Memo to the FCC: Keep Your Hands Off My Fairness Doctrine

By Mark JosephAuthor/Producer

I believe in the fairness doctrine: well, sort of. I live by the fairness doctrine, only it's one that I came up with and is imposed by me on my reading, listening and viewing habits, and not by the Federal Communications Commission. It goes like this: I try to take in as many viewpoints as possible from the center, right and left. I read The National Review, then move on over to Salon. I'll listen to Rush Limbaugh in the morning and then watch Chris Matthews in the afternoon.

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Of course, my own private fairness doctrine isn't always so easy to enforce. I also have to deal with obvious partisans who pretend to be unbiased journalists and that can sometimes take some detective work. The obvious ones are easy: When I watch "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" I have to remember that he is not what he is pretending to be, an unbiased journalist trying to be fair and balanced, but rather a strong partisan who once ran President Clinton's war room and who told his wife that he cried watching President Obama's inaugural. In a similar way, when I used to watch the late Tony Snow on FOX News, I had to take into account that he was once a speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush and was bringing his life experiences and GOP-leaning views to his work.

My own private Fairness Doctrine takes a lot of work, but ultimately I trust my own judgments about these things more than I do the FCC and the very last thing I need from the federal government is its help in formulating my fairness doctrine.