Legislating fairness

Techdirt: Senator Really Does Want A Return Of The Fairness Doctrine

Senator Dianne Feinstein said this weekend that a legislative remedy may be needed to counter the influence of right-wing talk radio, which she blamed for stymieing attempts to bring about immigration reform.

Ask any parent – it’s impossible to make a rule that’s fair for everyone. If all parties involved aren’t interested in being fair about things, you’ll never get anywhere.

Of course, this isn’t really about fairness at all. This is about unfairness in the opposite direction. And, actually, Techdirt is either reporting stuff from elsewhere, or is maybe inferring a little extra malice in what Feinstein is saying. She doesn’t seem to be making this as black and white as is suggested.

My view here is that the proper way to combat excessive right-wing bias in talk radio is to get more excessive left-wing bias on talk radio. I mean, that seems pretty simple, right? I don’t think anyone is barring anyone from getting a radio show based on their political leanings. And if they are, there are probably already laws in place to take care of that.

When you have two sides competing, and one is dominating a space, and the other suggests legislating fairness, you have to wonder if things are really unfair as they are. I honestly can’t think of how radio stations could be legally keeping liberal views off the air. They can’t get together and make deals to make sure only conservatives have jobs. Maybe they can just refuse to hire liberals? I don’t know that liberals are a protected group under EEO laws. I would suspect that they aren’t.

_NB:  The wife says, “There is no historical evidence of discrimination on the basis of one’s party affiliation, so they don’t qualify as a discrete and insular minority.”  Hence, no EEO protection. _

However, that doesn’t mean that a group of concerned liberals (With backing from, say, concerned Senators) couldn’t start a radio station and be as left-wing as they want to be.

The other issue here, and I may be completely wrong, but isn’t Bush being uncharacteristically reasonable on the immigration debate? Aside from the ridiculous wall, hasn’t he been pushing a pretty moderate plan?

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