The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Viewpoint-Bad idea to revisit Fairness Doctrine

By John Garces/reporter

Imagine a world where all people with the ability to speak their minds for a living have the right to do just that, regardless of the controversy their opinions might create.

Sounds great, right?

Wrong.

The policy created by the Federal Communications Commission, known as the Fairness Doctrine was originally supposed to ensure all media coverage of a controversial subject be fair and balanced.

But it seems some within the Democratic Party, led by New York Sen. Charles Schumer, are attempting to reinstate the policy, dormant for years, as a way to attack their political enemies.

That’s not fair at all.

Schumer told Fox News in an interview, “I think everyone should be fair and balanced, don’t you?”

The problem is all people should also have the First Amendment right to freedom of speech, which ensures everyone has a right to voice an opinion. And thanks to the right to free press, journalists not only have the right to be heard but to judge for themselves the balanced views of a story.

The policy was abolished in 1987 by a Reagan-led FCC, which believed there was no need for it since there were plenty of outlets for a range of opinion in the media.

Schumer and others within his party, though, seem to be using the doctrine in its worst possible way, as a bully pulpit to strike down the conservative talk-radio market, which, led by Rush Limbaugh, has been credited with saving AM radio.

With everything Obama and his administration must tackle to make all the “change” promised, rewriting the rules of an antiquated policy abolished 20 years ago shouldn’t be that high on the list.

Forcing conservative talk radio off the air and replacing it with a show more favorable to a party’s views is not fair.

It’s more along the lines of communism.

It also threatens to trample the spirit of the First Amendment, which says Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of or the abridging of the freedom of speech or the press.

Is this the kind of change we really need?

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