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Rush Limbaugh and the Fairness Doctrine

02.20.09

Limbaugh spouts off, per usual, this time in a direct letter to President Obama (in the form of a WSJ op-ed piece, of course) about how he wants to keep the talk radio airwaves free from governmental censorship that he claims the president wants to impose.  He goes so far as to even somehow work in Acorn and MoveOn.org into his argument when they really have nothing to do with anything here.

Because he’s talking about the Fairness Doctrine, which, if enacted, would require that controversial issues talked about on the air have the opposing viewpoints shared to provide balance.

This isn’t happening.  It’s not being passed.  The President said so two days before Limbaugh’s “letter.”

What I find so intriguing about this is that Limbaugh is the same person who argues vehemently about the so-called “liberal media bias.”  So, if that truly were the case, wouldn’t the Fairness Doctrine actually help balance the media back toward his side, the right?  Why wouldn’t he want that?  It would essentially take away any bias for either side (in theory).

Granted, the Fairness Doctrine isn’t truly fair and would be a form of governmental censorship, so it’s good that President Obama doesn’t want anything to do with it.  Nor should he.  This is just Limbaugh trying to expose the president for something he’s not: a socialist.

He just wants the American President to fail.  How come no one is calling this guy anti-American?  Or accusing him of treason, or at least of being vehemently unpatriotic?  It was one thing to not support President Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq.  It’s quite another to openly call for him (and, let’s be honest, the country) to fail.

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12 comments

  1. Like we needed another reason to hate that worthless excuse for a human.


  2. True, the fairness doctrine will not in all likelihood be reinstated. That doesn’t mean Obama and his appointees won’t use a different means of shutting down Conservative media outlets. Variations of the theme of oversight and “localization” are already being discussed – http://www.aclj.org/News/Read.aspx?ID=3195


  3. I’m against censorship in media. But, I’m also leery about the information in the article you linked. First, it’s from the ACLJ, which isn’t exactly an objective news source. Also, there isn’t one named source in the entire piece.

    That’s not to say that President Obama has interest in changing some FCC regulations, but let’s please get away from the ridiculous notion that there’s this liberal attack on conservatives trying to control all media outlets. If so, no one would be running anything Limbaugh says.

    Also, why are you completely avoiding the entire Limbaugh situation? You haven’t defended him necessarily, but by not even bothering to address what I mentioned about him, it makes me wonder.


  4. The source was pertinent and quick. I admit that it wasn’t the most unbiased available. :(

    On the other hand, this IS a liberal attack on Limbaugh and people like him. It doesn’t – I repeat it doesn’t – originate with Obama, but it is an attack by Liberals upon Limbaugh and others like him. The politicians calling for it even cite Limbaugh as the reason for their actions.

    I – a rather staunch Conservative – laugh at Limbaugh, Colter, O’Brian and Hannity. They’re OpEd or Commentary. I laugh and cry in equal parts over both the Conservatives and Liberals who take them seriously.

    Also – Free Speech is sort of important. I once swore an oath to defend Americans’ right to say whatever crap they wanted to (even against me and mine) – and bled more than once in the course of following that oath. I’m not going to stop now.


  5. One could argue that any attack on Limbaugh’s ideas are going to be liberal since his ideology is so far to the right. I also agree that the freedom of speech is extremely vital. I never said that Limbaugh should be silenced. Only that his ideas should be challenged and he should be called out on his absurd comment for the importance of a productive discourse. Limbaugh doesn’t exactly welcome a discussion, though.

    While you and I think that it’s a waste of time to really give blowhards like him the time of day, a lot of people do listen to him without bothering to even think about his ideas. I suppose that’s the problem with a lot of people. It’s why I’ve gotten into the blogosphere.


  6. No, you’ve never in my experience called for Limbaugh to be silenced – but you’re not one of people who’re are calling for the Fairness Doctrine – in guise or another – to be reinstated.

    You and I both prefer discourse on the important topics. A lot of the Liberals are too scared of Limbaugh and others to want that though. They’re more afraid of his ability to sway voters than they are interested in calling him out on his comments and/or refuting them. :(

    I see this a fundamental difference in the methodology of dissent between the Left and the Right. The Right refutes the opposition and insults them viciously along the way. The Left prefers to silence their opposition completely. Neither tactic is particularly pleasant, though both have a certain effectiveness.


