Bill Blocking Fairness Doctrine Makes Reappearance
January 8, 2009 at 6:49 AM (PT)
The "Broadcaster Freedom Act" is back, as Reps. MIKE PENCE (R-IN), GREG WALDEN (R-OR), and JIM DEMINT (R-SC) and Sen. JAMES INHOFE (R-OK) reintroduce the bill in the new Congressional session barring reinstituting the Fairness Doctrine. The bill has 24 Republican co-sponsors.
"Freedom of speech is under attack in this country," said DEMINT. "I am just committing today to use every rule, every tactic that we have at our disposal to keep the Fairness Doctrine from moving in Congress or to overrule it if it is implemented by the FCC."
While a few Democrats in the Senate and Congress have voiced a desire to bring back the rule requiring "balance" in broadcasters' treatment of controversial topics, leaders of the Democratic majority deny any immediate intention to introduce a bill to reinstitute the doctrine.
NAB Applauds Bill
NAB EVP DENNIS WHARTON said, "Since the Fairness Doctrine's elimination in 1987, AMERICA has witnessed an absolute explosion in alternative media outlets, providing a rich diversity of viewpoints from all sides of the political spectrum. NAB salutes these lawmakers for their dedication to ensuring Americans have continued access to a free and robust press unfettered from government interference."