February 13, 2009

Debating The Fairness Doctrine

Or, how liberals (including former President Bill Clinton) can't stand the preferences exercised by the public in the free market of ideas on the radio, and must force their rhetorical nonsense on others in the name of "fairness":
"Well, you either ought to have the Fairness Doctrine or we ought to have more balance on the other side," Clinton said, "because essentially there's always been a lot of big money to support the right wing talk shows and let face it, you know, Rush Limbaugh is fairly entertaining even when he is saying things that I think are ridiculous...."

The second half of Bill Clinton's quote hits the nail on the head--Rush is entertaining. Disagree or not, Rush has built a brand that has a rather hefty following, and has been rewarded with an enormous audience and a similar amount of compensation. Liberals have tried, and failed, to duplicate conservative talk radio's success. It is clear that there is a market for liberal ideas given that Barack Obama was just elected President. That the moonbats at Air America were unable to capitalize on the resentment of President Bush in a way that lefty bloggers were indicates that there is either a format issue (liberals not as interested in radio) or that the product is simply awful. Either way, the government should have no role in deciding who is and who is not on the radio, nor should it determine the length or availability of response time in the interest of "fairness."

Sen. James Inhofe agrees:
But Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe said radio programming should be based on what brings in listeners and advertisers.

"I can't think of anything worse than to have government in a position to dictate the content of information going over public radio," said Inhofe, a Republican. "The whole idea is that it has to be market driven. We have a lot of progressive or liberal radio shows but nobody listens to them and every time one tries to get on, they are not successful."

Local AM talk show hosts have debated the need and also the imminent prospect of a return of the "Fairness Doctrine"--not surprisingly, they disagree, with conservatives blasting the concept on principle, and liberals supporting the idea as a way to promote "balance" on the airwaves.

"Fairness Doctrine"? Why don't they just try it the old-fashioned way--entertaining radio talent with some semblance of coherence that people, even those who disagree, might be inclined to listen to?

For liberals, if you don't like outcome, don't approach the battlefield of ideas differently, simply change the rules of the game.

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