Not Sure What To Make Of This

With two wars and a crumbling economy and a budget that is a disaster, for the life of me I can not figure out why the GOP is obsessed with the revival of the fairness doctrine. It truly is bizarre the obsession with this, and in unrelated posts here, every now and then one of the wingnut trolls will pop in and spout off something about it. What is even weirder about it is that ONLY Republicans are talking about it.

I can’t figure it out. Look, guys- you so did such a smashing job fucking EVERYTHING up that Congress and the Obama administration are too occupied with actual emergencies to worry about the stupid damned fairness doctrine.

*** Update ***

More paranoia. Someone just forwarded an email to one of my email lists claiming that NBC pulled the SNL “bailout skit” from the entire internet and asked “Now how much power would you have to have to pull something from the entire internet?”

You can find the “bailout” sketch, in its entirety, hidden away at the… NBC website. The name of the skit displays the depths of NBC’s perfidy, as it is called ‘C-Span Bailout.’ Tricky, hunh? They even reshowed the entire episode of SNL that contained this skit two weeks ago.

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122 replies
  1. 1
    r€nato says:

    they did the same thing with Hillary prior to and during the primary season. If you watched Fox News at all (and I was forced to, during otherwise pleasant trips in Italy), it was Hillary Hillary Hillary 24/7, as if all Democrats loved and adored Hillary with the same fervor which… well, Obama ended up receiving.

    I tried – in vain – to convince what conservatives I know, that Hillary was not the Democratic messiah, but nobody was listening.

  2. 2

    Frankly, I’m surprised they’re only worried about the FD. I was certain there’d be non-stop shrieks about Whitey Re-Education Camps. Maybe they’re saving that for later.

    It truly is bizarre the obsession with this

    But is it any more bizarre than other Repub obsessions?* At least this one doesn’t involve worrying about what consenting adults are doing or pissing their pants because Terrists might blow up the Sunoco in Warsaw, Indiana.

    They’re latching on to an excuse for the fact very few people give a flaming fuck about them any more. Just as Obama caused the economy to bleed out before he was elected, the threat of the FD is causing people to ignore Flush Limpbags et. al.

    Speaking of which, I wonder how many hits PJTV is getting.

    *No.

  3. 3
    Joshua Norton says:

    They only want their side heard. Of course anything that even vaguely refers to "fairness" is going to send them into high C hysterics.

  4. 4
    Incertus says:

    It’s all fodder for the faithful–Limbaugh uses this sort of shit to keep that portion of his faithful listeners who might otherwise realize that the Republicans treat them like mushrooms all wound up and on his side. His whole schtick is demonizing the left–he’s got nothing else. It’s all just variations on that theme.

  5. 5
    DrDave says:

    Resurrection of the Fairness Doctrine was a recurring theme with the nutters I know throughout the campaign. I agree with you; we have so many huge problems to deal with that reviving this thing seems loony. But then, they are a little loony so maybe it should not come as a surprise.

  6. 6
    r€nato says:

    …in case I have not said this recently, the Fairness Doctrine is a screwy idea and continued good riddance to it.

  7. 7
    Comrade Stuck says:

    They only want to protect the Talk Radio mouthpieces Rush et al. The dumb part is, the fairness doctrine, if it were re-instituted wouldn’t affect talk radio much at all, or at least their ability to keep afflicting the country with it. And for a party that’s been in a perpetual whine about liberal media bias, you would think they’d be all for it. Go figure. No, on second thought just go bang your against the wall. It helps, but then you get a concussion.

    ** What the wingnuts should be afraid of is the FCC and dems breaking their current monopoly on Radio station ownership by Clearchannel inc. Monopolies are bad for the free market stuff wingnuts always crow about, and a bad idea, Not to mention against the law that’s never enforced.

  8. 8
    srv says:

    Filled with legions of strawmen, the 101st Keyboardist Commando parents’ basements are.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMPmr2j9ApE

  9. 9
    D-Chance. says:

    A NYT guest editorialist suffers JtPenis Envy.

  10. 10
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @r€nato: And in case I haven’t said it recently, yer a dumbass.

  11. 11
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Comrade Stuck: You’ve nailed it. It’s a pre-emptive attack, intended to ensure that the wingers continue to control as much media as possible. This is, of course, because their control of the media has been largely responsible for their decades in power. While purporting to loathe post-modernism, they have become the most post-modernist political movement in American history: manufacturing "reality" is what they’re all about.

  12. 12
    NonWonderDog says:

    It’s a combination of persecution complex and shame. They know the racist, misogynistic, bircherite fuckery that’s broadcast on conservative radio every day (especially the local radio hosts–some of them are twice as bad as Rush), and they’re ashamed of it. They know it’s wrong, just like their wetsuit fetishes. They desperately want someone to make them stop, but they can’t do it themselves. Still, they know that the evil liberals are oppressing them–keeping them, even now, from expressing their hate as fully as they crave to. They resent them for it, even as they secretly hope for the liberals to do more to save them from themselves.

    Or maybe not.

