Speaking to the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville, TN, President George W. Bush pledged March 11 to veto any legislation to re-institute the Fairness Doctrine.
“If Congress should ever pass any legislation that stifles your right to express your views, I'm going to veto it,” he said.
The comment was related to his Bush’s call to religious broadcasters to support a discharge petition sponsored by House Republicans that would force Democrat leaders from blocking a vote by the full chamber on a new Fairness Doctrine — a highly charged issue in a campaign year.
“Some members of Congress want to reinstate a regulation that was repealed 20 years ago,” said Bush. “It has the Orwellian name called the Fairness Doctrine. Supporters of this regulation say we need to mandate that any discussion of so-called controversial issues on the public airwaves includes equal time for all sides. This means that many programs wanting to stay on the air would have to meet Washington's definition of balance.”
Such government intervention is contradictory to the right to free speech as embodied in the First Amendment, he said.