Zero to whine about

Democrats. May I suggest you deep six your idea of recreating the “fairness doctrine” for radio? Many of your leaders have been pushing for this. It is not good for your image. In fact, this campaign makes you look like boobs. No, not that kind. The other kind.

Congressguys Dick Durbin, John Kerry, Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have all suggested we bring back the “fairness doctrine”. This was the law that forced radio stations to forever balance opinion pieces. Used to be, they might run a piece that railed against trade unions. They then had to “balance” this with a piece that supported unions. The result was that stations avoided any opinion pieces.

The policy was dropped in the Reagan years. This opened the doors for today’s talk radio. The Democrats don’t like the talk radio that has developed. Because most of it is conservative. So they want to kill Rush Limbaugh and Shawn Hannity and others. By bringing back the “fairness doctrine.”



I think this makes the Democrats look bad. It makes them look mean spirited for one thing. It makes them look insecure. That’s not an image that will suit them going into the next election.

This campaign also makes them look ridiculous. You need to be blind and deaf to not see that the big three tv networks, Hollywood and NPR (not to mention academia) all lean very much leftward. As do most major newspapers. The Democrats have all these guns on their side. Why should they obsess over Rush and company?

Besides, they have been free to launch and support talk radio with a liberal slant. There are no forces trying to keep them out of this market. Trouble is, the listening public has tuned them out. Air America, Al Franken at large, Mario Cuomo - they have all flopped on the air.

Another reason why the Democrats should run from this: If they got the “fairness doctrine” re-instated, it could haunt them. Because someday it could be applied to television news. Oh, oh. It could be applied to NPR. They would not like that. It could be extended to, say, newspapers. After all, most cities today are served by only one newspaper. Monopolies. And most major papers lean left. I’m sure the Democrats would feel uncomfortable if the papers had to comply with a “fairness doctrine.”

Another way this campaign hurts the Democrats: It makes them look like whiners. Wah, wah! The big boys struck me out. I wanna have six strikes instead of three. I wanna have the pitcher pitch underhand. It’s not fair.

Now I don’t believe Democrats are whiners. Not any more than Republicans are. And I think they have lots of good ideas. But all this can be blown away - in voters minds - by perception. If they whine about how talk radio mistreats them they will look like, well, whiners. They already do look like whiners.

And there is zero to whine about. As I said, they are still free to create liberal talk radio. They are free to compete.

In addition, no radio listener is forced to listen to Limbaugh and Hannity and others. Flipping to another station or turning radios off is one of the easier tasks people are faced with today.

And if Democrats succeed in snuffing out conservative radio, do they really feel they will pick up a single vote. You crushed my favorite radio show. I can barely wait to cast my vote for you.

Underlying all this is something that should keep Democrats awake more than conservative radio. The popularity of Congress continues to fall. Right now their ratings are neck and neck with pit bulls in playgrounds.

Democrats. Look noble. Look confident. Look like leaders. By dropping this campaign to bring back the stupid “fairness doctrine”.

From Tom ... as in Morgan.

For more columns and for Tom’s radio shows (and to write to Tom): tomasinmorgan.com

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