  13. 13
    r€nato says:

    thanks fuckhead, I appreciate your recommendation :-)

    I was actually alive when FD was in effect. It did not lead to a diversity of voices; it led to a bowdlerization of voices. The only opinions one ever heard, were safe and sanitized pap like, "isn’t the USA great?" "Isn’t motherhood great?" "Aren’t the Boy Scouts great?"

    Reversing years of FCC policy which permit greater and greater concentration of mass media in fewer and fewer hands, will do far more to ensure a diversity of voices than the FD.

  14. 14
    Joshua Norton says:

    As it gets closer to an election they’ll switch back to the ACORN boogey man. Then full tilt gay bashing. With occasional side trips into gun control and Roe v. Wade. These things come in cycles.

  15. 15
    GuyFromOhio says:

    I can’t figure it out.

    Fighting a ghost no one else can see makes it easier to claim victory when you don’t win the battle … that no one else was fighting?

    All I’m reading out of those corners of late is mental self-gratification. The mutterings of "Obama recession" while pushing empty shopping carts down dead-end streets is not far behind. Regrettably, Senator McCain isn’t here to take away the microphone any more.

  16. 16
    Fr33d0m says:

    The calculus goes something like this. If the left buys it the Repugnicons will have an easier time. If not then the Repugnicons will have something to gripe about. Its all about preparing the battlefield.

  17. 17
    Tonal Crow says:

    @GuyFromOhio:

    Fighting a ghost no one else can see makes it easier to claim victory when you don’t win the battle … that no one else was fighting?

    Ja. It reminds me of the religionists’ claims about faith-healing. BTW, ever see "Why Won’t God Heal Amputees?"?

  18. 18

    Rush Limbough makes $40 million a year. Naturally, he’s more worried about the Fairness Doctrine than, say, healthcare or unemployment benefits.

    He talks about it, the Limbots parrot it, and suddenly it’s *the* issue of the Republican Party.

    If you want to know what the wingnuts will rant about, ask yourself what would most concern a blowhard, drug addled multi-millionaire racist.

  19. 19
    Delia says:

    Well, they don’t have much left, do they? National security? Fiscal responsibility? Both abject flops. I mean, they can’t even start their piety routine anymore without Kathleen Parker making fun of them for oogedy-boogedy. What else are they going to do to while away the hours?

  20. 20
    Comrade Jake says:

    What else are they going to do? Particularly when Obama is exceptionally deft at putting in the shiv. These jokers are fucked.

  21. 21
    KC says:

    It resembles the sex with animals linked-to-gays battle Senator Santorum was rallying the public to a few years ago. Brave GOP political class warriors–they fight ghosts like nobody else can.

  22. 22
    James says:

    I’m thinking if the right is this hysterical about reviving the Fairness Doctrine, maybe we should start looking into it. Maybe we are missing something. I mean, if George effin’ Will is getting sweaty about it, maybe it’s time to rethink this. Hmmm.

  23. 23
    SpotWeld says:

    First rule of conservative punditry, convince anyone listening "they must have conservative punditry".

    It drives away a huge proportion of the general audience, but those who stay are "true believers" who will pretty much send you and your sponsors money pretty much on command.

    When you have a finely tuned audience of people who will pretty much believe anything that appears on the screen in front of them you cannot risk any sort of credible dissenting opinion forcing the audience to make up it’s own mind.

    Fairness Doctrine, even a weak and mostly symbolic one (which is the only kind that’ll even pass this decade) just represents too much of a treat to those money taps.

  24. 24
    ksmiami says:

    Again proving the point that 1) Republicans have become the marginal asshole party and 2) Who cares what they have to say?

  25. 25

    I’d just like to mention that George Will isn’t a latecomer to the Fairness Doctrine Paranoia bandwagon – he’s the prime mover. His column today raising the Fairness Doctrine alarm is his third in the past four months.

    George Will, August 17:

    Two Democratic priorities in the next Congress would placate two factions that hold the party’s leash — organized labor and the far left. One is abolition of workers’ right to secret ballots in unionization elections. The other is restoration of the "fairness doctrine" in order to kill talk radio, on which liberals cannot compete. The doctrine would expose broadcasters to endless threats of litigation over government rules about how many views must be presented, on which issues, by whom, for how long and in what manner.

    George Will, September 18:

    Unless McCain is president, the government will reinstate the equally misnamed "fairness doctrine." Until Ronald Reagan eliminated it in 1987, that regulation discouraged freewheeling political programming by the threat of litigation over inherently vague standards of "fairness" in presenting "balanced" political views. In 1980 there were fewer than 100 radio talk shows nationwide. Today there are more than 1,400 stations entirely devoted to talk formats. Liberals, not satisfied with their domination of academia, Hollywood and most of the mainstream media, want to kill talk radio, where liberals have been unable to dent conservatives’ dominance.

    I bring this up because when the wingnuts started yammering about the Fairness Doctrine this fall, everybody (Yglesias, Drum, Benen, etc.) was asking, "Where the $%#! did this come from?"

    The correct answer is, George Will.

