Liberals and Democrats in Congress have suggested that Republicans were being "paranoid" about the impending return of the Fairness Doctrine. Just yesterday there was a piece in the Huffington Post about our "Paranoia Festival". Reminds me of that old bumper sticker, "Just because you are Paranoid, Doesn't mean they are Not out to Get you". With a Democratic Controlled Congress and White House, whose party leaders have come out publicly to support the Fairness Doctrine, it sounds to me like they are Out to Get Us. Whether we are Paranoid about it or not.
Well now we can put an end to that Paranoia. The Democrats can assure us all that they have no interest in returning to the Fairness Doctrine. They can support the "Broadcasters Freedom Act" introduced by several Republican members of Congress today. The bill is aimed at protecting the precious right of Free Speech. Something Jim DeMint has been on record as supporting since July of 2007.
From Sen. DeMint's Website
January 7, 2009 - WASHINGTON, D.C - In an effort to prevent Democrats from suppressing the right to free speech for talk radio and other broadcasters, today Congressman Mike Pence (R-Indiana), chairman of the House Republican Conference, Congressman Greg Walden (R-Oregon), Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), chairman of the Senate Steering Committee, and Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota), Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, introduced the Broadcaster Freedom Act of 2009 (S. 34 in the Senate, bill number pending in the House). The bill would prevent the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, which would suppress free speech by requiring the government to monitor political views and decide what constitutes fair political discourse.
“The time has come to do away with the Fairness Doctrine once and for all,” said Congressman Pence. “Over the past few months, some of the most powerful Democrats in Congress have made their intentions to restore this Depression-era regulation clear. However, bringing back the Fairness Doctrine would amount to government control over political views expressed on the public airwaves. It is dangerous to suggest that the government should be in the business of rationing free speech.
The Press Release goes on to explain the history of the Fairness Doctrine, and the Democrats repeated attempts to bring it back.
The Fairness Doctrine was implemented by the FCC in 1949 in an attempt to ensure balanced and fair coverage of controversial subject matter by broadcasters. In 1985, the FCC determined that the Fairness Doctrine was no longer necessary due to the emergence of a “multiplicity of voices in the marketplace.” The FCC was also of the view that the Fairness Doctrine may have violated the First Amendment. In a 1987 case, the courts declared that the doctrine was not mandated by Congress and the FCC did not have to continue to enforce it. Twice, Congress has passed legislation restoring the Fairness Doctrine, but Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush vetoed the bills.
The DeMint-Thune Senate bill, S. 34, has 24 cosponsors including Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Christopher Bond (R-Missouri), Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia), Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) John Ensign (R-Nevada), Michael Enzi (R-Wyoming), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia), Jon Kyl (R-Arizona), Richard Lugar (R-Indiana), Mel Martinez (R-Florida), Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), David Vitter (R-Louisiana), George Voinovich (R-Ohio), and Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi).
The Pence-Walden bill in the House already has over 100 cosponsors including Representatives John Boehner (R-Ohio), Eric Cantor (R-Virginia), John Carter (R-Texas), David Dreier (R-California), Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), Kevin McCarthy (R-California), Thaddeus McCotter (R-Michigan), Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-Washington), Tom Price (R-Georgia), Adam Putnam (R-Florida), Pete Sessions (R-Texas), and Fred Upton (R-Michigan).
Read the entire Press Release
Get to know these names, because these are your Starting line up for the next two years. These are Our warriors, they are outnumbered and Outgunned in Washington, but as we found out during the Bailout Mania, when America is paying attention, Congress gets a little more concerned about how things "Look" to the public. If we take our eye off of them for a minute, they've got their grubby little hands back in the Cookie Jar.
Hats off to the members of Congress who are supporting this Bill. These guys get it. We can play a vital role in the successful passage of this Bill, just by making a few phone calls, sending a few e-mails or maybe even writing one of those things that goes into an envelope and requires a 42 cent sticker to get there. Time to Take Action...
Contact your representatives if they are supporting the Broadcaster Freedom Act, and Tell them you've got their Back. If your representative has not taken a stance or has come out against this Bill, Please contact them immediately and Let your Voice Be Heard!
Tell the Dems who say they don't want a return to the "Un-Fairness Doctrine", to Prove it by supporting the Broadcasters Freedom Act. As Ronald Reagan always said "Trust, but Verify".
Contact Your Representatives In Congress, Now.