The fairness doctrine – the initiative which required broadcasters to air both sides of controversial issues – was scrapped by the FCC as unconstitutional in 1987. However, if Barack Obama has his way, it could come back in another form.

FCC commissioner Robert McDowell suggested the doctrine could be woven into the fabric of policy initiatives with names like localism, diversity or network neutrality. “According to some, the premise of any of these initiatives is similar to the philosophical underpinnings of the Doctrine: the government must keep electronic conduits of information viewpoint neutral,” he said.

For anyone out there who is not aware of the arrival of America’s version of Tass or Pravda consult the following links on the topic.

FCC’s McDowell Warns Against Fairness Doctrine.

Lynn Woolley: Obama’s planned assault on talk radio

On February 4, 2009, Senator Debbie Stabenow (Democrat of Michigan) told radio host and WorldNetDaily columnist Bill Press, when asked whether it was time to bring back the Doctrine, “I think it’s absolutely time to pass a standard. Now, whether it’s called the Fairness Standard, whether it’s called something else – I absolutely think it’s time to be bringing accountability to the airwaves.” When Press asked if she would seek Senate hearings on such accountability in 2009, she replied, “I have already had some discussions with colleagues and, you know, I feel like that’s gonna happen. Yep.”

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