  26. 26
    Chris says:

    Simple, when they’re defeated, Christian GOPers retreat into "martyr mode", either from "enemies" local, remote (brown people) or imaginary.

  27. 27
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @r€nato: No offense, but I’ll eschew your personal anecdotal perceptions and the undemocratic impulses of the extreme rightwing of this country in favor of the stalwarts that gave us the fairness doctrine and the stalwarts on the supreme court who upheld it for many many years.

    I mean, we can get caught up in the weeds of what makes for interesting radio listening for renato but at the end of the day, I don’t give a fuck if yer bored out of yer head listening to talk radio any more than you and the rightwing* care if I’m unable to find competing broadcast narratives to near universal rightwing corporatist propaganda.

    So for me, that’s a push. Then we’re back to the idea of a collective limited resource and the best way to ensure a plurality of competing voices in a diverse nation. For me, that’s the fairness doctrine.

    *I understand you’re not a rightwinger but that’s the side yer on here and that oughta be a big fucking clue.

  28. 28
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Delia:

    What else are they going to do to while away the hours?

    Now that the Birth Certificate bruha has spent it’s 9 or 20 lives, I am still waiting for some wingnut to jump the shark and call for a full genetic workup and mapping of Obama’s origins and past whereabouts. I mean, is Obama really the black candidate, or mostly white, or genetically bi-racial as Kristof asks?.

    His presidency even denies the right their time honored way of thinking about everything in terms of black and white. How cruel of Obama.

  29. 29
    LanceThruster says:

    The easiest way to "translate" Republican thought is the "180 rule". Things they accuse others of are the things they are guilty of.

    This can be seen in their "horror" over the "potential" of a one-sided biased media (which they already make extensive use of).

  30. 30
    JimPortlandOR says:

    I’d much rather see the Dems push a competitive media doctrine that consisted in some laws/rules that required strict limits on metro media consolidation, forbidding concentration in media ownership (across media types, such as Internet media sites, internet service providers, internet transport, Cable News, cable sports, cable biz news, cable entertainment) and other anti-oligopoly, anti-monopoly, moves. What has Time Warner or Viacom or GE done for the nation? Nothing worthwhile, and lots that is anti-participatory and self-serving.

    We need a new generation of trust busters and anti-trust laws up to modern needs and a revived Federal Trade Commission committed to regulation and enforcement.

    Then Rush Limpdick and George BadWill would realy have something to whine about.

  31. 31
    jrg says:

    Why re-instate the fairness doctrine? Every time Rush or one of those other loons makes fun of Autistic kids or Michael J Fox, Media matters picks up on it, then the MSM, then the "conservative" movement takes a hit.

    The only people worried about the fairness doctrine are the ones who are too stupid to figure out that they are being hoisted by their own petard.

  32. 32
    j.e.b. says:

    Just a theory: They’re trying to convince some moron Democrat in Congress to introduce a bill reinstating it, at which point the media will have a collective fainting spell, and the Democratic Party will cave on everything for the rest of Obama’s first (and thus probably only) term.

  33. 33
    GuyFromOhio says:

    lowtechcyclist quoted George Will:

    The other is restoration of the "fairness doctrine" in order to kill talk radio, on which liberals cannot compete.

    … which is Fr33dom nailed with ..

    Its all about preparing the battlefield.

    The rabid followers have something to be rabid about, the AM shoutcasters have an out when the dying ideology finally realizes its dead, and George Will has a fall-back column when he needs one. It’s win-win-win. Don’t bother looking for logic.

  34. 34
    TenguPhule says:

    The other is restoration of the "fairness doctrine" in order to kill talk radio, on which liberals cannot compete.

    Mandatory Mp3 players in every new car from Detroit as part of the bailout.

    Buy American! Put Rush out of a job!

  35. 35

    "They’re gonna take your talk radio away! They’re gonna take your guns away! They’re gonna take your money away! They’re gonna take your marriage away! They’re gonna take your fetuses away! They’re gonna take your religion away! They’re gonna take your values away!"

    Meh. Heard it all before. Same buncha shit. Different day.

  36. 36
    Ed Marshall says:

    I remember when the Fairness Doctrine was in vogue circa 2003, you had Donahue’s show ran off MSNBC for no reason, there was a climate that felt genuinely threatening. If you weren’t onboard the war party the media didn’t want to talk to you or felt like it had to go out of it’s way to make sure you were painted as a DFH displayed for purely educational purposes.

    I was never a fan of this idea, for a host of reasons that revolve around my distaste and disbelief in the basic concepts of modern liberal journalism. I don’t believe in Olympic Gods of nonpartisanship acting as referees or any of that.

    It doesn’t matter it’s all pretty moot now.

  37. 37
    Emma Anne says:

    @Comrade Stuck:

    Yeah, there are some policies the wingnuts ought to be afraid of, like limiting media empires. But I can see where that is harder to work an audience up about.

    "The libs are going to force GE to sell MSNBC!" Oooh scary.

  38. 38
    kay says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    I think so, too.

    His transition, so far, has been all but seamless. He’s following through on the campaign promise to take the political opposition seriously and treat those who didn’t vote for or support him with respect….

