Fair and balanced radio
Matt Yglesias ponders the conservative obsession with the Fairness Doctrine:
Am I the only one who’s confused by all this conservative organizing against the re-imposition of the “fairness doctrine” on talk radio? I understand why they oppose that move, but why are they putting so much energy into blocking something that nobody is trying to do. A Fairness Act bill was submitted in the House in 2005, but it only 16 cosponsors. No such bill was submitted in the last conference. Barack Obama opposes reintroducing the Fairness Act. And speaking as a paid-up member of the vast left-wing conspiracy, nobody on our side is getting any marching orders about this.
I guess they need something to talk about on the radio shows, but I’d just focus in on Obama’s plan to turn the United States into a socialist dystopia.
Well, I’ve heard that senators Schumer, Durbin and Feinstein have all been making noises about reintroducing the Fairness Doctrine, so perhaps there is a bit of there there. Frankly it was news to me to learn that President-elect Obama is not a fan of this first amendment restriction.
Anyway, needless to say, I’m not a big fan of this kind of thing, and with respect to talk radio, I’m not overly eager to hear a reduction in radio wingnuttery — mainly because of its genuinely robust entertainment value. There’s nothing to keep you company — and keep you chuckling — when you’re heading up I95 through the wilds of Maine to the Canadian border — like Rush Limbaugh.
And, in fairness to the wingnuts, it’s not like their side would be setting the rules, so I think this time their usual paranoia might be somewhat justified.
In other news, it appears talk radio might not need persecution from Stalinist liberals, given its shitty demographics and declining listenership.