Thursday, August 25, 2011

Color the "Fairness Doctrine" gone

Broadcast's "Fairness Doctrine" is officially dead. I suppose that since it's been ignored for so long that this is a good thing. It certainly fits with our country's tilt toward corporate rule.

OK, that's the cynical view. But the truth is that actually ordering broadcaster to be "fair and balanced" is as impossible as expecting media outlets to live up to their slogans, whether they are "fair and balanced," "All the News That's Fit to Print," or even "Own Your Power." "Fair and balanced" depends is subjective. "All the News That's Fit to Print" often gets shortened sarcastically by reporters to "All the News That Fits" after their stories are cut.

It was a good effort, and it's tragic that the "marketplace" hasn't really created fairness since more than 90 percent of the broadcast comment seems conservative, while less than a third of Americans list their political leanings as that way.

But a rule that is so flagrantly disregarded should be discarded, so this is a good thing.

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