    I think it’s killing them.

    A Democrat who won’t demean or belittle them, he won’t even ENGAGE on that level, and who is running an organization that works.

    Double whammy. They can’t play victim OR sneer at him in smug superiority. They need a whole new posture.

  39. 39
    cay says:

    Actually, they did pull the SNL skit from the intertubes. They were forced to cut part of the skit with an old Jewish couple lamenting about their profits being cut and finishing with the caption of "Kill them!" You can see the cut in the clip between the couple with the surrogate mother and george soros. I burned the SNL episode before they took it down, so I have the original!

  40. 40
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Emma Anne:

    Yeah, there are some policies the wingnuts ought to be afraid of, like limiting media empires. But I can see where that is harder to work an audience up about.

    I think you are exactly right. the Fairness Doctrine is a proxy fight to obfuscate the fact of ever increasing media consolidation by conservative business interests, a proxy for the simple reason that the public is overwhelming opposed to said big media consolidation.

  41. 41
    demimondian says:

    Look at it this way. If it was useful to bleat about the fairness doctrine to protect Rush a few years ago when it meant sometime, then it’s even more useful to bleat about it now, when it means nothing. I can just about assure you that nobody on the left is planning on fighting for the doctrine now, which mean that the bloviators will surely win.

  42. 42
    The Other Steve says:

    Wouldn’t a fairness doctrine end up reducing the signifigance of the Biased Liberal Media?

  43. 43
    Llelldorin says:

    I think this is all just garden variety projection. Remember, for the Republicans everything is about political victory.

    Remember the immediate aftermath of 9/11. The central question of the time was how the government had missed the signs of 9/11. (The answer, which the administration carefully hid at the time, was that it hadn’t–Bush willfully chose to ignore the signs, because he was still in the "if Clinton did it, then it’s bad" mode that began his administration. (Clinton tried to off bin Laden with a cruise missile in Afghanistan, so obviously he wasn’t really a threat.)

    One thought was that the government might be working at cross-purposes when fighting terrorism. Sen. Cleland proposed organizing a Department of Homeland Security to unite those government agencies relevant to fighting terrorism. There were two possible sensible responses to this: (1) Agree, and create the department legislatively, or (2) Disagree, and oppose forming the department. Democrats, characteristically, did both. Republicans, though, went for option (3)—use the opportunity to bust federal employees’ unions in the reorganized departments, and tar Democrats as weak on terrorism when they objected.

    I think, then, what we’re seeing is what the Republicans would do if they were us under these circumstances. Faced with all these crises, they’d take a swipe at the opposing party instead of doing anything constructive about anything. Thank heavens they won’t be in charge after the 20th of next month.

  44. 44

    @TheHatOnMyCat:
    Shorter Republican WATBs: "They’re coming to take me away, ho ho, hee hee, haa haa!"

  45. 45
    George Tenet Fangirl says:

    Funny, there’s another censored SNL skit that’s of particular relevance here.

  46. 46
    Keith says:

    My theory is that this Fairness Doctrine brouhaha is a defensive action in the dwindling culture war that has arisen because they don’t have the votes to go on the offensive with a flag-burning amendment.

  47. 47
    The Other Steve says:

    I think you are exactly right. the Fairness Doctrine is a proxy fight to obfuscate the fact of ever increasing media consolidation by conservative business interests, a proxy for the simple reason that the public is overwhelming opposed to said big media consolidation.

    Not that complicated. It’s just Rush and a few others.

    Hard to imagine Big Business wants a return to Bush.

  48. 48
    kay says:

    @Chris:

    It’s not going to work. Obama is respectful, and that’s a serious approach. He won’t be dismissed that easily, as some sort of Lefty tyrant. I don’t know what he’s REALLY thinking, but his whole posture contradicts the charge that he’s targeting anyone.

    "Reasonable" is so hard to deal with. They still can’t, in some fundamental way, grab hold of him and define him. They end up sounding like lunatics.

    I think it’s fun to watch.

  49. 49
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @The Other Steve:

    Not that complicated. It’s just Rush and a few others.

    For low brain power wingnuts, that’s true.
    The real battle is going on in cities across the country with 4 or 5 media giants trying to control every venue in specific locations. That would be newspapers, and TV as well as radio. And also the internet, if we don’t get a Net Neutrality law in place.

  50. 50
    Zzyzx says:

    I suggested a few weeks ago that Democrats should use this as a trading chip. Fine. Republicans are terrified about something that we don’t care about? Well offer to not push for the Fairness Doctrine in exchange for a health care bill or something.

  51. 51
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    The Rightwing Noise Machine is also getting a stiffy over the made-up notion that the blogosphere is totally distraught by Obama’s Cabinet nominations. There’ve been some posts on RW blogs and much chuckling by RW chatterers over our supposed dismay that Obama did not nominate William Ayers and Zombie Abby Hoffman to posts in his Cabinet. Maybe I read the wrong blogs but, I haven’t seen much handwringing. I guess that they have to have something to gloat about even if they had to create it from the resources of their fevered brains.

