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Monday, April 11, 2005

Brace Yourself, Here Comes Another 'Restore the Fairness Doctrine' Campaign

Liberals frustrated with America's preference for non-liberal media are stepping up their campaign to restore the FCC's Fairness Doctrine with a gathering in May in St. Louis of such luminaries Al Franken, David Brock, FAIR, Frank Blethen and others at the National Conference for Media Reform. Jeff Jarvis translates the conference promo's statement about the group wanting to "increase informed public participation" here.

Any time somebody prefaces a statement about public participation in the media with the qualifier like "informed" or "credible" or "diverse," you can be certain you are hearing a liberal who wants to use the FCC to silence non-liberal media. JFK and LBJ were the masters of this form of suppression of dissent, as detailed in former CBS executive Fred Friendly's classic, "The Good Guys, the Bad Guys and the Fairness Doctrine," which you can order here. And you should because the campaign to restore the basic tool of suppression is not going away anytime soon.

While you are at it, take a few minutes to read this column by Paul McMasters of the First Amendment Center. How right he is about "how quickly and easily a whiff of regulation can turn into the stench of censorship."