George Will on Fairness Doctrine Revival

by on April 30, 2007

George Will, conservative columnist for Newsweek and The Washington Post, is kind enough to cite my recent City Journal essay in his new article that takes liberals to task for trying to revive the so-called Fairness Doctrine. He argues that:

Some illiberal liberals are trying to restore the luridly misnamed Fairness Doctrine, which until 1987 required broadcasters to devote a reasonable amount of time to presenting fairly each side of a controversial issue. The government was empowered to decide how many sides there were, how much time was reasonable and what was fair.

By trying to again empower the government to regulate broadcasting, illiberals reveal their lack of confidence in their ability to compete in the marketplace of ideas, and their disdain for consumer sovereignty–and hence for the public.

Indeed. Will goes on to cite the multiplicity of media options we have at our disposal today relative to the past but he notes–in agreement with my recent City Journal essay–that that’s just not good enough for some liberals who want to guarantee that certain views get heard more than others that win out in the marketplace of ideas.

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