  52. 52
    kay says:

    @Dennis – SGMM:

    They have a real divide, and it’s getting more complicated. I watched Huckabee’s show. He’s now economic populism, anti-elitism and religious fundamentalism. His line is really taking shape. He’s filling it in.

    I don’t know what the other factions recommend, but that’s some agenda.

  53. 53

    The Rightwing Noise Machine is also getting a stiffy over the made-up notion that the blogosphere is totally distraught by Obama’s Cabinet nominations.

    And these are the same dimbulbs who were certain millions of angry pro-Hillary voters would sweep McPalin to victory.

  54. 54
    Indylib says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    Particularly when Obama is exceptionally deft at putting in the shiv

    As someone who will be most likely be swimming in the VA pool someday you can’t believe how happy this makes me. And the FU to Bush by choosing Shinseki is pure win.

  55. 55
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    And these are the same dimbulbs who were certain millions of angry pro-Hillary voters would sweep McPalin to victory.

    Yep, and the very same ones who kept reassuring each other that Sarah Palin’s homespun authenticity would cause Americans to turn away from the obviously (To them anyway) phony Obama.

  56. 56
    GuyFromOhio says:

    Well offer to not push for the Fairness Doctrine in exchange for a health care bill or something.

    ROFL

  57. 57
    Xenos says:

    @Comrade Stuck:

    ** What the wingnuts should be afraid of is the FCC and dems breaking their current monopoly on Radio station ownership by Clearchannel inc. Monopolies are bad for the free market stuff wingnuts always crow about, and a bad idea, Not to mention against the law that’s never enforced.

    Is that not a DOJ Antitrust action? Maybe there are rules that can be set at the FCC that can have the same effect.

  58. 58
    Jay C says:

    @Comrade Stuck:

    I think you are exactly right. the Fairness Doctrine is a proxy fight to obfuscate the fact of ever increasing media consolidation by conservative business interests, a proxy for the simple reason that the public is overwhelming opposed to said big media consolidation.

    And I think you’re half right: whatever whining BS the talk-radio blowhards like to drivel about the "Fairness Doctrine" (which will probably be presented as something like "OMG!!! Komissar Obamski wants to shut us down and make Station KRAP broadcast Obamunist propaganda all day!!!!!") – the thought that the government might actually get off its ass and DO something about the trends of media consolidation in this country is probably sending shivers of fear down spines in boardrooms all over the land.

    And the really fearful bit relates to the "wrong" part, IMO: I don’t think the public really cares much one way or the other: which may explain the right-wing blithering. I don’t think they care much now – but will probably prove either apathetic or supportive of media-deconcentration policies; as long as the content isn’t (a la "Fairness Doctrine") affected. And that may affect the bottom line at Big Media; hence the megrims.

  59. 59
    Delia says:

    "Reasonable" is so hard to deal with. They still can’t, in some fundamental way, grab hold of him and define him. They end up sounding like lunatics.

    This must be why George Will is disintegrating. "Reasonable" has always been his pose. He fills his columns with quotes from people like Montaigne and Edmund Burke so you always feel like he must know tons more than you (or at least have ready access to Bartlett’s). Now Obama gets elected and he’s spewing pure, unadulturated wingnut.

  60. 60
    Joel says:

    Desperate times call for desperate measures. There will be a lot of bottom dragging until something substantial comes up. Even if "substantial" is something like the Lewinsky affair.

  61. 61

    @Dennis – SGMM: And the people who think what Americans want (in the middle of a depression and two wars no less) is Moar Concervative Valyews. Who cares if you’ve lost your job and your house? There are cashiers who don’t say Merry Christmas!1eleventy

    Wow.

    You’ve heard of the learning curve; the Republicans have brought us the learning spiral.

  62. 62
    Ed Drone says:

    And also the internet, if we don’t get a Net Neutrality law in place.

    THAT may be the point. They’ll claim that any Net Neutrality law is "returning the fairness doctrine, and expanding it to the free internet."

    I say, "t’ell with ’em!" — let’s get real Net Neutrality enactred.

    Ed

  63. 63
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Xenos:

    Is that not a DOJ Antitrust action? Maybe there are rules that can be set at the FCC that can have the same effect.

    I’m not a legal eagle, but I’ say your likely right about any AntiTrust actions by the feds coming from the DOJ. The FCC does set the rules for media ownership however, so the DOJ shouldn’t need to get involved. Seems like I remember someone, maybe Feingold, was talking about new laws to tighten up the murky rules, so it’s clear that monopoly laws could more clearly apply. But since dems are now in charge of everything, including having the three fifths majority on the FCC board, they can pretty much do what’s needed. That is if they want to.

  64. 64
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Ed Drone:

    Yea, it’s a weird situation where the wingnuts can claim they’re against government interference of imposing restrictions in the tubosphere, when the reality is the opposite, of letting the telecoms do the interfering. There are still some dems too, that want to keep the sugar daddy telecoms happy. But I doubt the public will stand for ATT and Comcast putting up toll booths for the net.

