Originally published: February 24, 2009
Last updated: February 24, 2009 - 5:49pm
[Commentary] The Fairness Doctrine did not require that broadcasters give equal time to liberal or moderate Democrats to counter the hot air of conservative talk jocks. The Doctrine did not tell broadcasters who should get a talk show, what the hosts could say, or who they had to have on their shows. By the time Congress shelved the Doctrine, the FCC had virtually ceased even enforcing it. The Fairness Doctrine simply served as a broad guide to insure that stations give at least some time to differing points of view; for example, views other than those of conservative white guys, and an occasional token conservative woman or black. If enough listeners complained that a station was too lopsided in the parade of conservatives it had spouting off on a particular issue, than it had to give "reasonable opportunity" to the other side to give an opposing view. The FCC didn't tell the station how much time to give, who to give the time to, or when to give it.
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