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'Fairness Doctrine' Advocate Identified


First Posted: 12-17-08 05:37 PM   |   Updated: 01-17-09 05:12 AM

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Anna Eshoo

As I've mentioned before, one of the singular concerns of the Right since the election of Barack Obama is the paranoid fear that the "Fairness Doctrine" -- an ineffective and widely disliked policy relic from the mid-20th Century -- would be reinstated. The "Fairness Doctrine" was conceived in 1949 as a means of ensuring that the ideological opinions on the then-scarce radio airwaves remained precisely balanced. The measure proved difficult to enforce, and it was done away with in 1987. For some reason, people like George Will are terrified that it might make a return.

These concerns are as fanciful as anything I've experienced on a mescaline-induced spirit walk, but in the spirit of, uhm...fairness, I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that there does exist at least one person who backs the measure. That person? Anna Eshoo. I know! Who is that? Well, she's the U.S. Representative from California's 14th District, and according to the Palo Alto Daily Post, she's all for the "Fairness Doctrine," saying, "I'll work on bringing it back. I still believe in it."

So there you have it. The leading advocate of the return of the "Fairness Doctrine" is an obscure Representative who's not yet passionate enough about the matter to warrant it a single mention on her website. Her efforts will be opposed by media-reform advocates, about three-quarters of the House, presumably all Senate Republicans, a slew of Democratic Senators who are mystified by how they've come to be seen as advocates for the measure, and President-Elect Barack Obama, who opposes it.

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