Last thoughts on the Fairness Doctrine....

Donna Halper
Mon Nov 17 00:06:04 EST 2008

At 11:51 PM 11/16/2008, Don A wrote:

>>>For those that have an opinion, how do you think this should have been
>>Very scary example, IMO.  Any time someone on a broadcast station 
>>attacks an author of a controversial book, the station would have 
>>to let the author respond.

Umm, not exactly.  These and other durable myths are among the 
reasons the right wing fears the Fairness Doctrine, but they 
shouldn't.  The only time a station would have to let the author 
respond is if he or she were slandered.  Opinion and commentary and 
honest difference of opinion went on all the time under the FD.  But 
the FCC had a "personally attack rule" and it was the result of a 
1966-67 incident where an ulta-extreme right wing preacher called 
Fred Cook, a media critic for the Nation magazine, a commie.  He 
called him other names too--  in addition to a Communist, he said 
Cook was a traitor and anti-Christian and un-American (sound 
familiar?  Sama rhetoric could be heard today on many rightie talk 
shows); this got Fred's knickers in a twist and he demanded time to 
defend himself.  Preacher said no, I won't.  FCC said yes, you have 
to.  And thus was born the Personal Attack rule.  

More information about the Boston-Radio-Interest mailing list