FCC Chairman renews opposition to the Fairness Doctrine in letter to Congress
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin J. Martin responded to an inquiry from Congressmen Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Mike Pence (R-Ind.), saying he sees "no compelling reason to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine." Click here for an AP story that was just filed: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/26/AR2007072600794.html.
Excerpt from Martin's letter:
In my judgment, the events of the last two decades have confirmed the wisdom of the Commission's decision to abolish the Fairness Doctrine. Discussion of controversial issues over the airwaves has flourished absent regulatory constraints, and the public now enjoys access to an ever-expanding range of views and opinions. Indeed, with the continued proliferation of additional sources of information and programming, including satellite broadcasting and the Internet, the need for the Fairness Doctrine has lessened ever further since 1987. In short, I see no compelling reason to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine in today's broadcast environment, and believe that such a step would inhibit the robust discussion of issues of public concern over the nation's airwaves.
Congressmen Walden and Pence issued the following statement following receipt of Chairman Martin's letter:
"We commend the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission for his commitment to free and independent airwaves in America. Chairman Martin's comments should encourage millions who cherish the vigorous debate of American talk radio. Nevertheless it is imperative that Congress pass the Broadcaster Freedom Act to ensure that no future administration or FCC chairman have the power to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine without an act of Congress. Congress should heed the call of Chairman Martin and permanently reject the Fairness Doctrine by enacting the Broadcast Freedom Act into law."
The Broadcaster Freedom Act, H.R. 2905, has 143 cosponsors.