A bill to permanently ban the “Fairness Doctrine” – a dormant FCC rule that says broadcasters, mainly talk radio, must grant equal air time to opposing viewpoints – probably will not be voted on this year in Congress, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told CNSNews.com on Wednesday.Now, you can say what you like about right-wing talk radio--and I'm not really a fan of very much of it. But you can hardly say that it's a monopoly controlling all the information that the American people receive--to do so is to ignore the huge amount of information available to the American public through television news, newspapers, and this nifty little thing called the Internet.
Hoyer also joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in strongly suggesting that he would support reactivating the Fairness Doctrine, telling CNSNews.com that he is interested in “ensuring the availability of fair and balanced information to the American public.” [...]
“There is a real concern about the monopoly of information and the skewering of information that the American public gets,” said Hoyer. “First, is to the monopoly.
“Obviously, if one group, or a large group, controls information and only allows one perspective to be presented, that’s not good for democracy. That is not good for the American public. That is, of course, what the Fairness Doctrine is directed at, and it can have great merit. But there are obviously complications involved in that as well,” he said.
The truth of the matter is that Democrats--and liberals in general--aren't all that good at providing the kind of insightful opinion/commentary programming that conservatives have tended to excel at. You could come up with all sorts of explanations as to why, but it's true--liberal attempts to create liberal counterparts to conservative talk radio have tended not to do very well. Now, it's fair to suppose that liberals will eventually find their niche in these formats--but it's not fair, "Fairness Doctrine" notwithstanding, to force conservative broadcasters to offer "equal time" to less compelling liberal voices in the interim.
The Fairness Doctrine is one of the many examples of liberals seeking to apply a government solution to something that isn't even a problem, let alone a dire situation needing immediate relief from the government. There are no laws preventing liberals from starting and hosting their own talk shows, and no unfair or discriminatory efforts to exclude them from doing so. But they have to play by the same rules as everybody else, and come up with something interesting, insightful, compelling, and unique to say--and then draw in enough listeners to start attracting advertisers, as well. If they can't do this, then nobody owes them a platform or a microphone--least of all one provided by government mandate.