Calling the Fairness Doctrine an “anachronistic policy” that is “unnecessary” in this day and age, the founder of liberal talk radio’s Air America said that when it comes to the Fairness Doctrine, he couldn’t agree with Rush Limbaugh more.
Jon Sinton, founding president of liberal talk radio Air America, wrote in this morning’s Wall Street Journal that he opposes the Fairness Doctrine.
As the founding president of Air America Radio, I believe that for the last eight years Rush Limbaugh and his ilk have been cheerleaders for everything wrong with our economic, foreign and domestic policies. But when it comes to the Fairness Doctrine, I couldn't agree with them more. The Fairness Doctrine is an anachronistic policy that, with the abundance of choices on radio today, is entirely unnecessary.
In the article Sinton goes into the history of the Fairness Doctrine, which was instituted in 1949, and how it came about as a way of insuring an opportunity for opposing views to be aired when there were far fewer TV or radio stations. This was a time shortly after WWII and fears of one-sided propaganda could easily conjure images of Joseph Goebbels and the Third Reich.
Sinton makes no bones about the fact that he can’t stand Limbaugh and “his ilk” and offers other interesting explanations for the failure of liberal talk radio to catch on with the public.
First, boring hosts made the occasional, unsuccessful foray (sorry, Mario Cuomo). Second, some talented lefties like Mike Malloy were cast into the abyss of right-wing talk radio where they were completely out of place. (Radio is a mood servicing drug; format purity rules.) Finally, most broadcast owners are conservative. . .
Protect Fairness is an organization devoted to defeating any attempt by Congress to legislate censorship by reenacting the “Un-Fairness Doctrine.” Protect Fairness believes that “America’s airwaves should be open to the free marketplace of ideas”, and that America’s media consumers “should be free to choose what voices and political philosophies they want to hear and see on our airwaves.”
Protect Fairness has a petition that urges Congress to oppose all efforts to enact the “so-called” Fairness Doctrine.