Why Today's Debate Is Fair and Balanced

A bunch of you wise guys out there wrote to me after my warning of the return of the so-called Fairness Doctrine.

This came up because Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle is making noises that such a thing might be necessary again to quiet down conservative talk radio and TV. Evidently, Daschle feels threatened by conservatives saying what they think.

So a bunch of you said, "Well, why would you complain about the Fairness Doctrine if you say you're fair and balanced? Hmmmm?"

Here's your answer, smart guys. We are fair and balanced. Just look at our lineup of guests, packed with Democrats, former Gore staffers, former Clinton administration officials, former Carter officials. That, coupled with putting on the other side and letting the debate rage, is what we call fair and balanced.

The Fairness Doctrine was actually a lie. It wasn't fair. It was a way for a sly broadcaster to tip the scales in a political debate by pretending to be purely neutral, while booking an articulate, persuasive guest on his side, and a clunker dud of a guest on the other. And the host or anchor was loath to express any opinion for fear of the FCC threatening to yank the station's license.

When the so-called Fairness Doctrine went away, real fairness could flourish and all sides could be heard. It made it possible for what you have today here on this network... fair and balanced debate, and then you decide.

That's My Word .

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