The Fairness Doctrine was created by FDR as part of the FCC in 1934, it was finally struck down by Ronald Reagan and the air waves became free

Mick Gregory

The FDR administration is the closest the U.S. came to forming a socialist, Soviet-style one-party government. It was that administration that created huge tax increases to support The New Deal, and the so called Fairness Doctrine.

In 1934, the Democrat dominated U.S. Congress prompted by FDR, passed the Communications Act, which abolished the Federal Radio Commission and transferred jurisdiction over radio licensing to a new Federal Communications Commission. Thus the Fairness Doctrine was born, for radio and later TV, but never for newspapers.

The inauguration of Ronald Reagan as President of the United States in 1981 marked the beginning of a shift in the FCC towards a decidedly more permissive stance. Ownership regulations were relaxed so that radio and TV stations could follow the large corporation consolidation that newspapers had been allowed, and remaining restrictions were laxly enforced. A substantial portion of other regulations were repealed, such as guidelines for minimal amounts of non-entertainment programming in 1985. In addition, the Fairness Doctrine was removed in 1987.

This deregulation has led to the rapid rise in the channel selection and freedom to choose, offered by broadcast alternatives such as cable television. AM radio immediately became vital again with shows like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’ Reilly, Laura Ingrahm, Michael Savage and Hugh Hewitt ranking at the top of major markets.

The left tried to compete in the free marketplace with Mario Como, Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and Rossie O’ Donnel. Those AM shows never gained an audience on the new level playing field.

America’s left tried to buy in with Air America, nick named “Airhead America” on the streets. Currently it remains on just a few stations and is near bankrupt.

Now we see key Democrats planning to bring back the “Fairness Doctrine” so that they can force Rush Limbaugh off the air by making stations play as many hours of Rosie O’ Donnel. This is at the same time that studies find that 9 out of 10 journalists are Democrats.

Welcome to the USSR. We will soon know how lucky we were.

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49 thoughts on “The Fairness Doctrine was created by FDR as part of the FCC in 1934, it was finally struck down by Ronald Reagan and the air waves became free

  1. Hi Mick,

    You are right to mention this. It is, possibly, the most serious threat to freedom in America since the New Deal. On the other hand, one has to admire their craftiness. If Chavez had used a similar method to shut down critics in his news media, he could have avoided all those riots.

    the Grit

  2. If what the libs have to say is so friggin important and popular then they should be able to build their audience and take it from there. We all know every journalist in this country is left leaning what else do they need? Total supression of everyone they HATE? One opinion only, its ridiculous. Now that the republicans are on board with the attacks against talk radio it is obvious they want to crush free speech on commercial airwaves.

  3. “One opinion only, its ridiculous”- Black Dog

    That’s right one opinion only is ridiculus. That’s why the Fairness docrtine used to require that both sides of an issue be presented. It’s not trying to impede speech nor is it trying to control what people say. You Republicans and Libertarians jump at the sound of the government trying to do anything (unless it’s to invade another country). The fairness doctrine protects the first amendement because it makes sure that Big money doesn’t control the media. Just because the conservatives can buy out 90% of the radio stations, it doesn’t mean that their view should be heard more.
    The second tenet of the Fairness docrtine was to require that all broadcasting stations report and discuss in soem way about local issues. That means if there’s something wrong that people don’t want to talk about, they have to or else they will lose their licenses.

  4. “…if there’s something wrong that people don’t want to talk about, they have to, or else they will lose theri licenses.” — Not ‘n idiot

    Can you give an example of something that is wrong that talk shows will not talk about?

    Let me guess the “crisis du jour,” global warming, socialized medicine or how about that Bush was in on 9-ll?

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