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Citizen Voices

All's Fair in Love and Veto Power

Presumptive president-elect Barack Obama (the polls may differ in their closeness, but all of them - even without counting the younger, cell-phone-only generation -  show him ahead, so I'm not harboring any delusions ) "does not support reimposing the Fairness Doctrine on broadcasters," according to his press secretary . On this, it seems that he would disagree with quite a few of his powerful supporters in Congress (and the UCC , of which Obama's home church is a part).

Many on the right (and in the libertarian camp) fear such a reinstatement because one of its targets would more than likely be conservative talk radio. Under the doctrine, views expressed in such an outlet would have to be balanced by "progressive" views.

But many congressional Democrats, as well as members of the "mainstream" media, seem to have very little interest in "balancing" other outlets. In Arianna Huffington's book, Right is Wrong: How the Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded the Constitution, and Made Us All Less Safe , she writes:


"A key to understanding the fanatical Right's takeover of the Republican Party and how these ideas spread to the rest of the country is looking at the role of the media - not the Fox News pseudo-newsmen or the talk radio blowhards - but the respectable, supposedly liberal media. Without the enabling of the traditional media - with their obsession with 'balance' and their pathological devotion to the idea that truth is always found in the middle - the radical Right would never have been able to have its ideas taken seriously. If not for the media's appeals to balance, movement conservatism would have been laughed out of the court of public opinion long ago."

It is hard for me to take someone seriously who does not acknowledge that there is plenty of "public opinion" out there - including a number of oft-shunned Democrats - that favor a pro-life position. That Huffington feels it is the media's duty to silence a view that she believes is so obviously wrong (and therefore must be) is very telling, but it's not like she can make it so - she's "only" a journalist and not a member of Congress, right?

Ernest Britt
October 31, 2008 at 05:49 AM
I'm not sanguine about Obama's statement on the "Fairness Doctrine." There's no reason to think he would oppose the wishes of the Democrat power structure, even assuming he's sincere, which I doubt. Pelosi and Reid will be pushing it, along with many other Dems (including our two senators) who have expressed eagerness to shut down irritating points of view (in the guise of promoting fairness, of course). It's obvious the target is conservative talk radio, pious protestations to the contrary, since it alone is not controlled by the liberal media. Of course, there's liberal talk radio, but it's proven to be a dismal failure by comparison, unable to compete in the marketplace. Millions of dollars have been pumped into Air America Radio, and in spite of unremitting puffery by the NY Times, it's been a disaster, unable to gain a respectable national audience. So, of course, conservative talk radio must be suppressed by subverting first amendment freedom of speech. Previous experience indicates this might be accomplished by organizations such as ACORN, the ACLU, and other activist agitators, experienced in intimidation and harassment tactics, with incessant threats of lawsuits and demands for equal time. Such measures previously were able to cause broadcasters to settle for more innocuous programming. As for Obama, there's no reason to give him any credibility; he's all about disingenuousness and expediency. He had no problem in going back on his promise about campaign expenditures. No problem in saying that, although he attended 500 church services over 20 years, led by Jeremiah Wright, who was also his mentor, counselor, and guide, that he had no idea what Wright believed and preached. It's unnecessary to mention his deviousness about William Ayres ("I was only eight years old," he explains irrelevantly), and other assorted radicals. A Democrat senator (Bob Kerrey) once spoke (admiringly) of Bill Clinton as "an unusually good liar." I think we have a worthy successor here. That's not to minimize the incipient megalomania, as well as hubris. Whoopi Goldberg (a real woman's name, I believe) today stated that Elizabeth Hasselbeck received more death threats than anyone on ABC's "The View". Hasselbeck is, of course, the token Republican of that voluble group. I immediately thought of "Citizen Voices," for you, Ms Jondle, are the one essential CV, the token Hasselbeck of KPBS, providing the npr liberal version of "balance" and "non-partisanship." I salute you.

Bill from NC
November 02, 2008 at 04:02 AM
@Jessica You're a breath of fresh air in the Citizen's atmosphere. I just finished listening to Candace's most recent audio on her "unbiased" view of the upcoming election so you'll have to excuse me if I sound irritated. It's funny to me that all we've heard for the past few years is the abuse of power by the "Bushies" (Liberal terminology). Yet, the democrats are already speaking of reinstating the fairness doctrine and of equal significance, the Union card check voting reinstatement instead of secret balloting. I have no illusions of bipartisanship or reaching across the isle. My only hope is that senate Republicans keep a filibuster minority, otherwise the Democrats will use there new found power unchecked - real abuse of power then I fear is a real possibility....


November 05, 2008 at 04:16 PM
One thing Liberals/progressives are good at is history revision. It is a prerequisite to your survival. You have managed to reinvent the wheel again with the help of a biased press. Again more proof that we do need more fairness in the media. What we need is a “Fairness Doctrine” that manages and overseas the press to make sure they print both sides of the story. Someone to overseas public radio and television to make sure they are representing all sides as they claim too. Until that happens we need conservative radio to balance out the mainstream media and its bias. Look at KPBS funded by taxes and I will be willing to bet you all voted Democrat. How balanced is that? You should call yourself liberal/progressive news outlets. I think true fairness is to be honest. Having the guts to say who you are and don’t deceive your listener or reader. At least conservative radio tells you who they are. You know in advance who side they are on... Conservative Radio pays for itself in the free market. Conservative radio does not have to get public funds (tax dollars) to survive, it cost the government nothing. Conservative radio is there because it is popular. People who listen to conservative radio have no misconception about its content. Obama will prove to be Carter ten fold. If any of you were around in the last attempt at Socialism during the carter years. You will remember the gas lines, 12% inflation, 22% interest rates and a foreign policy that was to bury your head in the sand. After the Carter fiasco the name Liberal was tarnished. As all good revisionists you then took back your old name of progressives derived from the Stalin era and Stalinism after World War I when your last attempt at Socialism failed and you had to go to Liberalism. For those that pride themselves on being of High I Q, intellectual and studious you sure seem to have a problem with reality and history. Maybe it is because the truth hurts.

Jessica Jondle
November 05, 2008 at 04:27 PM
Dave, I hope you didn't actually bet that we all vote Democrat. I'm the conservative Republican in this forum! Are your comments a response to my post? Because I'd veture to say that we agree on quite a lot.

November 05, 2008 at 09:42 PM
Sorry. Thanks for being there. Since you are around the left more then I, would you please write an article on how there thought process works. I cannot understand how they can vote and not even know what they have voted for. These people for the most part seem educated and intelligent. Change and hope means nothing. That was his whole campaign other then his dislike of the United States and transference of wealth to people who do nothing. Where is the substance? Symbolic gestures are useless without substance. In two years we won't be able to find a single voter who voted for this guy after he destroys the country with his incompetence and his friends.