Friday, July 20, 2007

The Fairness Doctrine is Back

Somewhat in the manner the Transylvanian Count getting resuscitated by his loyal servant in a Dracula sequel, the Fairness Doctrine is back in play. This relic of the post-WWII years was last heard of twenty years ago.

One of the effects of the rule was that if a station ran a 30-second spot for political party A, they had to run a 30-second spot for political party B, too. Even if the station's news feed was run by people who shared party B's views, even if the station's sitcoms, docudramas, and Captain Planet re-runs bore the stamp of party B's world view.

Getting back to the hemophagous count metaphor:

Back in 1987, fearless Fairness Doctrine hunters cornered the creature, drove a stake through its heart, stuffed its mouth with legal opinions, and buried it.

Now, one of the two major political parties, apparently believing that there's too much unregulated opinion floating around, has dug it up.

My attitude toward this attempt to regulate the marketplace of ideas should be pretty clear. A much more restrained discussion of the subject is in a piece written by Senator James Inhofe: "Fairness" at the Expense of Freedom?

As for me, I'm looking for a stake.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.