The Fairness Doctrine is like Elvis. Or Jesus. Dead for a long, long, time but sighted or resurrected whenever convenient to scare the dittoheads, make a fake political headline-for-a-day, or frighten the begging-to-be-frightened listeners of religious radio.
(photo: Comrade Genachowski)
Rush, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and Glenn Beck, the Marx Brothers, Pat Robertson and Rev. James Dobson- all have warned that the subversive, socialistic and dangerous Doctrine (not ever a law) which required access to broadcast stations of opposing views, and discussion of controversial issues, would be revived by Barack Obama, his FCC henchpersons, or Congressional running dogs like Nancy (Shiver) Pelosi.
It was a convenient right-wing straw man, a conspiracy theory that buttressed the right's dire predictions that Obama was an evil dictator on the brink of cancelling the Constitution; used in Christian pastoral infomercials to scare the money out of their flighty listeners.
Despite FCC Chair Julius Genachowski testified in 2009 he wasn’t going to revive it. And he never has. No matter candidate Obama was against bringing it back, and President Obama never even proposed to. Or that Speaker Nancy Pelosi never brought it up when she had the power, or did Leader Harry Reid.
Despite all this the policy remained, fallow, on the books.
Limbaugh, Beck et al, kept it alive by warning that it might be revived in the long-debated "localism" initiative proposed by the Bush FCC, and continued in the Obama years by Genachowski.
Wednesday, a real stake (maybe) was thrust into the heart of the beast (again). Responding to a letter from Republican House members Genachowski said it unequivocally ... again. "I fully support deleting the Fairness Doctrine and related provisions from the Code of Federal Regulations."
And delete it they did.
Will this die as a show topic and scare tactic within the right-wing media bubble? We're not sure that news of the Fairness Doctrine's erasure even pierced the bubble. Have the dittoheads been apprised? Probably not.
We predict that like Elvis, Jesus, and Frankenstein, The Fairness Doctirne shall rise again in the perfervid rehtoric of the right. (Once Weiner's penis has been dispatched).