Patterico's Pontifications


Another Senator Calls for Fairness Doctrine Hearings — You Know, the Ones the L.A. Times Said Nobody Was Asking For

Filed under: Civil Liberties,Constitutional Law,Dog Trainer — Patterico @ 1:07 am

L.A. Times headline to James Rainey column, November 14, 2008:

Impose a mandate on broadcasters to balance their political views? That would be onerous indeed. But memo to Rush: Nobody’s asking for that.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Febuary 5, 2009:

BILL PRESS: Yeah, I mean, look: They have a right to say that. They’ve got a right to express that. But, they should not be the only voices heard. So, is it time to bring back the Fairness Doctrine?

SENATOR DEBBIE STABENOW (D-MI): I think it’s absolutely time to pass a standard. Now, whether it’s called the Fairness Standard, whether it’s called something else — I absolutely think it’s time to be bringing accountability to the airwaves. I mean, our new president has talked rightly about accountability and transparency. You know, that we all have to step up and be responsible. And, I think in this case, there needs to be some accountability and standards put in place.

BILL PRESS: Can we count on you to push for some hearings in the United States Senate this year, to bring these owners in and hold them accountable?

SENATOR DEBBIE STABENOW (D-MI): I have already had some discussions with colleagues and, you know, I feel like that’s gonna happen. Yep.

She’s not alone.

I swear, if they can do it with blogs, too, they will.


  1. It’s heinous, but OTOH we have some big guns. Mark Levin has sworn to pull out all the stops against this and he has some weapons. He will subpoena all kinds of records (Soros’, etc.) to prove radical left backing of numerous “non-partisan” media entities, including big media, and drag all the MSM into this. I suspect he has been gathering the evidence for years in preparation. Rush is not without resources and has occasionally hinted at an ace in the hole for fighting this. It’s also outright restraint of trade.

    This is not the same world it was when the F.D. was passed the first time. Not only is media much more open and immediate, but the weight of big media is overtly and overwhelmingly lefty. Without MSM collusion this jug-eared commie in the WH would have gotten exactly nowhere. There is vast evidence that the Dems, the left and the media know this, crow this, and thus totally undermine their argument for the F.D. Unless, you know, it gets applied equally across the board.

    Part of me wants to yell “Bring it on,” the way I really wanted them to try to impeach Bush a few years ago. At best, it blows up in their faces. At worst, they are hoist by their own petard.

    Comment by Peg C. (48175e) — 2/6/2009 @ 4:25 am

  2. I used to think Debbie Stabenow had a “tin ear.”

    I was wrong.

    It’s worse: Stabenow has a “tin brain” too.

    I hear Debbie Stabenow is coming out with a new book. It’s titled…


    Comment by MarkJ (7fa185) — 2/6/2009 @ 5:13 am

  3. Can they apply the fairness doctrine to satellite radio?

    Comment by Amphipolis (fdbc48) — 2/6/2009 @ 6:13 am

  4. Amp, I’m sure they can if they change the law. They definitely would try if they killed radio and conservatives all took to satellite. It’s starting to feel like the French Resistance, isn’t it??? Will we all be on huge email distribution lists to get our messages to each other? (I know that exists now but I ignore almost all my political spam. It could become a true lifeline!)

    One wants to believe this is absurd, except we have fascist Dems implementing absurdities all around us already.

    Comment by Peg C. (48175e) — 2/6/2009 @ 6:25 am

  5. Debbie might want to think about cleaning up her own back yard first, before she begins “bringing accountability to the airwaves.”

    As soon as she brings accountability to the Senate, she could get started in the House of Reps, and let’s not overlook the Executive Branch. Lord knows there’s plenty of opportunity for accountability just waiting for someone to put matters right over there. Come to think of it, how about some accountability in the financial sector, now there’s a good place to get some on-the-job training in the accountability trade, timely too.

    Perhaps she could ask Senator Dodd (Democrat, Chair Banking Comittee) to give her a few pointers, right after he comes up with those home loan documents from his pals at Countrywide Mortgage he promised several months ago to provide. Then he could explain why he took all that money from Fanny and Freddie while he was supposed to be watching out for any irregularities over there. You can’t be too careful when you’re responsible for making sure the taxpayer’s money is safe and sound. Yep, Debbie could start close to home, plenty of opportunity for accountability right next door, no need to get after those guys talking on the radio, not when there’s so much opportunity right under her nose.

