I guess the question of Obama administration policy on the Fairness Doctrine depends on which aide one asks. After getting vacillation from press secretary Robert Gibbs and top adviser David Axelrod, a more junior member of the Obama team insisted that Obama still opposes a return of the Fairness Doctrine:
President Obama opposes any move to bring back the so-called Fairness Doctrine, a spokesman told FOXNews.com Wednesday.
The statement is the first definitive stance the administration has taken since an aide told an industry publication last summer that Obama opposes the doctrine — a long-abolished policy that would require broadcasters to provide opposing viewpoints on controversial issues.
“As the president stated during the campaign, he does not believe the Fairness Doctrine should be reinstated,” White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said.
I’d like to hear a little more about Obama’s opposition to reimposition of FD on talk radio. Would he block such a move by Congress with a veto? Or would he replace an FCC commissioner who attempted to reimpose it?
That’s not an academic question. We have had several members of Congress talk approvingly of reimposing equal-time requirements on talk radio, including Senators Tom Harkin, Debbie Stabenow, and Representatives Maurice Hinchey and Dennis Kucinich, among others. Just in the last two weeks, we have seen a veritable avalanche of support from Capitol Hill for the Fairness Doctrine or its equivalent.
The latter is probably the real risk. Obama opposes the Fairness Doctrine, because as he said last summer, it distracts from ownership diversification and other issues like net neutrality that would presumably deliver the same result, only in another guise. I’d like to hear that the White House will actively oppose any attempts to regulate political content on broadcast airwaves. That kind of a statement would make it much harder for a later climbdown from Team Obama.