Monday, June 15, 2009

We Must Have the Fairness Doctrine Back

by DeDurkheim via Rising Hedgemon

When we read the insane comments on right-wing blogs or hear constant attacks on moderates, liberals, progressives or anything that Savage, Hannity, and Limbaugh don't like, we feel queasy. When this is followed by the pummeling the truth gets from Fox "News" "analysts", there is a sinking eery feeling than many of us get about the state of this country.

As many progressive have been saying since the last presidential election (if not further back), there is a need for reform: we must have the Fairness Doctrine back! There are repercussions if a network shows "too much" flesh during the Super Bowl half time show but no consequences for calling the President an "illegal American" because there is no birth certificate without any real facts to substantiate the claim.

People with nothing more than an effort to advance "their side", "their argument," "their selves" having sought out and in many cases found a public platform to express their ideas must be held accountable for the damage that they create. There is a public and societal need for these "commentators" (so many of them are not reporters) to be more responsible about the language they use and the propaganda they spread. Regularly Fairness and Accuracy in the Media documents the distortions and outright lies that these ego maniacs tell (this is not to be confused with the right-wing counter effort Accuracy in Media, which continues to push the right-wing lies).

Let us be honest. This all began with the reckless McCain/Palin campaign. Their attacks on the media, liberals, progressives, and anyone who disagreed with them have produced a climate into which we are in a fear-hatred spiral. Labeling so many "socialist" just because it was convenient has made a mess of what once was meaningful public discourse.

As Danny Schechter has observed:
"The mistake that many make is to confuse the trappings of symbolic power with the exercise of real power. Truth be told, real power is exercised mostly by unchecked private interests, lobbyists and our media. They have the power to obstruct policies, stir up controversies and orchestrate pressure to kill measures they don't like. They are a well-funded minority and work skillfully in the shadows and through highly paid PR practitioners."

These marketers for the right-wing also work quite effectively through Fox "News". It is the instrument of the most brazen and dangerous of them. Fox exists for that reason -- and not, as some seem to think, to keep the residents of trailer parks and the captive audiences in doctor's offices entertained. It is propaganda at all costs.

Rush Limbaugh recently commented that neither God or Obama have birth certificates. Last week he said that our President was destroying our country worse than Al Qaeda. We have Republican Senators and Congressmen calling the President "UnAmerican," publicly asking "whose side is he on?", calling him a Muslim. Sound familiar? This was the same attacks the McCain/Palin camp made.

The television and radio talk show quasi-leaders of the GOP make their daily statements that feed hatred, distrust, and give comfort to domestic terrorists! As insane as Fox News is, they are fed by supposed respected political leaders. These people are inciting hatred, they are inciting violence and murders, they are un-American. They are the ones who are attacking the American way of life. Fox, Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage, Gingrich, Heritage Foundation, Rand Institute, all of these people have to stop for the sake of what remains of civil discourse in this country.

And bringing back the Fairness Doctrine is the only way to do it.

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