First, the communism. It’s becoming quite prevalent now. Venezuela has been that way for awhile, and now they’ve exported the revolution fully to Bolivia sending troops to claim foreign owned company equipment and assets at gas fields. (Link Dead)
Well isn’t that special? It seems that while the former russian protectorates are becoming more Libertarian, our own hemisphere is becoming more and more statist.
Now to the fairness doctrine that the democrats are now preaching as the answer to their shrinking voting base problems. It has a lot of similarities to the backbone issue that Pi and I were debating in an earlier post. The FCC granted people airspace to broadcast in way back in the dark ages of radio. Since then they’ve had an enforced monopoly on the airspace because it’s like pulling teeth to get the FCC to issue new licenses.
This is a problem. Because of that the FCC used to have rules about what could be on the air, and required giving time for those on opposite sides. This ended in 1987 but lives on in the hearts of democrats everywhere.
In reality, this doctrine actually silences free speech more than it permits it. For one thing, radio stations are a business. If they are forced to carry both sides, even when the other side is a droll, boring stick in the mud that couldn’t get an audience if they were strapped to chairs with direct auditory brain feeds. This would essentially kill that station as a conduit for either side because the total listenership would drop through the floor and the ad revenue would stop coming in. We’ll end up back in a situation where there is only one unified news cluster that will end up staying on one single message. It won’t be considered unfair by the fairness doctrine because it’s News. Anyone who has a blog, radio show, tv program, whatever will be required to provide their marketing resources to the opposing side and will be silenced otherwise. It’s just like the campaign finance reform that waives the first amendment for X days before an election.
The fact that the airwaves spaces were given or sold to them at low prices decades ago is a problem though. It’s really unfair to implement this sort of thing because these radio stations have been spending hundreds of thousands to promote their stations and this would be ripping all that work away and giving it to the other side just like Bolivia just ripped away all of the hard work and money companies have poured into their natural resources. (Yes, I am comparing the democrats to a country full of communists. ;)
What the FCC really needs to do is find ways of giving the PEOPLE more bandwidth. One thing that they should do that would permit fairness would be to start selling terrestrial digital radio bandwidth. With that you could have a single tower that would broadcast as many as 200 radio stations with whatever diverse music and opinions you might want.
They should also back up their forced fairness by giving the people who want equality their own AM frequency in each area, never mind that they already have NPR. This way they can run it into the ground and complain that they weren’t also given all the equipment and all the money to run it and those darn rich evil conservatives have all that equipment (because their shows are popular enough to support the equipment) and in the interests of fairness they should get it because that’s what fairness is all about… one side getting for free what the other worked hard for. ;)
The funny part is, that on networks where you pay a blanket fee and that aren’t supported by advertising like Sirius and XM, The other side’s voices outnumber those that they say are unfairly dominating the medium. Sirius just recently dropped Sirius Right from their schedule, leaving Sirius Patriot as their only real conservative viewpoint. They have Sirius Left, two separate NPR stations, OutQ, and a couple of their own stations with people like Bill Bradley. (The liberal alternative to Gore? Who is he, Fidel Castro? Josef Stalin?)
Of course, the fairness doctrine won’t affect Sirius… It’s satellite, not broadcast. *bleh* Never mind that they’re using up government allocated bandwidth just like everyone else.
The FCC also needs to free up more ISM space. The meager scraps they gave us in 900mhz, 2.4ghz, and 5.8ghz aren’t nearly enough. We need more freely available space!