Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced the elimination of 83 outdated and obsolete agency rules on Monday, including the controversial Fairness Doctrine.I'm sure liberal Democrats are mourning this decision, and Rush Limbaugh is probably enjoying his vacation just a little more. There was nothing fair about the Fairness Doctrine - all it would have done had it returned is kill conservative talk radio and the AM band in general, forcing broadcasters to carry programming that nobody wanted to listen to in order to "balance" the conservatives. Liberal talk radio has been an abject failure, and many broadcasters would have simply dumped their conservative shows rather than counter-program several hours of mind numbing liberal whining.
“The elimination of the obsolete Fairness Doctrine regulations will remove an unnecessary distraction. As I have said, striking this from our books ensures there can be no mistake that what has long been a dead letter remains dead,” Genachowski said in a statement.
“The Fairness Doctrine holds the potential to chill free speech and the free flow of ideas and was properly abandoned over two decades ago. I am pleased we are removing these and other obsolete rules from our books.”
The rule required broadcasters to cover controversial issues in a manner deemed fair and balanced by the FCC. The commission deemed it unconstitutional in 1987 and ceased enforcement.
This is a positive step toward free expression.
Don Surber has a little more on the history of the Fairness Doctrine here.