The Fairness Doctrine was a policy on use of the broadcast airwaves that said that since the public owns the airwaves we have a right to demand that companies we license to profit from them support democracy by presenting news and information that is in the public interest and present a diversity of opinion. The idea was that big corporations cannot buy up and use the public airwaves to spew right-wing corporate propaganda.
In 1969 the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the Fairness Doctrine.
Ronald Reagan got rid of the Fairness Doctrine, saying that “markets” should decide what information, news and opinions people are presented with. The Congress immediately voted to bring back the fairness rules, but Reagan vetoed this.
Under George Bush the Congress again voted to restore these rules, but Bush vetoed it.
Under Clinton a majority of the Congress again voted to restore these rules, but the Republicans in the Senate filibustered.
So today they had a chance to bring back rules of fairness and democracy. What happened? DEMOCRATS cut their own throats and overwhelmingly voted to back corporate control of what we are allowed to know. “Democrats cave again.” Does this sound familiar?
Do they think the corporate media is now going to say good things about Democrats and unions and democracy? Do they think Rush Limbaugh is going to praise them for backing him?
Senate Backs Amendment to Prevent ‘Fairness Doctrine’ Revival,
The Senate approved an amendment Thursday that would outlaw the so-called “Fairness Doctrine,” an off-the-books policy that once required broadcasters to air opposing viewpoints on controversial issues.
Republican Sen. Jim DeMint’s amendment passed by a wide margin of 87-to-11.
THIS is how Republicans win. They don’t give up. They deny the popular will. And eventually they wear down the Democrats until they just cave.