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Gingersnap
08-14-2008, 01:57 PM
47% Favor Government Mandated Political Balance on Radio, TV

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Nearly half of Americans (47%) believe the government should require all radio and television stations to offer equal amounts of conservative and liberal political commentary, but they draw the line at imposing that same requirement on the Internet. Thirty-nine percent (39%) say leave radio and TV alone, too.

At the same time, 71% say it is already possible for just about any political view to be heard in today’s media, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Twenty percent (20%) do not agree.

Fifty-seven percent (57%) say the government should not require websites and blog sites that offer political commentary to present opposing viewpoints. But 31% believe the Internet sites should be forced to balance their commentary (full demographic crosstabs available for Premium Members.)

It's sad to see so many of my fellow Americans clamoring for intellectual slavery. :rolleyes:

Rasmussen (http://rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/47_favor_government_mandated_political_balance_on_ radio_tv)

Molon Labe
08-14-2008, 01:59 PM
It's sad to see so many of my fellow Americans clamoring for intellectual slavery. :rolleyes:

Rasmussen (http://rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/47_favor_government_mandated_political_balance_on_ radio_tv)

Nothing, in the free speech relam, should be regulated to this degree.

SarasotaRepub
08-14-2008, 02:05 PM
That's bogus! I'm moving to Cuba if Bu$hCo lets this happen...
:D

wilbur
08-14-2008, 02:18 PM
It's sad to see so many of my fellow Americans clamoring for intellectual slavery. :rolleyes:

Rasmussen (http://rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/47_favor_government_mandated_political_balance_on_ radio_tv)

Very very sad to see.

That being said, I wonder if some other tactic of regulation isnt necessary to fix the media. There is no question that its broken. In a perfect world, we would all be smart enough to turn of the Fox News, the CNN's and the Rush Limbaughs.. we would get a decent media by voting with our dollar. However, we are not smart enough... apparently.

Profit motive ensures that we hear only what advertisers want us to hear. Government run media ensures we only hear what makes the politicians look good. Our current media (purveyors of false dichotomies, and advertising) are controlled and influenced heavily by both. We get the worst of both worlds, really.

biccat
08-14-2008, 02:26 PM
That being said, I wonder if some other tactic of regulation isnt necessary to fix the media. There is no question that its broken. In a perfect world, we would all be smart enough to turn of the Fox News, the CNN's and the Rush Limbaughs.. we would get a decent media by voting with our dollar. However, we are not smart enough... apparently.
So you believe that people who choose to listen to programs you find biased are stupid? I'm not smart enough to listen to entertaining radio without being brainwashed?

That kind of thinking is why so many people support government mandated 'fairness.'

Gingersnap
08-14-2008, 02:52 PM
To a certain degree this issue comes down to trust: the people who want this imposed don't trust their fellow citizens. If I don't think you are smart enough to appreciate my viewpoint or to let go of your own, I will get the government behind me and force you to be exposed to the correct views.

Government do-gooders are as oppressive as any other form of tyranny.

Shannon
08-14-2008, 03:09 PM
That's just pathetic.

wilbur
08-14-2008, 03:10 PM
So you believe that people who choose to listen to programs you find biased are stupid? I'm not smart enough to listen to entertaining radio without being brainwashed?

Not just biased... filled with obvious fallacies and and often obvious misinformation from top to bottom. That wouldnt be so bad if it seemed most people were actually adept at picking these things out. As it is, the media is pretty much just a vehicle for shaping opinion by people with money... whats scary is that its so effective. I'm not sure how you can make it honest.



That kind of thinking is why so many people support government mandated 'fairness.'

I'm not for govco 'mandated fairness'. That will simply give us government enforced false dichotomies. I'm sorry to say I don't really have many ideas for turning the media around, except through hoping people all of the sudden become much smarter. Thats a little like hoping we would wake up on day and people would be smart enough not to buy celebrity magazines or give a shit about paris hilton. Oh well, what can ya do?

LogansPapa
08-14-2008, 03:11 PM
Dumb and silent sheep make for a good flock. :rolleyes:

FlaGator
08-14-2008, 03:16 PM
I wonder how the survey questions were worded? "Would you say that you would be in favor of the fairness doctrine if it aided stopping the wilfull slaughter of innocent puppies and kittens?"

