Below The Beltway

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Much Ado About Nothing

by @ 4:01 pm on November 25, 2008. Filed under Barack Obama, Fairness Doctrine, Freedom of Speech, Individual Liberty, Politics

Patrick Ruffini thinks his fellow conservatives should spend a lot less time worrying about the Fairness Doctrine:

I have two words for these people: Not happening. Not only has Obama, though a spokesman, flatly denied any interest in reimposing the Fairness Doctrine, or otherwise failed to show any interest in the issue, but his pursuing it would be political suicide. Even if you don’t believe a word that comes out of his mouth, believe that he is not this dumb.

Not only would the Fairness Doctrine constitute a direct provocation to the Right without any tangible political benefit in the Center or the Left, but Democrats now the advantage in both mainstream and alternative media and have less reason to go after conservatives’ atrophying talk radio advantage.


Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but liberals are unlikely to upset the apple cart with alternative media because they now dedicated channels of their own, unlike in the early Clinton years. The reimposition of the Fairness Doctrine went nowhere when Rush was on the rise in 1993, and it will go nowhere next year or the year, especially with conservative talk radio no longer the center of the universe.

Ruffini is right. Not only has Obama said on more than one occasion that he does not support the return of the Fairness Doctrine, but there is no real support for reviving this relic of the 1970s among the Democratic leadership in Congress.

Given that, it seems that there’s an awful lot of attention being paid to a problem that will probably never happen.

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