The left has attempted with varying degrees of success to enact legislation that would increase government control over the news media and, in some instances, sway the political tides of various media in their favor, most notably in the form of the ‘Fairness Doctrine.’ Having failed to achieve its ends with the Fairness Doctrine, the left is now moving into alternative means through so-called ‘localism’ in broadcast media and ‘net neutrality’ on the web.
Net Neutrality and the fairness doctrine threaten our freedoms
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Both in traditional and new media, the left is attempting to tight its grip on the news, possibly asphyxiating the few bastions of center-right news and information that exist.
The misnamed ‘Fairness Doctrine’ is the most widely publicized and debated of the left’s attempts to tighten their grip on the news media. Discarded by the Federal Communications Commission in 1987 on constitutional grounds, the doctrine required that networks and broadcast radio stations air opposing views that satisfied federal bureaucrats’ conception of ‘fairness.’
Far from increasing the diversity of views on the public airwaves, however, the Fairness Doctrine, according to the FCC at the time “had the net effect of reducing, rather than enhancing, the discussion of controversial issues of public importance.” The doctrine had a dramatic chilling effect on networks nationwide, which avoided political programming altogether for fear of not living up to the FCC’s standard of fairness.
Read More: By Lachlan Markay, Newsbusters