George Will is rapidly becoming an angry, strident voice on the conservative side of conservative politics. Now he is using name calling as a weapon against the Democratic Party. His use of the term “illiberals” over and over in his latest rant against liberals is almost funny…almost.
Some illiberal liberals are trying to restore the luridly misnamed Fairness Doctrine, which until 1987 required broadcasters to devote a reasonable amount of time to presenting fairly each side of a controversial issue. The government was empowered to decide how many sides there were, how much time was reasonable and what was fair.
I hate to break it to Mr Will, but the only reason anyone wants to re-institute the “Fairness Doctrine” is that the “Corporate Media” has abrogated the truthful reporting of the facts. The very ability of political groups to drop a smear with an add buy and then watch the story grow as the “News” is reported so often as to turn a lie into the accepted truth shows the need for “Media” to be held to a monetary responsibility for the “Fairness” they no longer feel.
The Reagan administration scrapped the doctrine because of its chilling effect on controversial speech, and because the scarcity rationale was becoming absurd.
It seems to me that the scarcity rationale has now swung full circle. With the media consolidation of the past few years, the publics access to get their voice heard is confined to the internet and not the “Public” airways or the newsprint of the cities of this country. Not everyone in this country has access nor the need to subscribe to multiple forms of information. The broadcast spectrum has, since it’s inception, been a special category of business. Access to spectrum has always been confined to a limited number of gatekeepers, and the “Fairness Doctrine” is all that kept the publics ability to gain the access to present opposing views.
It is time to take another look at all of the rules that have been relaxed in this mad rush to deregulate America.
Author: George F. Will