Democratic Senators have been popping up across the media, like living Whack-A-Moles, talking about how it may be time to think about reinstating the Fairness Doctrine.  Then the media assure us that it’s all just talk, because they never do anything about it.  Whack!  Got that sucker for ya, people.

Now the acting FCC Chairman is poking his head up:  Acting FCC Chair Sees Government Role in Pushing ‘Media Diversity’

Acting Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Copps says he doesn’t support bringing back the controversial Fairness Doctrine, but he does think government has a role in enforcing media “diversity.”

That role includes re-examining licensing and other regulations for radio stations — including AM stations dominated by talk radio — to make them “more reflective” of public interests.

Copps, chosen by President Barack Obama to be acting chairman until a permanent replacement is named, said that he thought the Fairness Doctrine – a policy that critics say amounts to censorship – was an old fight that “didn’t need to be rehashed.”

Because we’ll lose.  Besides, “fairness” is an abstraction.  People will understand the concrete and measureable “diversity” a lot better, because a. they’re stupid and incapable of coming to the right definition of “fairness” on their own, b. it sounds so progressive, European and feel-good, and c. the idiots won’t even notice that the phrase “media diversity” is just a description of what the Fairness Doctrine was intended to achieve.

We’ll throw in dry talk about licensing and regulation and other bureaucratic stuff, which is sure to bore the pants off them, ensuring that they tune out.

And that phrase “more reflective of public interests?”  Genius!  Nobody will ever think to ask who decides what the public interest is.

“What I’ve always said, and this is always obviously up to the discretion of Congress, not the FCC, whether we do or we don’t, to me we have to find a way to make radio reflect the public interest,” Copps explained.

However, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit ruled in 1986 that imposition of the Fairness Doctrine was in fact at the discretion of the FCC. In Telecommunications Research and Action Center v. FCC, the Court ruled that “the FCC is free to implement this requirement by reasonable rules and regulations.”

Equally obviously, you’ve always been an ignoramus, Mr. Copps.  Where does Obama find these people?

The acting chairman, meanwhile, said that some of those rules and regulations would include new licensing requirements that focus on public interest and station ownership.

Meanwhile, more bureaucratese.  Boring.  Go back to your soap opera or game show.

But the Fairness Doctrine is dead.  Don’t worry your pretty little head about it.  The media will whack this one any minute.
Update:

From Politico, Bill Clinton gets into the act:  Clinton wants ‘more balance’ on airwaves

Even though no member of Congress has scheduled hearings on the Fairness Doctrine, it remains on a hot topic on both liberal and conservative shows.

Today, radio host Mario Solis Marich asked former President Bill Clinton if it was time for “some type of enforced media accountability.”

“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….”

Clinton said that there needs to be either “more balance in the programs or have some opportunity for people to offer  countervailing opinions.” Clinton added that he didn’t support repealing the Fairness Doctrine, an act done under Reagan’s FCC.

Accountability.  Another one of those easy-to-understand words and socially acceptable reasons to restrict speech.

Mr. Clinton, who decides what “balance” is?  And bang the class warfare drum about the financing of talk radio because, goodness knows, media like ABC, CBs, and NBC have no money behind them whatsoever.  Talking about “opportunity,” that’s a good one.  Frame the debate about denying some people speech by giving others an “opportunity.”  How clever.  How cynical.

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