There may be some Democrats talking about reimposing the fairness doctrine, but one very important one does not: presumptive presidential nominee Barack Obama…
“Senator Obama does not support re-imposing the Fairness Doctrine on broadcasters,” said press secretary Michael Ortiz in an e-mail to B&C late Wednesday.
“He considers this debate to be a distraction from the conversation we should be having about opening up the airwaves and modern communications to as many diverse viewpoints as possible,” said Ortiz.
“[T]hat is why Senator Obama supports media ownership caps, network neutrality, public broadcasting, as well as increasing minority ownership of broadcasting and print outlets.”
I’ve got a nutty hunch that once he’s free and clear of the electorate the “conversation” he has in mind about opening up the airwaves to new viewpoints is going to lead to him “reconsidering” his position on Fairness, much as he “reconsidered” his position on public financing. And why not? The congressional leadership is all for it:
The speaker of the House made it clear to me and more than forty of my colleagues yesterday that a bill by Rep. Mike Pence (R.-Ind.) to outlaw the “Fairness Doctrine” (which a liberal administration could use to silence Rush Limbaugh, other radio talk show hosts and much of the new alternative media) would not see the light of day in Congress during ’08. In ruling out a vote on Pence’s proposed Broadcaster’s Freedom Act, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-CA.) also signaled her strong support for revival of the “Fairness Doctrine” — which would require radio station owners to provide equal time to radio commentary when it is requested…
“Do you personally support revival of the ‘Fairness Doctrine?’” I asked.
“Yes,” the speaker replied, without hesitation.
Meaningful statement of political intent or Kanjorski-esque smokescreen to appease the nutroots while secretly planning to do nothing about the problem? I’m inclined to think it’s the latter only because the Dems would be nuts to galvanize a dispirited conservative base after the election by going after Limbaugh et al. If they want to consolidate their gains and build a semi-permanent majority, the smart thing to do is avoid partisan nonsense and focus on bread and butter economic legislation and health care. That’ll earn them some trust by demonstrating a seriousness of purpose and it’ll bolster Obama’s “new politics” image by not getting bogged down in a war with the GOP. Conservative talk radio will attack them, of course, but they’re better off answering with results and otherwise ignoring it than by antagonizing us with some heavy-handed lunge at silencing the opposition to clear their way. Obama, at least, seems to be thinking big picture so he might very well realize that. I wonder, though, if he and Pelosi can resist if the left insists on thrusting this upon them. Exit question: Anyone see President Obama vetoing a Democrat bill to revive Fairness?