Troll
08-14-2008, 03:34 PM
I wonder how the survey questions were worded? "Would you say that you would be in favor of the fairness doctrine if it aided stopping the wilfull slaughter of innocent puppies and kittens?"

Aye, there's the rub. "There are lies, there are damn lies, and then there are statistics."

Aside from the possible Constitutional rub, I think the Fairness Doctrine makes little logical sense.

A scenario: I listen to Michael Savage once in a while from 7-10 pm. Now, our local station after 3 hours of Savage plays 3 hours of Alan Colmes. There is no law that I'm aware of that requires the station to do this; that's just how it works out. But what if there were such a law? By nature, I prefer conservative radio to liberal, so I turn off the radio at 10 pm. Is the Fairness Doctrine going to require me personally to listen to an hour of liberal radio for every hour of conservative radio I consume? Is my turning off my radio at 10 going to be illegal? I don't think so - Fairness Doctrine or no, people are going to consume what they want to consume.

Unless the Fairness Doctrine will force guys like Savage to have liberal co-hosts, I really fail to see the point. And even if they did have to take liberal co-hosts, I think that would blow up in their faces quickly. Apart from marijuana legalization and evolution, 99% of liberals are going to lose 99% of any on-air debates, never mind that they'll have to have conservative co-hosts on their shows. If I were a liberal talk-show host like Mike Malloy, I don't think I'd want the Fairness Doctrine signed into law.

biccat
08-14-2008, 04:41 PM
A scenario: I listen to Michael Savage once in a while from 7-10 pm. Now, our local station after 3 hours of Savage plays 3 hours of Alan Colmes. There is no law that I'm aware of that requires the station to do this; that's just how it works out. But what if there were such a law? By nature, I prefer conservative radio to liberal, so I turn off the radio at 10 pm. Is the Fairness Doctrine going to require me personally to listen to an hour of liberal radio for every hour of conservative radio I consume? Is my turning off my radio at 10 going to be illegal? I don't think so - Fairness Doctrine or no, people are going to consume what they want to consume.
But the bureaucrats and pencil-pushers are going to say "well there's a large listening audience from 7-10, and no listening audience from 10-1, therefore we should dedicate 8:30-10 to liberal talking heads, so they get the same ratings."

LibraryLady
08-14-2008, 05:20 PM
I wonder how the survey questions were worded? "Would you say that you would be in favor of the fairness doctrine if it aided stopping the wilfull slaughter of innocent puppies and kittens?"

National Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters
Conducted August 13, 2008
By Rasmussen Reports (http://rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/pt_survey_toplines/august_2008/toplines_fairness_doctrine_august_13_2008)


1* We’re just about finished… How closely have you followed recent news stories about the “Fairness Doctrine?”

15% Very closely

30% Somewhat closely

35% Not very closely

15% Not at all

6% Not sure

2* Should the government require all radio and television stations to offer equal amounts of conservative and liberal political commentary?

47% Yes

39% No

14% Not sure

3* Should the government require web sites and bloggers that offer political commentary to present opposing viewpoints?

31% Yes

57% No

12% Not sure

4* Some people say that there are more conservative radio talk shows because they get better ratings than liberal talk radio. Others say that there are more conservative talk shows because the station owners are biased and don’t want liberal shows on their station. What do you think?

42% Conservative shows get better ratings

28% Station owners are biased

17% Some other reason

13% Not sure

5* With the Internet, cable networks, satellite radio, newspapers, radio, and tv, is it possible for just about any political view to be heard in today’s media?

71% Yes
20% No

8% Not sure

NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence

Here you go

Gingersnap
08-14-2008, 05:22 PM
Unless the Fairness Doctrine will force guys like Savage to have liberal co-hosts, I really fail to see the point. And even if they did have to take liberal co-hosts, I think that would blow up in their faces quickly. Apart from marijuana legalization and evolution, 99% of liberals are going to lose 99% of any on-air debates, never mind that they'll have to have conservative co-hosts on their shows. If I were a liberal talk-show host like Mike Malloy, I don't think I'd want the Fairness Doctrine signed into law.

