Posted by | February 6, 2009 12:56 | Filed under: Top Stories

athans-stabenowSenator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan told radio host Bill Press, when asked if it’s time to bring back the Fairness Doctrine, that “it’s absolutely time to pass a standard.” Stabenow ought to give full disclosure whenever discussing this topic. Her husband, Tom Athans (with Stabenow, r), has been an executive in various liberal talk radio ventures.

(D-MI): I think it’s absolutely time to pass a standard. Now, whether it’s called the Fairness Standard, whether it’s called something else – I absolutely think it’s time to be bringing accountability to the airwaves. I mean, our new president has talked rightly about accountability and transparency. You know, that we all have to step up and be responsible. And, I think in this case, there needs to be some accountability and standards put in place.


BILL PRESS: Can we count on you to push for some hearings in the United States Senate this year, to bring these owners in and hold them accountable?


SENATOR DEBBIE STABENOW (D-MI): I have already had some discussions with colleagues and, you know, I feel like that’s gonna happen. Yep.


This is an absolutely terrible idea.  And it won’t have the desired affect.  The thought of Congress legislating to produce programming it desires is the kind of government intrusion you expect to find in totalitarian regimes.  As a liberal broadcaster, I don’t want to be placed on radio stations by government fiat.  If I can’t produce a good enough product to clear radio stations or get listeners on whatever platform I’m on, that’s my problem.  And what would happen if talk radio were saturated with liberals?  Would Senator Stabenow work to produce “balance” to that?

I was in radio when there was a Fairness Doctrine in the past.  Every time a so-called “controversial” guest expressed an opinion, a form had to be filled out to show that an effort was being made to provide an opposite opinion.  What radio stations will do, rather than allow themselves to be bogged down in a bureaucratic quagmire, will be to change format rather than submit to this kind of control.  And this is a time when radio stations are already suffering because of the economy and because of the availibility of other platforms such as satellite and the Internet, which is giving struggling radio stations a run for their money.  Literally.

President Obama has, thankfully, expressed opposition to a reinstatement of this horrible law. His way, which is much preferable, would be to work toward ownership diversity.

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Copyright 2009 Liberaland
By: Alan

Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.