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Posts Tagged ‘Regulation’

Fairness in balance: The Fairness Doctrine

The oft cited “Fairness Doctrine” has been stripped from the FCC rulebook.  In a decision handed down yesterday August 22, FCC Chairman Genachowski announced that 83 FCC regulations that have been deemed inefficient and unnecessary would have been stripped from the books.  This streamlining initiative is part of the larger Obama promise of regulation reform, aimed at removing unnecessary government intervention in the private sector.

The Fairness Doctrine, initially crafted in 1949 to mandate equal coverage of all sides of controversial issues, has been deemed obsolete since 1987.  It has been long decried by conservatives as infringing on freedom of speech.  However, recently, the fairness doctrine has seen a resurgence of citings, mostly from the right in criticizing media coverage of climate change; their idea being that if the media is presenting evidence for climate change, they must also give equal air to the dissenters who argue that the science is still undecided.  In light of this, it’s interesting to see so many republicans claiming this initiative as a conservative victory.   

All in all, this seems to be a fairly bi-partisan decision, that was long overdue, and will probably have little impact overall.  Probably the best thing to come out of this decision is that it managed to draw an actually fair and balanced report from FoxNews.