You will turn off the radio at 10:00. Station owners will shrewdly notice that most of their audiences evaporate during liberal shows. What to do? Dump opinion programming completely, of course. Radio will take a giant leap backward into the late 70s when AM was all but dead.

submarinepainter
08-14-2008, 09:23 PM
it's totally wrong , free market rules , no one wants to pay to sponser libtalk ? except maybe Phil Hendries ?

M21
08-14-2008, 11:35 PM
it's totally wrong , free market rules , no one wants to pay to sponser libtalk ? except maybe Phil Hendries ?That is one hilarious guy.

GenYConservative
08-15-2008, 02:02 AM
My local station, KFYI, has this for their programming.
5-8 Bruce Jacobs
8-10 Barry Young
10-1 Rush Limbaugh
1-4 Sean Hannity
4-7 JD Heyworth
7-10 Michael Savage
10-5 That creepy extraterrestrial guy that always talks about the supernatural

They'd better not pass that "Fairness" bullshit, because the block of programming here is rock solid, I don't want to lose ANY of it.

biccat
08-15-2008, 08:27 AM
Not just biased... filled with obvious fallacies and and often obvious misinformation from top to bottom. That wouldnt be so bad if it seemed most people were actually adept at picking these things out. As it is, the media is pretty much just a vehicle for shaping opinion by people with money... whats scary is that its so effective. I'm not sure how you can make it honest.

Just out of curiosity, do you feel the same way about the Daily Show?

wilbur
08-15-2008, 08:49 AM
Just out of curiosity, do you feel the same way about the Daily Show?

I don't watch it... From what I have caught of it over the years, yes, it is very biased and often times fallacious and only moderately funny (a couple moments of brilliance here and there, but rare). Much of the humor is only funny if you slant the same way as Stewarts bias. Colbert on the other hand is hilarious nearly all the time.

I did see Stewarts stand up recently, though and it was pretty good. He stayed pretty political neutral though.

mbossman2
08-15-2008, 10:29 AM
The "Fairness" Doctrine is an antiquated dinosaur of a bygone era.

A long long time ago when the FD was originally posited and implemented the electronic media (please note that the FD only applies to the electronic/broadcast media) landscape was so radically different then than it was when the Reagan Administration's FCC suspended it much less compared to the landscape now.

If you look at the electronic media landscape from the late 40's until the mid 80's, you saw the industry mature and the electronic media outlets grow from the big 3 TV networks (NBC, CBS and ABC - and early on not all of those were available in every area) and 15-25 (on the average) radio stations (mainly AM until the late 60's when FM came into play - but more on that later) to the 60-70 cable stations (including the nascent CNN), 1 new nationwide network (Fox - which spawned several new ones) as well as multiple independent TV stations in most top 50 markets.

As you can see, one of the major reasons for implementation of the FD, the low number of electronic media outlets, was fading away and the USA was hovering on the edge of a massive explosion of electrionic informational outlets revolutionized by new techonologies.

Some of the new technologies include:
DSAT - direct to the home satellite - this increased the number of available channels into the hundreds.
Satellite radio - a huge jump to the hundreds of stations
Digital cable - a match to the competition brought on by Digital Satellite.
and finally and most importantly, the internet which has increased the available electronic content to unimaginable levels.

So the electronic media landscape has gone from it's infancy to its early adulthood (it's got, IMO, quite a aways to go yet) and like a baby outgrows it's diapers, the electronic media has outgrown the need for the Fairness Doctrine.

Now, lets move onto the content and actual FCC regulations: the real reason that there is a concerted effort to bring back the FD is that those folks are upset over:


Fox News (aka "Faux News")
The various and sundry political talk formats (Limbaugh, Hannity et al)


and, failing to successfully compete (ala Air America), they are looking to use the power of the government to allow them to compete via regulation.

In the case of Fox News, unless the FD is radically re-tooled, will mostly be exempt from the FD as news reporting is exempt, the FD was designed around opinion and editorial content (oh yeah and don't forget that Fox news, like CNN, are not over the air broadcast outlets, they are, almost exclusively, cable only outlets so there is no broadcast license to threaten).