    As an afterthought, someone in the Senate might want to clue Debbie in that the Bill of Rights provides some guidelines when it comes to government authorities and their efforts to infringe on the topic of free speach. I believe she swore an oath to protect and defend those rights, but I could be misguided on just what US Senators promise to do for us.

    Comment by Ropelight (e36d4f) — 2/6/2009 @ 6:41 am

  6. “She’s not alone”

    Apparently not. You can read about it near the bottom of this wiki about her husband.

    Comment by Old Coot (who also wants DRJ back) (529757) — 2/6/2009 @ 7:02 am

  7. I guess after they pass the FD again, the liberals will keep saying no one really wants to impose the FD on radio and it is just a rallying cry for Rush and Sean.

    Liberals just want talk radio to shut up and worship Obama like they do.

    Comment by MU789 (cd7aec) — 2/6/2009 @ 7:19 am

  8. On behalf of my fellow citizens of Michigan, I tender our abject apologies for electing Debbie Stabenow to the Senate.

    I did not vote for her – but, like all Michiganders, I feel tainted by her presence. And now I denounce myself for having expressed such one-sided sentiments.

    Comment by Gesundheit (47b0b8) — 2/6/2009 @ 7:23 am

  9. Why do I feel so sure that no ‘fairness’ legislation passed by this congress would get even one regularly scheduled conservative voice on PBS?

    Comment by snaggletoothie (532a38) — 2/6/2009 @ 7:31 am

  10. “Sbe’s not alone”.

    Nope, outside of his penchant for hookers, her husband, Tom Athans, was the Executive VP for AirAmerica, DemocracyNow, and TalkUSA.

    Nope, no conflict of interest there, nosiree.

    Comment by Techie (6b5d8d) — 2/6/2009 @ 7:35 am

  11. MarkJ: No, no, Stabenow can’t have a tin brain.

    Tin is nowhere near this dense. I’m thinking depleted uranium.

    Comment by PCachu (e072b7) — 2/6/2009 @ 7:36 am

  12. this congress would get even one regularly scheduled conservative voice on PBS?

    But wait, what about the esteemed and hugely influential conservative voice of Our Miss Brooks
    on MacNeil every Friday evening?

    (crickets chirping)

    Comment by Dmac (49b16c) — 2/6/2009 @ 8:01 am

  13. If this is true, this is it for me. As Salman Rushdie once said, “free speech is the whole ballgame.” I will volunteer in whatever capacity I can until I run out of money. These filthy little fuc*s must be fought to the death. I’ve always known they hated free speech and, likewise, I knew this moment would come. I grew up on the Left, and I’ve witnessed their consuming hatred for dissent — their hatred for even the idea that one dissenting voice existed anywhere out there in the wilderness. Their total intolerance for anything that challenges their holy vision and absolute dominion. Their hatred, fear and insecurity is bottomless. Don’t hate back? To hell with that. I hate the Left because I love America, and nothing signifies and distinguishes American freedom as free speech, as a society with the courage to accept all dissent, of men and women with the confidence in their ideas to shape better and stronger arguments out of this dissent. The Left is violently opposed to this society and this premise of freedom. It cannot tolerate openness; like all evil, it flies from the light. But it attempts to keep its opposition secret, dissemble it with code words like “hate speech”, find noble-sounding names for base and dishonest appeals to fear.

    Comment by rrpjr (348ff6) — 2/6/2009 @ 8:33 am

  14. Peg C. great post. Figured Rush and Premiere wouldn’t take this without a fight. I didn’t know about Levin. Fantastic. Sounds like these guys have been prepping for awhile.

    The irony’s ripe… capitalism is what got this race-baiting hustler in the WH. Subpoenas for Soros then.

    Comment by Vermont Neighbor (ab0837) — 2/6/2009 @ 8:42 am

  15. I am against the fairness docterine. It doesn’t really make any sense to shut up people who are doing more harm than good to their own cause.

