|Attorney General Jerry Brown|
“A little state control wouldn’t hurt anybody,” declared Jerry Brown, California’s Democrat attorney general, in on air comments yesterday about the possible reinstatement of the so-called “Fairness Doctrine.”
“You have a point of view and I have a point of view and they are different. I think the clash can sometimes illuminate the two better than just a one sided presentation,” stated Brown, during an exclusive interview with Michael Savage broadcast on the top talker’s national radio show.
Savage countered by positing any revival of the “Fairness Doctrine” is aimed at muting conservative talk radio. Brown replying by stating Savage’s suggestion had the “tinge of paranoia.”
It “would not apply to any other element of the media. It’s aimed strictly at us in the minority in the media,” Savage shot back. “And they want us controlled and constrained and removed from the airwaves. They only want to hear progressive voices that laud Obama and laud the liberal way.”
Retorted Brown: “I don’t think that’s a fair description of what’s going on and it has a tinge of paranoia connected to it.”
Savage, however, claimed Brown was using “Soviet tactics” by attempting to paint critics of the Fairness Doctrine as paranoid.
“That’s what they used to do in the Soviet Union with dissidents Jerry. They would accuse dissidents of being paranoid,” Savage said. “A country that is supposedly free must have dissent.”
The radio talker went on to say the possible revival of the so-called Fairness Doctrine was clearly targeting his show as well as other top radio talkers.
“They (liberal democrats) want to shut us up. There is something we are doing that must be right because they are all up in arms over us,” he said.
He claimed a new Fairness Doctrine wouldn’t attempt to put conservative voices on National Public Radio.
“We made it in radio because there is an audience for us … Let the marketplace determine what people listen to and not the government,” Savage said.
“You are starting to sound as though you want a little state control over the media,” Savage added.
Brown then exclaimed, “Well, a little state control wouldn’t hurt anybody.”
Hear California Attorney General Jerry Brown endorse state control of the media:
Democrats line up behind ‘Fairness Doctrine’
The Fairness Doctrine, abolished in 1987, was a policy of the Federal Communications Commission that required the holders of broadcast licenses to present controversial issues of public importance in a manner the agency considered “balanced.” Some Democrat lawmakers’ recent comments in support of reintroducing the Fairness Doctrine have generated concern among the conservative establishment the government might push to re-establish the doctrine in some manner.
Earlier this month, WND reported Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., expressed support about introducing legislation to bring “accountability” to the airwaves.
Asked by radio host and WND columnist Bill Press whether it was time to bring back the so-called “Fairness Doctrine”, Stabenow replied: “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.”
Stabenow’s husband, Tom Athans, was executive vice president of the left-leaning talk radio network Air America. He left the network in 2006, when it filed for bankruptcy, and co-founded the TalkUSA Radio Network.
Asked by Press if she could be counted on to push for hearings in the Senate this year “to bring these (radio station) owners in and hold them accountable,” Stabenow replied: “I have already had some discussions with colleagues and, you know, I feel like that’s gonna happen. Yep.”
Meanwhile, as WND has previously reported, other Democratic legislators have tried to claim talk about a reintroduction of the so-called “Fairness Doctrine” is merely conspiracy-mongering by right-wing talk radio and its partisan cheerleaders.
But some Democrats in the Senate and House – and even a few Republicans – have made no secret of their support for such legislation.
“For many, many years, we operated under a Fairness Doctrine in this country,” Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., told Albuquerque radio station KKOB last year. “I think the country was well-served. I think the public discussion was at a higher level and more intelligent in those days than it has become since.”
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., told WYNC’s Bryan Lehrer Show in 2007, “I think the Fairness Doctrine ought to be there and I also think equal time doctrine ought to come back.”
In June of last year, John Gizzi reported in Human Events a conversation with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in which he asked her if she personally supported revival of the “Fairness Doctrine.”
“Yes,” Pelosi answered.
And as recently as December, Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif. – who servves on the Telecommunications and Internet Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee – told the Palo Alto Daily Post she still believes in the “Fairness Doctrine” and will work on bringing it back.
“It should and will affect everyone,” Eshoo pledged.
Meanwhile, President Obama’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, told Broadcasting & Cable during the presidential election campaign, “Sen. Obama does not support reimposing the Fairness Doctrine on broadcasters. He considers this debate to be a distraction from the conversation we should be having about opening up the airwaves and modern communications to as many diverse viewpoints as possible.”