  65. 65
    zoe kentucky says:

    Why are so many wingnuts talking about the fairness doctrine?

    It’s simple–

    they got nothin’.

    No plans. No power. No ideas. No agenda. No strategy. No leader. No forseeable political future.

    All they have left is faux boogeymen, gnashing of teeth and pretending that they are the biggest victims EVAH. Their misery is only going to increase as their collective persecution complex expands to unprecedented size and girth.

    Couldn’t happen to a more deserving group of people.

  66. 66
    Calouste says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    Well, I am surprised that they haven’t started bloating about the "prosecution of the white male" and how Obama is "bringing affirmative action to the White House". WASP males are going to be a minority in the Obama cabinet.

    Or maybe I shouldn’t be giving them any ideas. Nah, it will just expose them for the bigots they are if they do.

  67. 67
    Comrade Jake says:

    @Calouste:

    Well, I am surprised that they haven’t started bloating about the "prosecution of the white male" and how Obama is "bringing affirmative action to the White House". WASP males are going to be a minority in the Obama cabinet.

    I’m actually surprised his cabinet isn’t more diverse. There’s a lot of white dudes, actually.

    What probably bugs the freepers is that if there’s a current theme of the appointments, it’s competence. The one exception being HRC, but most of the Republicans love her in the cabinet. Go figure.

  68. 68
    Slappy Stevens says:

    Seriously? You can’t figure it out? The GOP is interested in power, not good governance – simple as that. Reacquaint yourself with how that power was maintained these past eight years and their obsession with the fairness doctrine will make sense.

  69. 69
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    The one exception being HRC, but most of the Republicans love her in the cabinet. Go figure.

    Not too hard to figure. Rightwingers are terrified of the unknown. HRC is a known quantity, ergo, they’re latching on to her.

  70. 70
    Pennypacker says:

    The wingnuts need two things desperately these days: they need to explain the obvious failure of their ideology, and they need to build cohesion in the ranks. The fairness doctrine story serves both.

    First it reinforces the ongoing wingnut meme that there’s this nefarious plot by the MSM to suppress the right’s "message". To the average rightard, this conspiracy is the only explanation for their crushing defeat in the last two elections. The media’s out to get them! It’s not the suckiness of their platform — average americans would have happily voted republican if only their opinions hadn’t been poisoned by leftist propaganda! The fairness doctrine is just more proof that the leftists fear the power of Rush Limbaugh’s message so much they need to cripple it!

    Second, it reinforces their need to see themselves as victims. This is so central to wingnut psychology that it must constantly be reinforced by any and every conceived "attack" on their beliefs. See Christmas, War on for details.

  71. 71
    bob the hog says:

    Could we get some anti-laugh track legislation instead?

    That would give Lorne Michaels something to worry about.

  72. 72
    Laura W says:

    @bob the hog: Jesus. I’m probably not grokking your point in full as I’m halfway to bed, but how big does SNL suck ass?
    I still record it (VHS dinosaur here) and watch on Sunday eves. I think I watch about 18 minutes out of 90. The skits SUCK. They have no remaining talented women left, IMO. The ones who remain totally annoy me and I fast forward through their characters. I don’t know how they would’ve survived if it were not an election year. And now what? How much shit can they mock Obama for, really? Amy’s not coming back to do Hillary, so give that up now. Is Maya coming back to do Michelle? I wish.
    I feel the need to use SUCK once more in this post: SNL SUCKS.
    And it hurts me to say that.

  73. 73
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    It’s the same mindless fear of what the libruls MIGHT do that drives the uptick in gun and ammo sales. Actual Democratic plans or positions aren’t nearly as real to them as the things the voices in their heads are telling them.

  74. 74
    Brian J says:

    His transition, so far, has been all but seamless. He’s following through on the campaign promise to take the political opposition seriously and treat those who didn’t vote for or support him with respect….

    I think it’s killing them.

    A Democrat who won’t demean or belittle them, he won’t even ENGAGE on that level, and who is running an organization that works.

    Double whammy. They can’t play victim OR sneer at him in smug superiority. They need a whole new posture.

    This is an excellent point. It’s not merely painful enough that he looks like he could be a successful politician in his own right. Nor is it enough that he’s not Bush, something which people seem to be grateful for. On top of all that, he looks to be the sort of person who can be successful while changing the way the game is played. If he can do that, then he’s throwing most modern Republicans on to unknown terrain.

    A few weeks ago, I think it was Kevin Drum who said that Obama could be the most dangerous politician the Republicans have seen in a long, long time. That could be true for a number of different reasons.

  75. 75
    bob the hog says:

    @Laura W:
    SNL is the worst thing on television.

    I’d rather watch Bob Saget riff home movies.

  76. 76
    Laura W says:

    @bob the hog: Now that I know that is (still?) an option available to me, I’m going to take it under consideration.
    At least I know he is funny and nasty and a Bad Boy IRL.

  77. 77
    DougJ says:

    It truly is bizarre the obsession with this, and in unrelated posts here, every now and then one of the wingnut trolls will pop in and spout off something about it. What is even weirder about it is that ONLY Republicans are talking about it.

