Beyond Talk Radio: Fairness Doctrine Taking a Beating in Blogosphere Too

by on June 28, 2007 · 12 comments

It’s no secret that the Fairness Doctrine isn’t popular in the talk radio world. The effort to revive the rule is largely aimed at curbing that media, and most major talk shows hosts have (rightfully) turned the idea into a policy pinata. Less well known, however, is the fact that the Fairness Doctrine is also taking a major caning online. Usually, the blogoshere is friendly territory for the left. But when it comes to the Fairness Doctrine, its been anything but.

A quick google blog search earlier today on the term “fairness doctrine” shows the extent of the problem for supporters: of the top ten posts on the subject which take a position, nine were against reimposing the Doctrine. And it doesn’t seem to get much better in the next 10, or the 10 after that. Sure, there’s been some spirited defenses of regulation coming from the Huffington Post and elsewhere, but they’ve been vasted outnumbered by critics.

And it’s mostly not from professional policy wonks, judging by the names of the blogs, which often are as colorful as their arguments. Here’s a sampling:

Heading off the Fairness Doctrine Before It Hits the Blogosphere, Jeff’s Garage and Ale House

The Unfairness of the Fairness Doctrine, Politics from a Moderate Conservative Liberal Perspective

The Absurdity of Fairness, The Functional Ambivalent

The Nanny Doctrine, Cam Edwards

The Ridiculous Doctrine, Talk Show on the Go

The “We Hate Opposing Viewpoints” Doctrine, Only In Boston, Kids

The Fairness Doctrine: Just Say No, No More Spin

This is of course a very non-scientific study, since I didn’t have time to review all 13,939 blog posts Google found for me on the subject. But on the face of it, it doesn’t look good for the pro-restoration side. Is it possible that the virtual heartland of liberal activism isn’t terribly excited about the Fairness Doctrine? That wouldn’t be surprising, since the blogosphere is built on the idea of unfettered speech. The idea of government controls on what you can and cannot say — even if they apply only to such very 20th century media as AM radio — may not be something that appeals to many bloggers, liberal or conservative.

I could be wrong, but it’s something worth watching.

Now I’m off to see what JammieWearingFool has to say….

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