Monday, November 24, 2008

To Fairness Doctrine Naysayers: Support from RINOs

Cross-posted by Maggie at Maggie's Notebook

Graphic courtesy of CityPages

We now have the first Republican, Senator Richard Lugar, showing support for a Fairness Doctrine. Will Senators Olympia Snow, Chuck Hagel, and Susan Collins follow suit, and abandon any semblance of Conservatism? If ever there was an issue to be defended by Congress, Republican or Democrat, free speech is it.

We have one thing to remember and to fight for: a Fairness Doctrine is diametrically opposed to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. It's that simple:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment (enactment, endowment, formation, setting-up) of religion, or prohibiting (forbidding, preventing, suppressing) the the free exercise (pursuit) thereof; or abridging (abbreviating, compressing, curtailing, decreasing, lessening, omitting) the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition (ask, call upon, request, seek, urge) the government for a redress (adjustment, amendment, rectification, reformation) of grievances (damages, injustices)
Senator Dennis Kucinich is on record saying that a Fairness Doctrine will aid in:
...achieving a free exchange and a multiplicity of ideas," and finally, with a new law, we will be able to determine "if there is a balanced and fair representation"
The First Amendment does not guarantee "balanced and fair representation." "Fair and balanced" has nothing to do with the First Amendment.

If Congress actually respects the First Amendment and makes "no law," but relies on the Federal Communications Commission to, again, institute a Fairness Doctrine - which would also abridge the First Amendment - is not law, but is a "regulation," what can we do about it? Take the FCC to court?

For my activist readers, let's attempt to find out where Snow, Collins and Hagel stand on this issue. If you are a constituent of one of the three and get a statement, please leave it here in comments or blog about it and send a link.

Email Senator Lugar: (R-IN)
Phone: 202-224-4814, Fax: 202-228-0360

Email Senator Collins (R-ME)
Phone: 202-224-2523, Fax: 202-224--2693

Email Senator Snow (R-ME)
Phone: 202-224-5344 and 800-432-1599, Fax: 202-224-1946

Email Senator Hagel (R-NE)
202-224-4224, Fax: 202-224-5213

Visit VoteSmart for all the pertinent information and background about you Congressman

Please read the following excellent report from Martin at Blogbat who was sitting at the table with Senator Richard Lugar:


Senator Lugar Hints at Support for "Fairness Doctrine"
by Martin at

Last week I [and] other World Affairs Council members had the chance to meet with Indiana Senator Richard Lugar at the Capitol.

During our visit with the Indiana Republican on 7 November, he seemed to offer his support for a revived “Fairness Doctrine” tailored to target only one viewpoint – that of the comparatively modest talk radio industry. On the topic of such legislation, Lugar seemed sympathetic to the significant hostility among the left towards what he called “irresponsible” “right wing” radio, using catch-phrases right out of the Idiots Guide to Liberalism, intimating that talk radio was somehow a rogue entity that merely stirred up the common people to the consternation of all-knowing legislators. (Never mind the rogue entity on Capitol Hill that is attempting to usurp the Constitution.)

Senator Lugar first greeted each of us and was extremely friendly and cordial, before taking his usual seat (now that the Democrats are in power) in the Senate Foreign Relations committee room, as we each grabbed a chair – I wound up with the honor of holding down the chair of genuine conservative Louisiana Senator David Vitter. Senator Lugar then gave us a quick run-down of things like the international financial crisis, his own biography, and the in-coming administration before taking questions. During much of this, much that was said was nothing notable or new. The senator is indeed truly likable man and I must say I can see why, politics aside, he has been as successful in the Senate as he has been. However, unfortunately, beyond personality and congeniality, the Senator and millions of Americans part ways – and do so on numerous issues. However, Lugar, who voted in favor of an amendment in the 2007 Defense Authorization bill sponsored by Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman that would have killed such a censorship doctrine’s revival, is also known, as a Rockefeller Republican for among other things most recently ganging up with Ted Kennedy against the American people during the Amnesty war of 2006. Now that it seems safe for him to do so, he appears to be reversing his position on the so-called “Fairness Doctrine” as well.

Lugar’s language was strong and even harsh as he laid out the argument in favor of conservative radio censorship, as if he were a schoolmaster educating his children about the danger of alligators and why we need to trap them. As he sat in his seat sipping water from a glass with an emblem that read, “United States Senate”, Senator Lugar seemed to offer what was hardly a fair and balanced assessment of the state of media bias of his own. Instead, he seemed to ape the utterly false meme that talk radio was some giant politically unified monster for which there was no real counterweight.

Read more from Martin at

The Fairness Doctrine: What You May Not Know

What the FCC and the Media Has in Mind for You and
TheFairness Doctrine: A Chilling Effect,
and then a brush-up on the The Fairness Doctrine, The First Amendment and all that.

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