Censorship

Fairness Isn't Fair

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Every once in a while even the FCC can get it right:

The Federal Communications Commission has no intention of reinstating the Fairness Doctrine imposing a requirement of balanced coverage of issues on public airwaves, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said.

Martin, in a letter written this week to Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., and made public Thursday, said the agency found no compelling reason to revisit its 1987 decision that enforcing the federal rule was not in the public interest.

Another victory for free speech, no matter how ridiculous the speech may be.

More from reason's Radley Balko on the "fairness doctrine" here. Also, Jacob Sullum's take on recent Supreme Court free speech cases here.

NEXT: Gut Feelings and Real Threats

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  1. How’s this for a fairness doctrine; don’t let anyone monopolize broadcasting, and Poof! instant balance on the public airwaves!

    The Fairness Doctrine is a bit like saying that every food product that gets sold has to contain 1/5 of the USRDA of every nutrient.

  2. Ridiculous?

    You’re saying Rush isn’t libertarian?

  3. Another victory for free speech, no matter how ridiculous the speech may be.

    And Reason sighs a big sigh of relief…

    ;^)

  4. You’re saying Rush isn’t libertarian?

    Dude, have you listened to “The Trees”? It’s blatant communist propaganda! Rush isn’t even REMOTELY libertarian. Why else would they advocate equality among trees through radical pruning.

    Wait, I may have missed a couple of important points here.

  5. lunchstealer:
    BWHAHAHAHAHA!

  6. Well, Rush may not be fully libertarian, but Triumph is.

    What, it isn’t Three-Man Canadian Band Thursday?

  7. You know what this means? No return of Floyd-R-Turbo-American.

    Alas

  8. Is Voivod libertarian?

    Oh, wait, 4-man Canadian band, sorry.

  9. Tag error…sorry.

  10. I recently got in this heated argument with this girl who was convinced that two minuets of every hour of television programing should be set aside for “the people.” Who wouldn’t love that? I’d be sitting on my ass watching buffy and right before the end, some asshole gets on and begins ranting about how the media is controling our minds and that we all should read “adbusters” in order to expand our minds.

  11. Jonathan,

    I could see that working, though, if we could use that 2 minutes to channel hatred. It’d be quite cathartic.

  12. She also bitched about how advertising is making her and millions of other woman out there have a negative image of themselves. (Using the fact that her boyfriend won’t pay attention to her unless she dresses up nicely) When I pointed out to her that advertising and publciity industry is a industry that is pretty female dominated she said “I don’t know how they sleep at night”

  13. Moxy Fruvous are staunchly free market aren’t they?

  14. You should just sympathize and be like “It must suck to have to be in a relationship you don’t like. But what are you gonna do?”

    It sucks when advertising puts you in situations you don’t like.

  15. Kevin Martin has been downgraded from Total Fuckwit to Massive Fuckwit.

  16. “I don’t know how they sleep at night”

    By making sure they dress prettily, so their boyfriends will pay attention to them?

  17. I’d be sitting on my ass watching buffy and right before the end, some asshole gets on and begins ranting about how the media is controling our minds and that we all should read “adbusters” in order to expand our minds.

    For me, the problem with all that Adbusters crap is that they basically wish to kill the messenger. Consumers are at cause, not at effect.

  18. lunchstealer | July 26, 2007, 4:57pm | #

    Moxy Fruvous are staunchly free market aren’t they?

    lunchstealer, that right there is why I started going to Urkobold. You guys listen to great music.

  19. Dammit, highnumber asked that, not the food thief.

  20. Jonathan: The proper response is: “On big piles of money.”

    Nephilium

  21. By making sure they dress prettily, so their boyfriends will pay attention to them?
    “Peacfully after an exhusting day of cooking dinner, serving their husband martinis and orally pleasing him on his demand.”

  22. You should just sympathize and be like “It must suck to have to be in a relationship you don’t like. But what are you gonna do?”

    It sucks when advertising puts you in situations you don’t like.

    Heh. Yep, Kohlrabi is right – when a girl starts complaining to a guy about how her boyfriend doesn’t pay enough attention to her, or is some kind of sexist media-controlled pig, it sounds like a situation crying out for a little sympathy and a shoulder to cry on, not the time to make a principled libertarian argument – that’s what blogs are for. 🙂

    Anyway, I’m being (ok, only somewhat) facetious in that, but it does bring up an interesting (to me, at least) question – how many of you single libertarian guys have ever played along when meeting a liberal woman (or a conservative, I suppose), say in a bar or wherever, in order to enhance your chances, so to speak? And, to what extent were you willing to compromise your principles in pursuit of… well…, whatever it was you were after?

  23. I once told a girl that Noam Chomsky was the smartest person in the world in order for a chance to feel her breasts.

  24. I once told a girl that Noam Chomsky was the smartest person in the world in order for a chance to feel her breasts.

    With apologies to Tyler Cowen for stealing his line, that is definitely “the best sentence I read today.”

  25. How’s this for a fairness doctrine; don’t let anyone monopolize broadcasting, and Poof! instant balance on the public airwaves!

    The last time I checked, no-one monopolized broadcasting.

    However, if you are truly concerned about monopolies on broadcasting, you should be working to eliminate regulations that make it prohibitivly expensive to broadcast.

    It doesn’t matter if you have some government rule on broadcast monopolies, if only a handful of super-rich people have enough money to comply with regulations and licence the bandwidth.

  26. Whoa. Lil’ Cheney is confusing the heck out of me.

    Ah, well. He is the only part of that show that is entertaining.

  27. The Broken Clock Rule is in effect here.

  28. Umm… there is very little concern that the current FCC would reinstate the so-called “Fairness Doctrine,” but rather about what the FCC might do under a Democrat administration.

  29. So Jonathan, two questions

    A – Did it work?

    B – Was it worth it?

    Closest I came was tolerating some discussion of Michael Moore, and praising Doctors Without Borders to just get to first base. But I got there, so that’s cool.

  30. Is Hillary! on record re: the Fairness Doctrine?

  31. Jonathan Hohensee has his priorities straight.

  32. “On big piles of money.”

    “My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss” disproved that one.

  33. How disappointing. I was on the verge of securing $10 million in seed money for my new venture – DWSUWF Semiconductors– and introducing a solution to the real problem with the Fairness Doctrine – not the broadcasters, but the listeners and watchers.

    The answer is the FairChip?

    Under pending legislation, the FairChip? will be required to be installed in every new radio, satellite receiver, television, cablebox, DVR, and VCR sold in America. As part of the same legislation, the FCC will be replaced by the Department of Fairness, which will rate every cable, broadcast, and satellite show on a patriotic red and blue partisan scale from 0-10. There will be no restrictions and no limitations on what you as a free American can watch or listen. But, as a fair American, your FairChip? installed device will help you maintain the fair viewing and listening habits we all want. The FairMeter? on the front of each device displays the red/blue balance of broadcasts viewed on that device. If your viewing habits create unbalanced viewing, for example by watching or listening to too much Red/Republican programming, the FairChip? will only permit comparably rated Blue/Democratic programming to play on the device until your viewing is once again in balance. As fair as fair can be. Look for our ads and tag line: “Watch whatever you want, but watch Fairly!” That is what fair Americans do.

    More here if you are interested in investing in this ground floor opportunity.

  34. You’re saying Rush isn’t libertarian?

    Well, they’re positively anarcho-capitalist compared to the Five-Man Electrical Band

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