    In what way is this even the slightest bit surprising.

    The Republican party is utterly, completely batshit crazy. I thought you knew that.

  78. 78
    Calouste says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    I’m actually surprised his cabinet isn’t more diverse. There’s a lot of white dudes, actually.

    4 out of the 10 cabinet level positions announced so far are white guys, but two of those white guys are Jews (Emanuel and Orszag), so that leaves only Gates and Geithner as the WASPs. Besides three women, one African-American, one Japanese-American and one Hispanic.

  79. 79
    Comrade Stuck says:

    OT

    And they worry about "leftists" purging them. This happened a long time ago and was extreme, but the general mindset is not extinct, imo. In fact it reared it’s ugly head this election. Liberal=leftist=Marxist=Communist

    SEOUL, South Korea – Government investigators digging into the grim hidden history of mass political executions in South Korea have confirmed that dozens of children were among many thousands shot by their own government early in the Korean War .The executioners at times cold-bloodedly killed families of suspected leftists, the commission has found.

    Declassified records show U.S. officers were present at one killing field and that at least one U.S. officer sanctioned another mass political execution if prisoners otherwise would be freed by the North Koreans. Uncounted hundreds were subsequently killed, witnesses reported.

    It was war, but how do you justify American Officers sanctioning shit like this, then keeping it buried for 50+ years.

    I know, why does Stuck hate America?

  80. 80
    Mako says:

    Does this mean there isn’t a "War On Xmas" this time around?

  81. 81

    They need a whole new posture.

    Bend forward from the waist. Grab both ankles.

  82. 82
    gnomedad says:

    Kevin Drum:

    Shorter George Will: If liberals were trying to do a bunch of things they aren’t trying to do, they’d really suck.

  83. 83
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    I think this is just simple math. The wingtards want to sell the idea that the United States is a "conservative" nation, but the electoral spankings delivered to them in 2006 and 2008 flushed that snake oil down the commode, so thoroughly, in fact, that they’ve walked the side-show pitch back to "center-right" nation.

    What the elimination of the FD bought the GOP was phantom math: By saturating the airwaves with right-leaning programming they were able to claim that ratings and the shear number of wingtard talk show hosts was proof of their assertions and justification for pushing way-right-of-center legislation.

    It’s classic wingtard circular logic. Like how Cheney seeded propaganda to Judith Miller, then claimed her reporting substantiated the administration’s rationale for invading Iraq.

  84. 84
    GSD says:

    It never gets tiring figuring out which wingnut them will make it out of the ass end of the rightwing outrage will.

    -GSD

  85. 85
    Tim Fuller says:

    I’m not a troll. I want a return to fairness, or at least the ability to listen to ONE progressive station here in Jackson, MS ON THE PUBLIC AIRWAVES. I don’t care how it gets accomplished. Mississippi Public Radio is as progressive as it gets around here. Religion, Sports or Faux News are the only choices. The fix is obviously in, and I want it tended to no matter how much the thugtards squeal about it. Matter of fact, I like it when they squeal.

    Enjoy.

  86. 86
    Dave_No_Longer_Laughing says:

    The "fairness doctrine" is un-American. If a liberal talk radio show can survive, then let it. And there are plenty of them out there. There are plenty of "liberal" TV shows, rock and roll bands, movies and movie stars; what the hell is all this "fairness" crap anyway? Shoot, anyone can start a blog on anything, anytime, so it’s all smoke being blown up my ass.

    Anyway, I wonder about Saturday Night Live, turns out one of Frank Rich’s sons is a writer for the show , so I wonder how it’s possible to pull a sketch…

  87. 87
    Mwangangi says:

    @kommrade reproductive vigor: More like the learning asymptote… as in they never get there.

  88. 88
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Dave_No_Longer_Laughing: Media concentration is un-American. It guarantees that the oligarchs’ views will dominate discourse, thus stifling the "marketplace of ideas" our founders intended the 1st Amendment to foster.

    Blogs are one thing, the MSM is quite something else, since it (largely un-deservingly) gains public credibility merely by dint of, well, being the MSM.

    Please tell me when your blog regularly becomes cited 0.001% of the time that, for example, ABC is cited. Oh, and please tell me when your blog hires its first full-time reporter (reporter, not columnist).

  89. 89
    Fructose says:

    That bailout sketch is also showing on the NBC/NewsCorp. joint venture Hulu.com.

    Link: Clip of bailout sketch!

    Oh yeah… totally removed from the internet *rolls eye*

  90. 90
    ThymeZone says:

    I want a return to fairness, or at least the ability to listen to ONE progressive station here in Jackson

    Sirius/XM satellite radio. Relatively cheap, greatest thing ever invented. Signal follows you from coast to coast.

    I know they are having trouble with the economic slowdown, especially with car sales off the way they are and therefore their subscription forecasts are not being met. But while they last, a really great alternataive to the sucky world of local radio.

