2009 February 13 Friday
Bill Clinton Comes Down Against Freedom Of The Press

Bill Clinton wants free speech restrictions on conservative talk radio.

Former president and senior Democratic statesman Bill Clinton has joined a growing drumbeat for government regulation of radio talk shows, claiming the U.S. "ought to have the Fairness Doctrine or we ought to have more balance on the other side."

More right wing people want to listen to political talk radio than do left wing people. Therefore there's more right wing talk radio hosts producing more right wing radio programs. What is wrong with that? If liberals, progressives, and the like really want more programming that agrees with their point of view then they should tune in to listen to more leftie programming.

But what the Democrats want to do is cut back on the number of right wing radio talkers. They want more lefties on the radio. The so-called "Fairness Doctrine" (Orwellian much?) will force radio stations to broadcast more lefties. These leftie shows will not generate enough ad revenue to pay for their programs. This will cause fewer conservative hosts to get programs since effectively the ad revenue from the conservative program will need to pay for the liberal leftie program as well. Assorted Democrats who have little interest in free speech think this is a peachy idea.

Sen. John Kerry , D-Mass., told WYNC's Bryan Lehrer Show in 2007, "I think the Fairness Doctrine ought to be there and I also think equal time doctrine ought to come back."

Last June, John Gizzi reported in Human Events a conversation with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in which he asked her if she personally supported revival of the policy.

"Yes," Pelosi answered.

One of the reasons there's so much rightward leaning talk radio is that leftward leaning people dominate most of the TV networks and major newspapers. That this domination isn't enough for them speaks volumes about their attitude toward dissent.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2009 February 13 11:32 PM  Freedom Speech

Toadal said at February 15, 2009 11:51 AM:

Once again our elected political elite want to discredit and circumvent European and Asian philosophical, political, and economic influence. The mainstream media and federal government are gaining traction in their effort to glamorize and grow the culture and influence of our underclass, a culture put beyond criticism despite its destructiveness to our society, and talk radio stands in their way.

Robert Hume said at February 15, 2009 2:26 PM:

Would this require a right-wing version of Bill Moyers on PBS? Maybe a show hosted by Buchanan?

Dragon Horse said at February 16, 2009 4:58 AM:

Funny thing is the "Fairness Doctrine" was created by Republicans to twart "lefties (subversive 5th column types)"...my how the tables turn.

I personally think it is a bad thing, only because I don't trust the government to be "fair" it will be politicized as it always has. That being said, they won't re-institute it. Likely what they will do is go with "local content" that stations should serve the needs of the community with a certain amount of local radio...this will automatically diversify radio and weaken wack job low information talking heads like Sean Reich Hannity and Rush "to support everything Bush Ever Did" Limbaugh. I imagine with reduced radio share they will turn on each other pretty quick. lol

Peter L. Winkler said at February 16, 2009 4:27 PM:

While headed toward the exit, President Bush gave interviews to all three networks and PBS. Not one of the anchors conducting the interviews questioned Bush's debunked narrative justifying the Iraq war or his equally fraudulent assertion that he kept us safe since 9/11. So much for the liberal media, another conservative myth.

Chris Roberts said at February 17, 2009 1:45 PM:

Just a silly question: how the hell do you define "conservative" and "liberal"? How the hell, for that matter, do you define "balance"?

First establish some objective criterion for that, as it will be applied to radio and television (including publicly funded television). Then once you;ve managed to do that, let's have this talk about government enforced "fairness."

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