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Fairness Doctrine Watch: Still “on track?”

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By Michelle Malkin  •  July 5, 2007 11:39 AM

Cliff Kincaid urges redoubled efforts to get Rep. Mike Pence’s Broadcaster Freedom Act passed:

Liberal efforts to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine are “completely on track,” and Democrats intend to push for the measure by linking talk radio to “hate crimes,” according to a conservative media analyst.

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) has proposed an amendment to appropriations legislation to prevent the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from spending any money in 2008 to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.

The regulation that required broadcasters to present both sides of a controversial issue was enforced from 1949 to 1987, when the Reagan administration allowed it to lapse.

The House voted 309 to 115 to approve the Pence amendment, but Cliff Kincaid, editor of the conservative group Accuracy in Media, said even if the Senate passes the measure, “it would do absolutely nothing to stop a Democratic president and Congress from reinstating” the regulation.

Beyond that, he said in a release, the amendment has caused confusion and provided the opportunity for “several dozen liberals [in Congress] to claim they are not interested in re-imposing the Fairness Doctrine.”

Kincaid argued that if Democrats gain control of both the White House and Congress, those same liberals would simply let the FCC reinstate the Fairness Doctrine. “This may be what is planned.”

Kincaid says a massive public outpouring on behalf of Pence’s Broadcaster Freedom Act–akin to the public opposition to shamnesty–is needed. In the meantime, he sees liberal activists moving forward with efforts to cast talk radio as a public safety hazard:

Kincaid asserted that the Democrats were in the meantime paving the way for the return of the Fairness Doctrine by requesting a federal study of how licensed broadcasting facilities have been used to “convey messages of bigotry or hatred, creating a climate of fear and inciting individuals to commit hate crimes.”

Rather than argue that conservative talk shows are one-sided, he said, Democrats in Congress will assert “that talk radio is hateful and causing injury and death to people.”

It’s a tactic resurrected from the Clinton era. They never go away.

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Categories: Air America, Al Franken, Fairness Doctrine, Race Hustlers