Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Fairness Doctrine Is Next (Before or After Global Warming)

It looks like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is running for the office of chief censor. He absolutely hates the free flow of ideas and makes it plain in this Digital Journal article about his appearance on the same London, Ontario stage where ironically two days earlier Canadian university officials attempted to censor Ann Coulter.  Kennedy, upholding that same spirit of censorship, blames the abolition of the Fairness Doctrine for the rise of political views that don't fit into his liberal world vision:
Hero of the right, President Ronald Reagan, is no hero to Kennedy. "He had the gift of making people feel comfortable with their own prejudices."
Many of the problems of today, Kennedy traced back to actions taken by Reagan. Kennedy believes the American people are fed a media diet of right-wing propaganda, and it "all started in 1988 when Ronald Reagan abolished the Fairness Doctrine. The Fairness Doctrine said that the airwaves belong to the public. They were public-trust assets, like air and water, and broadcasters could be licensed to use them" but they must use them in the public interest and to advance democracy.
If the Fairness Doctrine was still in place, "You could not have a Fox News," he said, nor a Rush Limbaugh, for that matter. But the doctrine is gone and Fox and Limbaugh are here. Quoting Pew Research, Kennedy said, 30 percent of Americans now get their news from talk radio, which is 90 percent dominated by the right. Another large number of Americans say their primary news source is Fox News, which Kennedy clearly believed would be better named Faux News.