President George Bush told a gathering of broadcasters not to worry about the resurrection of the Fairness Doctrine, at least under his watch. Bush spoke at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville on Tuesday.
The Fairness Doctrine dictated the TV and radio broadcast outlets had to grant equal time for conflicting opinions. The FCC abandoned the doctrine two decades ago, but there’s been some call on Capitol Hill to bring it back in the interest of localism.
“This organization has had many important missions, but none more important than ensuring our airways--America’s airways--stay open to those who preach the â€˜Good News.’ The very first amendment to our Constitution includes the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion. Founders believed these unalienable rights were endowed to us by our Creator. They are vital to a healthy democracy, and we must never let anyone take those freedoms away,”
He said that Democrats wanted to use the doctrine to silence their critics.
“Republicans have drafted legislation that would ban reinstatement of the so-called Fairness Doctrine. Unfortunately, Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives have blocked action on this bill,” he said. “So in response, nearly every Republican in the House has signed onto what's called a "discharge petition," that would require Congress to hold an up or down vote on the ban. Supporters of this petition are only 24 signatures away.”
“I’ll tell you this,” Bush continued, “if Congress should ever pass any legislation that stifles your right to express your views, I’m going to veto it.”
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