  7. While the Fairness Doctrine is a bit much, you must admit that the media, all media worldwide, is extremely biased. The media is a propaganda machine that always pushes an agenda. Time and time again the media picks one side while dismissing the other. Journalism is not about telling the story, it is about pushing an idea.

    Passing a law to control the media is a bit extreme. It is up to the people to speak up against the way the propaganda machine operates. In the USA, for example, every story involving Russia, Iran, Palestine and many more will be pitted against them. Any story involving Israel, England or other allies will always be for them. Of course, there are exceptions, but this rule can be seen often enough.

    The media need to be more unbiased, but unfortunately that wouldn’t appease the administration. If you speak out against the US government loudly enough, your Press Pass is revoked for white house press events. Logical, to some degree, but wrong none the less.

    Limbaugh is an ass, but he far from the only one. The Left and the Right have their asses. They may have their convictions, but their goal is to drive profits for their masters. They will say what is necessary in order to lift their ratings higher … and, the louder and more aggressive, the higher the ratings. Silencing them is meaningless, there are many waiting to take their place.


  8. I agree that Limbaugh is an ass and that he’s not the only one. I disagree that all media is extremely biased. Yes, there are definitely certain newscasters and/or show hosts that clearly have an agenda and skew everything toward that end, but coming from a journalistic background, I really cannot say that journalism on its own is a biased endeavor.

    The burden lately has been on the reader, though, since so many “news” sources aren’t news sources at all. Such as this blog. I hope people aren’t reading this for unbiased news coverage, but some may. It’s up to the reader to be sure to read intelligently and to question the so-called facts in stories they read, especially online.


  9. Mason, your point is well made, but I think you are ignoring a subtle detail. Those raised in the USA are taught to think in a particular way. The vast majority, for example, lived a great portion of their lives in a propaganda rich environment against Russia. Today, this mentality can be seen readily. Of course, you can find a story here and there that is Pro-Russian, but it will be difficult to find on Fox, CNN, BBC or any of major players.

    Journalists themselves may not be biased in and of themselves, but it is not the journalist that decides what is printed and what needs more work. The only real way to get an unbiased news story is to have a debate-like structure.

    … I may have a biased view on this as well, primarily because I am working hard to change the way news is presented. Not so much on my blog, so don’t worry.


  10. Zhann you touch on something that goes beyond journalism and actually comments on the national identity. All American news stories will be filtered through the American consciousness. While being as unbiased as possible, stories involving America’s international relations will be from our perspective, not the Russians, for example. This isn’t necessarily bias and not necessarily negative.

    The nature of the news machine run by corporations, well, that’s definitely an issue. Money money money.


  11. Personally, I don’t think that ones own ‘national identity’, or bias for short, should be part of a news story. If you are a Jew reporting on the Israel/Palestinian conflict, you will likely write a story that tends to lean towards the Jewish side. I just think that this is wrong, your job is to relay the facts without any internal bias. The AP, AFP and Reuters ‘tend’ to be far less biased in their reports than the big money makers, primarily because their stories have a tendancy to list facts rather than write a story. While this is bland journalism to some, it at least allows readers to make up their own mind.

    I understand I am touching on issues that are hard to control, especially when money is involved. You are definately correct, this is the nature of media … they’re obviously not in the business of loosing money. When writing to an American audience, it is important to write what they want to hear … We are winning in Iraq, our allies support us, and so on. Printing the ‘whole truth’ isn’t always in the people’s best interest. That still doesn’t change the fact that it is wrong.

    To close with Rush, again, he’s an ass. His problem, along with those like him, isn’t that he lies, he simply distorts the truth. It is amazing how you can change the tone of a story by simply ommitting a fact or two, high-lighting another set of facts and using a quote out of context … but, of course, you know that very well ;)


  12. What’s even worse is that CPAC and the Republican Party are now turning to Rush Limbaugh to lead their “conservative backlash”, or whatever. Way to go, Repubs- giving the reins to one of the most hateful, biased idiots in the world. I sense the death of the Republican Party if they do that.



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