. I try to present some views different from Mainstream Media, but my own biases show through. Blogs and websites can balance mass media to a point, but we are all human beings and we all do what we can do, but aren't perfect at it!

Hi, Confutus! I'm glad you stopped by and commented. I'll be checking out your sites. I think you are right in your comment about it being hard to get unbiased news. We all (myself included) have our own ideas about what is right and true. And, like you said, we find it easy to be less than charitable to those whose viewpoints differ from ours. I know I struggle with this. It worries me about me. And it certainly is easier to see a mote in another's eye than it is to see a beam in our own! It is yet another human struggle, I think.

It is difficult to balance a love of scholarship with concern for current events. It doesn't help that the latter is so overwhelmingly present every day in the various forms of media. Current events seem to demand immediate attention to the exclusion of all else, and yet we can't live that way--focused on one thing all the time. All of life seems to be a balancing act--I think it must be something we are especially supposed to learn to do!


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