The Fairness Doctrine

" More than 90 percent of talk radio programming ranges from conservative to right-wing radical." 

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Conservative radio talk show hosts were afraid that under an Obama administration the broadcast Fairness Doctrine would return to US broadcasting.

It didn't, and it's easy to see why.  Conservative talk show hosts rallied against it because it stipulates that both sides of political issues must be presented.

That's hardly the way it is now. According to a study by the Center For American Progress more than 90 percent of talk radio ranges from conservative to right-wing radical. 

Although it  would seem that no one could be against fairness or fair and balanced programming, those who oppose the Fairness Doctrine claim that if it were reinstated talk radio stations would have to almost double their talk programming. 

Even assuming they could find programming to balance the political scales, it's assumed that they wouldn't try to initiate this much new programming. Instead, they would just stop broadcasting the conservative talk shows.

The Fairness Doctrine was killed by the FCC in 1987. As much as some Democrats would like to reinstate it, it's doubtful if the move would withstand the political backlash from popular conservative talk show hosts like Rush Lumbaugh, Sean Hannity, or Michael Savage.

Since this controversial account sidesteps many issues, such as, the definition of liberal and conservative views, it lends itself to research and discussion. -RW

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