FCC does away with the Fairness Doctrine
“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.” - John F. Kennedy
While the Left will no doubt endlessly whine about this, the FCC has finally done away with the Fairness Doctrine, a policy that was entirely inconsistent with the right to free speech:
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced the elimination of 83 outdated and obsolete agency rules on Monday, including the controversial Fairness Doctrine.
“The elimination of the obsolete Fairness Doctrine regulations will remove an unnecessary distraction. As I have said, striking this from our books ensures there can be no mistake that what has long been a dead letter remains dead,” Genachowski said in a statement.
“The Fairness Doctrine holds the potential to chill free speech and the free flow of ideas and was properly abandoned over two decades ago. I am pleased we are removing these and other obsolete rules from our books.”
The rule required broadcasters to cover controversial issues in a manner deemed fair and balanced by the FCC. The commission deemed it unconstitutional in 1987 and ceased enforcement.
There was a fight over this policy a few years ago when Democrats took control of Congress, but legislative attempts orchestrated were shot down when Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) pushed language, which received overwhelming bipartisan support, to bar funding for the policy as part of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act. It’s also worth noting that President Barack Obama went on record early in his presidency stating that he opposed the Fairness Doctrine.
Good news for free speech. Let’s hope it’s not short-lived.