    For example, have any of you actually listened to more than 5 minutes of Savage Nation? The man is a lunatic. He is only appealing to those who would never vote Democratic, and he is pushing everybody else away. Good for him. I say, “keep up the good fight, Mr. Weiner!”.

    Comment by Ed from PA (836625) — 2/6/2009 @ 8:42 am

  16. Comment by rrpjr — 2/6/2009 @ 8:33 am

    That’s the anger I feel. The left’s absurd pretenses at ‘helping’ people, all in a stealth power grab. $900+ Billion.

    It would be hysterical if it weren’t real: the media lying for a communist candidate who has no experience and a mountain of shady alliances.

    Comment by Vermont Neighbor (ab0837) — 2/6/2009 @ 8:55 am

  17. 15, Ed, are you really the idiot you appear to be in your posts? Ever hear of the disgraced Air America hosts who fake attacks upon themselves and blame Bush for it? No, you aren’t that honest.

    Comment by PCD (7fe637) — 2/6/2009 @ 8:56 am

  18. Why is it that the asshats like Ed simply assume that anyone that disagrees with their worldview listens to Rush, Hannity, Savage, etal?

    Comment by JD (b2da6e) — 2/6/2009 @ 9:13 am

  19. Savage is an idiot. So what?

    Comment by Rob Crawford (6c262f) — 2/6/2009 @ 9:15 am

  20. Shhhh – don’t buzzkill The Head’s contact high, Duuuude!

    Comment by Dmac (49b16c) — 2/6/2009 @ 9:16 am

  21. Why is it that the MSM could not be bothered to point out the inherent conflict of interest this Sen. has in regards to this issue?

    Comment by JD (b2da6e) — 2/6/2009 @ 9:24 am

  22. Let’s not forget that Stabenow’s husband was a co-founder and executive for the failed Air America.
    Forget he has a hard soft spot for hookers.

    Comment by retire05 (1ce5af) — 2/6/2009 @ 11:22 am

  23. Savage is an idiot. So what?

    Yeah, but he’s a fun idiot.
    Savage’s only real problem is that his show is too long. His hyperventilated anger routine is a lot of fun … for about 30 minutes. I prefer the humorous approach that I get from Rush and Hannity.

    Comment by Random Numbers (20b9e8) — 2/6/2009 @ 1:33 pm

  24. We can’t let the open market decide anything, that’s too undemocratic, letting the people decide.

    Comment by John Hitchcock (fb941d) — 2/6/2009 @ 1:38 pm

  25. Why is it that the asshats like Ed simply assume that anyone that disagrees with their worldview listens to Rush, Hannity, Savage, etal?

    The answer gets complicated, JD. I don’t know whether you’ve noticed, but Rush Limbaugh is becoming a favorite target of lefties here and elsewhere. They claim the Republican party is being led by Limbaugh, that we all get our ideas from Limbaugh, etc.

    It’s a pattern I’ve noticed in Democrats: they must have a bete noir to blame: Bush, Karl Rove, Cheney, Rush. All the evil in the world is embodied in their monster du jour, including scheming and manipulation on a scale that would make Machiavelli blush.

    A large part of the reason is so that they can dismiss conservatives without considering the ideas or arguments.

    Comment by Steverino (69d941) — 2/6/2009 @ 1:42 pm

  26. If the Fairness Doctrine comes back, it will be called “local control” because the lefties think there is a conspiracy of BIG CORPORATIONS running these talk shows. In fact, talk radio got popular because of the left wing bias of MSM. I used to listen to Limbaugh, then I got away from it but I find myself listening again since the election.

    I remember when there was a left wing talk show by Michael Jackson in LA. This was years ago, before Limbaugh. I didn’t care for his politics but he did good interviews. I called in a couple of times and got hung up on if I disagreed with his POV.

    One time he had a show about guns and how bad it was that people in LA carried concealed weapons even though it was illegal. He had the LA police chief on. It was hilarious. All the callers were women and they all carried guns ! He was horrified but the universal reply was “I refuse to be a victim.”

