Wed, 18 Feb 2009 21:23:10 +0000 – 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.
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.