The Republicans in the Senate lost a bid  to put the kibosh on the Fairness Doctrine the other day...
Senate Democrats have again blocked a Republican measure that would prevent the re-instatement of the Fairness Doctrine.
Republicans tried to attach the measure to an education bill, but the amendment failed by one vote.
The Fairness Doctrine would require that broadcasters present opposing viewpoints on political issues.
The doctrine was thrown out in 1987.
Conservatives say restoring the Fairness Doctrine would simply be an attempt to stifle conservative opinions mainly on talk radio.
The Senate GOP has put out a policy paper on the subject of the so-called Fairness Doctrine, and the attempts by Democrats to revive it. It's entitled "The Fairness Doctrine: Unfair, Outdated and Incoherent", and the summary is as follows:
— The FCC promulgated the "Fairness Doctrine" in 1949 to ensure that "contrasting viewpoints" would be presented on radio and television.
— In 1985, the FCC repealed the doctrine after determining it failed to serve the public interest because it actually resulted in broadcasters limiting coverage of controversial issues of public importance.
— Recently, Democrats have advocated that the doctrine should be reinstated. They argue that broadcasters, including talk radio, should present both sides of any issue because they use the public airwaves.
— This argument fails to take into account several considerations:
(1) how the fairness doctrine worked in practice -- it resulted in less, not more, broadcasting content of public interest;
(2) the dynamic growth in the number of radio and TV stations and the development of newer broadcast mediums such as cable and satellite TV and satellite radio;
(3) the interchangeability of different mediums, such as radio and the internet, as public sources of information; and
(4) broadcast content is driven primarily by consumer demand.
— The Fairness Doctrine should not be reinstated.