PBS, NPR, MSNBC AND THE FAIRNESS DOCTRINE
March 17, 2009
Here is a hot item: Would a person who used to be reliant upon a
paycheck from a public radio station have to be a liberal
Democrat to sustain his or her job? I asked this question
because that was the situation in which I found myself first,
back in 1980 when I was working as an announcer for a Baltimore
public radio facility. That was the year of Ronald
Reagan's victory over Jimmy Carter and the beginning of my
journey as a Conservative.
While I was not a vocal
advocate for Reagan's agenda, I did, on many occasions, made
pithy statements to my fellow employees like "I'm an ABC type of
Carter!'" Yet, under
Carter, subsidies for public broadcasting increased more than
65% and was being threatened with Reagan's proposal to virtually
cut those funds in half. Was I a fool? Cutting my nose off
despite my face? Looking back on it, I saw it as a
challenge. If public television and radio needed money and
the government was cutting it back to the bone, then let this
media sell commercials! Cut the ties with the government
and be free! What a fool I was thought to be!
Funding for public broadcasting was indeed cut during the Reagan
years and increased very little under the elder Bush. But
in many states, funding increased, including in Maryland.
Since that time, I worked for public radio in Norfolk, VA,
having been hired when Bill Clinton was in his first term and
had already increased spending for this outlet by 6 percent.
Virginia, under Governors Chuck Robb, Gerald Baliles, and
Douglas Wilder (all Democrats), increased funding by nearly 100
percent from 1982 and 1994. Public broadcasting survived through
the efforts of the state government even when it looked like the
death toll was sounded through the Reagan cuts. Hurray! No
Since the inception of PBS and later NPR, these two entities
have been totally in step with the liberal establishment and,
through their various news magazines like the McNeil-Lehrer Hour
(now the Lehrer Hour), All Things Considered and Morning Edition
they have consistently promoted a liberal bias only surpassed by
the likes of MSNBC and the strange Obama bedfellows Chris
Matthews and Keith Obermann. MSNBC, as Bernard Goldberg
(formerly of CBS News) has said "loves Barack Obama."
"They are in bed with him, they have a slobbering love affair
with him. MSNBC served as the Obama Campaign Headquarters
throughout the 2008 campaign."
Hardly anybody with an IQ of 25 or above will argue this point.
Ann Coulter would agree with this since she has all but pointed
out that liberals, for whatever reason, can't get their IQ to
25. This being the case, my question is this: If Nancy
Pelosi, Harry Reid and gang in Congress manages down the road to
restore or come up with a version of the Fairness Doctrine and
if Barack Obama signs it into law, will PBS, NPR and MSNBC be
forced to give "equal time and equal consideration for "the
For those of my reader unfamiliar with the Fairness Doctrine, this was once
a policy of the Federal Communications Commission which mandated
that all coverage of controversial issues by a broadcast station
be balanced and fair. The FCC took the view, in 1949, that
station licensees were "public trustees," and as such had an
obligation to afford reasonable opportunity for discussion of
contrasting points of view on controversial issues of public
importance. The Commission later held that stations were also
obligated to actively seek out issues of importance to their
community and air programming that addressed those issues. With
the deregulation sweep of the Reagan Administration during the
1980s, the Commission dissolved the fairness doctrine.
With the ending of the Fairness Doctrine, AM radio stations
started to come alive again with talk-radio formats. Rush
Limbaugh went syndicated in 1988, and ever since we have seen a
proliferation of talk radio political pundits and commentators.
An interesting result of this has been the huge success of
conservative talk show host and the sad loss of a large majority
of liberals. The demographics who that listeners of talk
radio tend to be white, male, an even split between white and
blue collar workers, holding traditional values and believe in
With a possible return of the Fairness Doctrine, the less than
successful liberal talk show hosts like the comedian Al Frankin
(the Senator-wannabe from the state that would elect a crocodile
if any lived in that state) would be forced on broadcasters at
the expense of listenership. This veiled attempt by liberal
Democrats to get airtime on AM radio will not fly!
Liberals have no message of substance and the average American
will not sit by their radio to listen to haranguers blast them
for being racist, xenophobic, homophobic, chauvinistic,
right-wing religious nuts. They will turn their radios off
- simple as that!
I wonder why the liberal Democrats just can't be satisfied with
having most of the visual media in their pocket. The
virtually own MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC and CNN, and they certainly
DO OWN PBS and on the radio side, they own NPR. Come on
Dems! Can't we racist, xenophobic, homophobic,
chauvinistic, right-wing religious nut have AM radio with it's
static sounds and thin band frequency and one news outlet like
Pelosi, Reid and many in the Obama Administration say "NO"
because we don't seem to know what is good for the country.
To them, what is good for the country is to bring back the
Fairness Doctrine to limit American's exposure to right-wing
zealotry. The operative hyphenated word here is
"RIGHT-WING" Notice, nothing is said of "LEFT-WING."
Bernie Goldberg is right when he says, we had the Fairness
Doctrine when Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford and Reagan were president.
ABC, NBC and CBS had a hard time finding anything good to say
about them, their policies or their private lives. But
they feel all over themselves with Kennedy, Johnson and Carter
were in the White House. Was that fair? Absolutely
not! As I have said elsewhere on these pages, "Those who
do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." The
return of the Fairness Doctrine, if history is any authority
here, will only weaken the voice of conservatives and nothing
will change on NPR, PBS, MSNBC, et. al.
Fairness? No! It's not fairness, it fascism! Oops!
Now the liberal Democrats will accuse me of misusing a word they
have reserved for us racist, xenophobic, homophobic,
chauvinistic, right-wing, blah, blah, blah...