    Around that time, the Clintons appeared on the scene, he became a Hillary worshipper and I drifted away to Rush. Not long after that, Jackson was off the air. For a while he was on Saturday but I don’t think he ever realized why his listeners deserted him.

    They don’t get it. They have PBS with taxpayers funding it. Now, they even have NBC and the others.

    Comment by Mike K (f89cb3) — 2/6/2009 @ 2:00 pm

  27. Steverino – You and I have disagreed, strenuously, in the past, but on this topic you are spot on. Since even a sitting President appears to want to make a radio talk show host the symbol of all that is wrong, I would suggest that we do the exacþ same thing, and make every Dem answer for every nasty disgusting lie that flows forth from the mouths of Olberdouchenozzle and MadCow.

    Comment by JD (b2da6e) — 2/6/2009 @ 2:11 pm

  28. Why is it that the asshats like Ed simply assume that anyone that disagrees with their worldview listens to Rush, Hannity, Savage, etal?

    Comment by JD — 2/6/2009 @ 9:13 am

    It should be “anyone who disagrees…”. The SAT would count that as a wrong answer, bub.

    Comment by Ed from PA (c313be) — 2/6/2009 @ 2:21 pm

  29. Ed, don’t Bogart that joint!

    Comment by Dmac (49b16c) — 2/6/2009 @ 2:27 pm

  30. “that” works but “who” is stronger, grammatically speaking.

    Comment by John Hitchcock (fb941d) — 2/6/2009 @ 2:28 pm

  31. EfP – Great catch, twatwaffle. Despite your massive ginormous brainpower, you still manage to be wrong about nearly everything. But I appreciate you pointing out my grammar mistake. You are a big person. And a mendoucheous little troll, that argues with the charicatures on your head.

    Comment by JD (b2da6e) — 2/6/2009 @ 2:28 pm

  32. Steverino, what’s amusing to me is that they don’t seem to realize that we are driving Limbaugh, not the other way ’round, these days. You’ll see themes on conservative blogs long before Rush picks them up.

    The Democrats’ talking points are sooo 1990′s.

    Comment by SPQR (72771e) — 2/6/2009 @ 2:30 pm

  33. How about a Fairness Doctrine for Congress?

    Comment by Crimso (d86c80) — 2/6/2009 @ 3:08 pm

  34. The mere fact that there’s a Senator Debbie makes me queasy.

    Comment by KateC (fcedd5) — 2/6/2009 @ 9:04 pm

  35. There are a lot of problems with the Press, but “too many Republicans” isn’t one of them.

    Comment by Kevin Murphy (0b2493) — 2/6/2009 @ 9:25 pm

  36. Hmmmm is it me or is anyone else missing a DRJ insight here?

    Comment by pitchforksntorches (4dd8c4) — 2/7/2009 @ 10:18 am

  37. Why do I feel so sure that no ‘fairness’ legislation passed by this congress would get even one regularly scheduled conservative voice on PBS?

    Speaking of public TV, who the hell watches shows like the one hosted by Bill Moyers?! Even if you disregard the politics and bias of such programs, their topics are, with rare exceptions, a litany of dismal, dull do-gooder matters that people of the left just love to wring their hands over.

    Now if such broadcasts generate respectable Nielsen ratings, that deserves — at least from a standpoint of marketing, if not also economics — a few kudos. However, unlike the ratings of many TV or radio shows with a rightist bent (eg, Glenn Beck on Fox TV or Rush Limbaugh on syndicated radio), I doubt that the tune-in rate for “Bill Moyers Discusses the Plight of the Undocumented” or “Bill Moyers Discusses the Plight of Welfare Mothers” is much above that of a public-access channel.

    Comment by Mark (411533) — 2/7/2009 @ 10:36 am

  38. She chose the Bill Press programs to get into this? Shouldn’t she then go to a conservative show to make her case and make it fair? (and maybe broadcast the message to a listening audience?)

    Comment by Tom (2931ea) — 2/7/2009 @ 10:43 am

  39. Comment by JD — 2/6/2009 @ 2:28 pm

    You’re welcome, JD. I noticed you made the same mistake in comment 31. Practice, practice, practice!

    Comment by Ed from PA (c313be) — 2/7/2009 @ 12:04 pm

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