As to Limbaugh et al, the FD proponents don't seem to realize that while you [i]may[i] (and I'll get back to that in a moment too) be able to drive them off over the air radio, the FD will have no power over them as they migrate to the over growing methods of delivery, specifically and most likely, streaming over the internet.

Now, as to the actualy impact of the FD:

Currently, almost 85% of the radio broadcast content is music/entertainment driven, the remainder is talk/news and not 100% of the talk and news formats are political in nature, they also include sports radio so this would, at least initially, only impact a small percentage of the radio.

By looking back we can also forecast what impact the return of the FD would bring. In 1969, the USSC gave the FD some serious teeth, granting the FCC the power to suspend or refuse to renew broadcast licenses of stations that declined to comply with the FD. the impact of this was the rapid shift of broadcast formats away from anything that could remotely be considered political to the barest minimum, non-controvertial public service programming (God squad and local local public events).

As an exmple: back when I worked in radio (1980-1988), the most glaring examples that my stations ran were point/counterpoint programs, one on whether the city water department should use 1 size line or another when redoing the water mains and the other was whether or not the fire daprtment's proposed experiment of using neon green firetrucks, as opposed to the normal red, was worthwhile (hell of a way to spend a 7-8a blck on Sunday morning).

This, coupled with the growth of FM radio, almost brought the AM radio spectrum to brink of destruction. Eliminating the FD and the threat to a broadcaster's license for failing to comply, breathed life back into the ailing radio spectrum and, amazingly enough, a new level of political activism and involvement that had been squeezed out by government regulation.


A return to those pablum programming days is not much of a stretch if the FD comes to make a return.

Can the FD survive USSC and constitutional scrutiny? in 1984 the USSC set a precendent by ruling that original rationale for the FD (few electronic media outlets) no longer applied due to the increase of available and usuable communication technology (pretty forward thinking of them) and since 1984, the increase in media outlets has increased by several orders of magnitude so the original rationale has been diminished even further. based upon this, while nothing can really stop Congress or the FCC from re-enacting the FD, it would, more than likely, fall upon it's 1st judicial challenge.


and finally, the return of the FD is one of the reasons that the 1st Amendment (actually most of the Consitution) exists: namely to protect the citizens of this country from the tyranny of the majority. the FD is nothing more than a poorly veiled attempt to silence the voices that grew out of a low point in democratic party power and control. The return of the FD will silence the main voices of the opposition to their legislation and government control. This is going to be even more important as the likelihood of either or both a Democratic president and a veto proof or filibuster proof Legislature is pretty high going into the fall. The FD poses the threat of turning the USA into a banana republic with the government silencing all voices of dissent.

AmPat
08-15-2008, 11:02 PM
Very very sad to see.

That being said, I wonder if some other tactic of regulation isnt necessary to fix the media. There is no question that its broken. In a perfect world, we would all be smart enough to turn of the Fox News, the CNN's and the Rush Limbaughs.. we would get a decent media by voting with our dollar. However, we are not smart enough... apparently.

Profit motive ensures that we hear only what advertisers want us to hear. Government run media ensures we only hear what makes the politicians look good. Our current media (purveyors of false dichotomies, and advertising) are controlled and influenced heavily by both. We get the worst of both worlds, really.

USAA supports NPR. USAA is made up almost entirely of active duty and retired veterans. Those same people are historically around 75% Conservative. NPR is historically Liberal.

OwlMBA
08-15-2008, 11:22 PM
Given the fact that 80% of Americans are idiots, this is actually a shockingly low figure.

AlmostThere
08-16-2008, 05:21 AM
Somehow I have a hard time imagining Peloosi or Durbin or Reid arguing that there's just not enough conservative viewpoints being aired. So their complaints that Americans aren't getting both sides of an argument sounds like B.S.

Those individuals won't even let conservatives cast a vote in Congress when they can stop it. And we're supposed to believe they're worried about Americans knowing the whole story. What a load of crap.

Goldwater
08-16-2008, 09:02 PM
The internet negates this anyway, in this age anyone in the developed world who wants news regulated is an idiot.

AmPat
08-16-2008, 09:13 PM
The internet negates this anyway, in this age anyone in the developed world who wants news regulated is an idiot.

The internet is censored in some countries. It is a bad idea that we as Americans are seriously entertaining this idiotic idea.