Last thoughts on the Fairness Doctrine....

A. Joseph Ross
Mon Nov 17 01:30:06 EST 2008

On 16 Nov 2008 at 16:34, Dan Billings wrote:

> 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.

Yes, that is the way it was.  And not just authors.  As I believe I 
mentioned recently, in the early 1980s, when I was president of the 
Brookline Tenant Union, I was on a talk show on WBUR with Boston-area 
landlord Harold Brown.  A clerk-magistrate in the Brookline District 
Court had recently issued a criminal complaint against Brown for a 
violation of the Brookline rent control bylaw.  When the subject came 
up, Brown said that the magistrate's decision was "coerced."   I 
defended the magistrate, saying (which was true) that he called 
things as he saw them, and you can't coerce him into issuing a 
criminal complaint.

I later learned from the magistrate that WBUR had send him a cassette 
of the program and invited him to respond.  Which he chose not to do. 
 But he sure liked my defense of him.

A. Joseph Ross, J.D.                           617.367.0468
 92 State Street, Suite 700                   Fax 617.507.7856
Boston, MA 02109-2004           

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