I worked in the dark ages of broadcasting under something called the Fairness Doctrine.

Under the Fairness Doctrine, an anchor or host or reporter could not present one opinion without presenting the opposing view — side by side, in close proximity — and it was virtually forbidden for the anchor or host to say what he or she thought.

The FCC voted the fairness doctrine out under the theory that so many new radio and television outlets were being created that the American public would be able to get the other side of the story by tuning in to the right TV or radio dial.

This is why Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is mad about Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and other conservative talk show hosts. They have attracted a huge and highly motivated audience. There simply isn't a liberal version, at least on the radio.

You could argue that the liberals have four television networks that represent their point of view, but evidently... that isn't enough for
Daschle.

He wants those voices he doesn't like silenced, and soon enough you are going to hear that the problem isn't just Limbaugh or Hannity... it's the demise of the Fairness Doctrine. You'll hear a call for a return to the days when a broadcaster's license could be taken away if there was even the perception of unfairness.

This is an easy one. The liberal leaders are blaming what they call conservative media for their losses, and they are teeing up scare politics to stifle, muzzle, silence and chill the media they don't like.

I predict an attempt to bring back to life the old Fairness Doctrine. It was a good way to shut people up.

That's My Word .

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