Dick Durbin, the Fairness Doctrine, and Old-Fashioned Values

by on June 27, 2007 · 6 comments

Dick Durbin — the Senate’s Majority whip — came out four-square in favor of the Fairness Doctrine today, declaring in The Hill — a newspaper for Capitol Hill: “It’s time to reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine” It’s the clearest statement yet from a member of the congressional leadership that there will be a real fight over the issue.

Oddly, Durbin explained his position with an appeal to old-time values: “I have this old-fashioned attitude that when Americans hear both sides of the story, they’re in a better position to make a decision.”

Unfortunately, that “old-fashioned attitude” comes with other old-fashioned ideas — such as government restrictions on what the media can and can not say. Memories of Torquemada no doubt bring tears to his eyes as well.

Of course, if he really wants to be old-fashioned, he could dig up a copy of the First Amendment, adopted way back in 1791, which says “Congress shall make no law… abridging freedom of speech, or of the press.”

How quaint is that?

  • Ashley

    i think that the doctrine should NOT be reinstated….it only proves the point that the government is trying to run our lives. i think that america in general would be much better without it.

  • Ashley

    i think that the doctrine should NOT be reinstated….it only proves the point that the government is trying to run our lives. i think that america in general would be much better without it.

  • Tara Little

    Deliberative democracy requires deliberation among individuals of differing opinions. The world that we live in is much changed from that of 1791 and the technologies that we now enjoy set the social climate. Do you argue that less knowledge is better? Do you argue that you can make an informed decision based upon a portion of fact? Do you argue even that government should not promote democracy or that freedom of speech should not be limited? Think now. Child pornography and computer viruses are both strictly protected under the first amendment. These poorly thought, out sweeping statements of yours are further proof of the need for more, not less varied information.

  • Tara Little

    Deliberative democracy requires deliberation among individuals of differing opinions. The world that we live in is much changed from that of 1791 and the technologies that we now enjoy set the social climate. Do you argue that less knowledge is better? Do you argue that you can make an informed decision based upon a portion of fact? Do you argue even that government should not promote democracy or that freedom of speech should not be limited? Think now. Child pornography and computer viruses are both strictly protected under the first amendment. These poorly thought, out sweeping statements of yours are further proof of the need for more, not less varied information.

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