by Chris Haire
Question No. 1: Do we need the Fairness Doctrine?
No. There are countless numbers of radio stations where people can get their news fixes. It just so happens that talk radio skews Republican — which shouldn't come as a surprise. The GOP is dominated by an older demo, one raised on radio, while the current Dem Party is being taken over by young whipper snappers who have grown accustomed to satellite radio, podcasts, bit torrents, and YouTube; for them, it's a constant pick and choose, not a turn it to one station and stay kind of thing.
Question No. 2: Does a new bill reinstating the Fairness Doctrine have a chance in hell being passed?
Again, no. No such bill has even been introduced yet. And except for a few lone Democratic loonies, nobody in the Donkey party wants it.
Question No. 3: Then why the hell does Jim DeMint keep harping on about the damn thing?
This is easy. DeMint is a trying to shore up his conservative Christian base and to define the direction of the GOP. The problem is, that base didn't turn out in 2008 for John McCain, and conventional wisdom suggests that the power that fundies asserted over the GOP during the Bush administration is over.
In order to get the world out about the inherent unfairness of the Fairness Doctrine and the ongoing war against Christianity, and to anger up the blood of conservative Christians, DeMint has been making the rounds; he's chatted with the wingnuts at World Net Daily, Fox News, and NewsMax.
Now, he's taking his hyperventilate hyperbole to Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcast Network.
Durbin's amendment says the FCC shall encourage and promote diversity in communications media ownership and ensure broadcast licenses are used in the public interest. Senate Democratic staff say the language simply reaffirms longstanding policies. However, Sen. DeMint calls it a back door attempt to smother conservative speech.
"For all we know, diversity of ownership for a Christian station would mean atheists, Muslims, people of all kinds of beliefs," the senator explained. "It could be different sexual preferences. We just don't know."
One thing we do know, DeMint's amendment banning the Fairness Doctrine will not be passed. It's attached to a bill granting a U.S. representative to the District of Columbia, which is, uh, unconstitutional.