Senate OKs Anti-Fairness Doctrine, Pro-Diversity Amendments
February 26, 2009 at 3:39 PM (PT)
The Senate TODAY approved the "BROADCASTER FREEDOM ACT," an amendment proposed by Sen. JIM DEMINT (R-SC) to block the reinstitution of the "Fairness Doctrine." The amendment passed by an 87 to 11 vote, attached to a bill giving the DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA a voting Congressperson.
At the same time, the Senate passed another amendment proposed by Sen. DICK DURBIN (R-IL) by a 57-41 vote that would call for the FCC to encourage "diversity" in radio ownership; that amendment is portrayed by some "Fairness Doctrine" opponents as a "back-door" way of regulating speech by breaking up large broadcasting companies.
NAB EVP/Media Relations DENNIS WHARTON issued a statement reading, "NAB applauds today's Senate vote in opposition to the inaptly-named Fairness Doctrine. Diversity of opinion has never been greater than in today's media landscape. We salute President OBAMA and a bipartisan majority of the Senate for opposing the return of a rule that clearly violated the fundamental free speech rights under which this country was founded."