Fairness Doctrine Finally Erased From FCC Rules In Promised Housecleaning
August 22, 2011 at 12:28 PM (PT)
Among 83 outdated and obsolete rules officially eliminated by the FCC TODAY (8/22) was the Fairness Doctrine, which the Commission's Chairman JULIUS GENACHOWSKI earlier this year promised Congress would be eliminated from the rules. The Doctrine, which the Commission ceased enforcing several years ago, remained on the books as a vestige of the old rules and is now being erased as part of the Commission's housecleaning.
Other rules being eliminated include rules about television's "broadcast flag," tier rate regulations for cable television, and minor application and procedure regulations.
The elimination of the obsolete Fairness Doctrine regulations will remove an unnecessary distraction. As I have said, striking this from our books ensures there can be no mistake that what has long been a dead letter remains dead.
GENACHOWSKI said, "Our extensive efforts to eliminate outdated regulations are rooted in our commitment to ensure that FCC rules and policies promote a healthy climate for private investment and job creation. I'm proud of the work we are doing toward our goal of being model of excellence in government. This includes our recent commitment to act in accordance with the recent Executive Order on Regulation and Independent Agencies, which is consistent with the values and philosophy we apply at the FCC.
"The elimination of the obsolete Fairness Doctrine regulations will remove an unnecessary distraction. As I have said, striking this from our books ensures there can be no mistake that what has long been a dead letter remains dead. The Fairness Doctrine holds the potential to chill free speech and the free flow of ideas and was properly abandoned over two decades ago. I am pleased we are removing these and other obsolete rules from our books.
"Our work is not done. I have directed each bureau at the FCC to conduct a review of rules within their areas with the goal of eliminating or revising rules that are outdated or place needless burdens on businesses. We are also in the process of developing a retrospective review plan, pursuant to the recent Executive Order. We will continue on this regulatory reform track -- thoughtfully and diligently conducting our reviews of existing rules and taking other important steps to meet our statutory obligation and mission in a way that grows our economy, creates jobs and benefits all Americans."