NAB to Senate: Oppose Fairness Doctrine Reinstatement
July 13, 2007
Republican Senators Norm Coleman, Minn., Jim DeMint, S.C., James Inhofe, Okla., and John Thune, S.D. held a news conference this week with fellow GOP members Reps. Mike Pence, Ind. and Greg Walden, Ore. to unveil an amendment ensuring the “Fairness Doctrine” is not reinstated.
The amendment will be offered to the defense authorization bill in the Senate, which will likely be voted on within the next week, according to NAB.
Abolished in 1987, the FCC’s Fairness Doctrine required television and radio broadcasters to present all contrasting points of view in any coverage of a controversial issue. In 1985 the commission said the policy no longer produced its desired effect and instead caused a “chilling effect” on news coverage that might be in violation of the First Amendment.
Some lawmakers recently called for the reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine.
Last month, by a vote of 309-115, the House adopted a move offered by Pence and Walden that bars the FCC from using federal funds to reinstate the doctrine.
NAB President/CEO David Rehr this week sent a letter to every U.S. Senate office, urging lawmakers to oppose reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine.
Bringing back the Fairness Doctrine despite the numerous media outlets available today is “unnecessary, unwarranted and unconstitutional,” Rehr stated in the letter.