Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was one of the sponsors of the Fairness in Broadcasting Act of 1987, which would have turned the controversial so-called Fairness Doctrine into law.
Gingrich, however, currently states on his official campaign website he opposes the doctrine.
A section of Newt.org entitled “Answering the attacks,” states: “Newt does not support the Fairness Doctrine, and he has been vocally critical of the left’s efforts to reinstate the doctrine over the past decade, including supporting Mike Pence’s bill that prohibited government censorship in radio in 2007.”
In 1987, Gingrich was singing a different tune.
At the time, a national debate was raging about whether to abolish the Doctrine.
In June 1987, Gingrich was one of 71 co-sponsors of the Fairness in Broadcasting Act of 1987, which would have codified the Fairness Doctrine in federal law, as Pajamas Media noted last April, before Gingrich joined the 2012 presidential race.
President Reagan vetoed the congressional bill.
In August 1987, the FCC officially eliminated the Fairness Doctrine.
Newt.org does note that in 1987 “many of America’s most influential conservative activists, including the American Conservative Union and Phyllis Schlafly, supported the Fairness Doctrine.”
Gingrich’s site, though, does not mention he sponsored the Act to legalize the doctrine.
The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the Federal Communications Commission that required the holders of broadcast licenses to cover issues of public importance in a manner that was, in the Commission’s view, honest, equitable and balanced.
Critics have attacked the doctrine as an attempt to regulate news and talk radio and an attack on First Amendment rights.
WND reported last week how the former House speaker also espoused contrary positions on “climate change,” claiming to oppose climate taxation while partnering with a group that promotes such legislation.
Last week, Gingrich called his partnering with Nancy Pelosi on an environmental mission a “mistake.” However, last year he not only defended the move but said he would have done it again.
In a Fox News interview with Bill O’Reilly, Gingrich was asked about a 2008 commercial starring himself and Pelosi in which the duo urged “action” to address “climate change.”
“We do agree, our country must take action to address climate change,” says Gingrich in the commercial, sitting on a couch next to Pelosi.
“We need cleaner forms of energy, and we need them fast,” Pelosi chimes in.
“If enough of us demand action from our leaders, we can spark the innovation we need,” continues Gingrich.
Speaking to O’Reilly, Gingrich called the 31-second spot the “one of the dumbest things I’ve done in recent years.”
“It was an effort in my part to say that conservatives are concerned about the environment,” he told O’Reilly. “But the commercial is just a mistake.”
However, in a video interview with Human Events magazine in May 2010, Gingrich not only defended his commercial with Pelosi, but he said he would do it again even after the 2009 e-mail hacking scandal raised serious questions about the science behind so-called global warming.
“If they offer the chance to, then sure,” Gingrich replied, when asked if he would do the commercial again despite the climate science controversy.
“I would do a commercial with Al Gore,” he further stated.
The Pelosi commercial was for a Gore initiative. It promoted the Gore-founded website and project, WeCanSolveIt.org.
In the 2008 ad, Pelosi states alongside Gingrich, “Go to WeCanSolveIt.org. Together we can do this.”
In both his Human Events and O’Reilly interviews, Gingrich stated he was against “climate change” legislation.
“I actively opposed cap and trade. I testified against it the same day Al Gore testified for it,” he told O’Reilly.
Speaking to Human Events, Gingrich stated, “I deeply oppose giant tax increases. I oppose centralized bureaucracy.”
However, Gore’s We Can Solve It project that Gingrich promoted hawked carbon taxation and other U.S. and global climate legislation.
The group’s mission statement read, “The goal is to build a movement that creates the political will to solve the climate crisis – in part through repowering America with 100 percent of its electricity from clean energy sources within 10 years.”
The list of actions from We Can Solve It’s website in 2008 included: “Signing the petition for a global treaty on climate change. Urging the press to ask about global warming. Asking lenders to consider climate impact when funding new coal plants.”
We Can Solve It changed it name to The Climate Reality Project, a group still directed by Gore. The group states on its website it seeks to oppose “manmade climate change.”
Just like We Can Solve It, Gore’s Reality Project is partnered with EarthDay.org, which promotes climate-change legislation. It boasts how it helped create the environment for the passage of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other environmental laws.
Just last month, the Reality Project hailed the Australian Senate’s passage of a carbon tax for the country’s largest polluters.
Maggie L. Fox, president and CEO of the Climate Reality Project, issued the following statement when the tax was approved: “With this legislation, Australia will reduce carbon pollution, produce more energy from renewable sources and stand up to the reality of climate change. Today, Australia joined leading countries around the world that recognize climate change is real, humans are causing it and we must act now.”
Gingrich’s own writings and activism, meanwhile, evidence environmental activism.
At a 2007 debate with Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., Gingrich dubbed himself a “green conservative,” saying Republicans shouldn’t argue that global warming is a myth but should offer market-based solutions to the problem.
Gingrich co-authored the 2008 book “A Contract with the Earth,” in which he expressed his support for reducing carbon in the atmosphere, developing new technologies and creating incentives and rewards for “green” companies.
The theme of the book was that conservative views are compatible with environmentalism.
In a 2008 piece in Issues in Science and Technology Magazine, Gingrich called for “a new, bipartisan environmental movement” meant to “create pathways for every American, indeed every nation, to cooperate and collaborate on achievable solutions to restore, revitalize and renew the Earth.”