  91. 91
    Delia says:

    @Tim Fuller:

    I sympathize. If you ever drive cross country it can get awfully wearing to try to pick up any listenable radio station. I mean, I would settle for some actual country-rock, but the only thing you can get these days seems to be right-wing talk with Rush or this execrable Monica Crowley creature. Last September when I drove from Western Oregon to Northern Utah I faced that whenever I got bored with my CDs. The only exception was an AM station out of Salt Lake City which broadcasts the BBC 24/7. That was a surprise.

  92. 92

    SNL is the worst thing on television.
    I’d rather watch Bob Saget riff home movies.

    I’m sorry, but after some deliberation, I find that there is no way that SNL is worse than Bob Sagett.

    I mean, if the goal is humor. Now, if Sagett can put a motor into a pickup truck, or make a great spaghetti sauce, okay, I’d be open to a look. But that other thing?

    I’d rather watch The Wire.

    (It’s an inside joke).

    Okay, what I meant was, I’d rather eat a wire.

  93. 93
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @ThymeZone:

    But while they last

    Man I hope they make it through the hard times. And they are the best thing ever invented. I’ll be heartbroke if they go under.

  94. 94
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole @ Top:

    … for the life of me I can not figure out why the GOP is obsessed with the revival of the fairness doctrine

    Not to be too glib, but isn’t it obvious? The modern GOP is antithetical to anything promoting even the idea of fairness.

    Whatever the merits (or demerits) of the fairness doctrine, the GOP would be against it, simply on the basis of its name.

    .

  95. 95
    Blue Shark says:

    John you are so silly…

    …Don’t you know that the "Liberal Media" is the greatest lie of the last 25 years?

    …Fairness in broadcasting would actually mean truth might find a way into the "National Dialogue".

    …Then where would this "center-right" country be?

    …No wonder the Freepers are shitin’

  96. 96
    Fritz says:

    Pelosi and Schumer are talking about it.

    Are opponents supposed to wait until actual enabling legislation is introduced?

  97. 97
    JGabriel says:

    @r€nato:

    …in case I have not said this recently, the Fairness Doctrine is a screwy idea and continued good riddance to it.

    Perhaps I’m remembering this wrong, but the idea behind the fairness doctrine was:

    Since television and radio stations broadcast over a limited spectrum of bandwidth, licensed by the public, it is important to ensure that all (or most) viewpoints are given equal time.

    That doesn’t seem particularly screwy.

    Anyone who thinks that most viewpoints were better and more fairly represented on television and radio prior to 1988 (as I do) probably wouldn’t have too much of a problem with the return of the fairness doctrine. As far as I know, it only ever applied to media where the the resource was limited and the startup and maintenance costs were far beyond the means of the average person, i.e., radio and television.

    The fairness doctrine did NOT apply to print, nor did it apply to the internet – which obviously wasn’t widely used yet. And it should NOT apply to either, since each permits cheap and easy publication access to most people. In practice, it tended to ensure that the viewpoints of people who aren’t rich got a little more airtime.

    And now some caveats:

    One could argue that the fairness doctrine is no longer required due to the much larger number of available cable channels. Personally, I think this ignores the problem that media consolidation ensures most of those new channels are owned by the same limited number of companies.

    One could also argue that a corrupt administration would abuse the fairness doctrine in some Orwellian fashion to make sure only its own viewpoint or propaganda was heard, or that it received preference. That concern strikes me as having somewhat more merit, in light of the Bush administration’s attempted, and in some cases successful, politicization of PBS.

    I don’t know if the fairness doctrine should be brought back or not. But I do think we had better news coverage and a more informed audience/populace when it was active, and that abandoning the fairness doctrine led to Fox-style propagandizing and increasing ignorance in current affairs – as was intended.

    .

  98. 98
    JGabriel says:

    @demimondian:

    I can just about assure you that nobody on the left is planning on fighting for the doctrine now, which mean that the bloviators will surely win.

    I agree. While I think it might be a good idea to bring it back, there are more important issues on the table right now to fight over.

    On the other hand, it could be a useful distraction. We introduce a bill to re-instate the Fairness Doctrine. We let the R’s fight against it and fight against it and win, and we pass Universal Health Care and a stimulus program that’ll work while they’re still high-fiving each other over the fairness doctrine.

    I could live with that.

    .

  99. 99
    TR says:

    Are opponents supposed to wait until actual enabling legislation is introduced?

    Godwin, for the win.

  100. 100
    kay says:

    The Fairness Doctrine, along with card check, is a test for Obama. They’re testing him to see if he’s "willing to work with conservatives".

    That’s right. The losers of the race now administer tests, and the winner must pass them.

    Never mind that the single quality they most admire in a leader is the inability to work with the opposition, if that leader is a conservative.

    It makes my head spin. I’m comforted by the fact that Obama seems capable of ignoring anyone who doesn’t make sense.

  101. 101

    Considering the current putridness of the republican brand, the Fairness Doctrine would put the nail in the coffin of ‘conservatism’ as it is defined today. Without media manipulation, they got nothin’ since that’s what brought them the power to totally destroy America and continue to believe it’s all the Dems fault.

  102. 102

    Rachel Maddow making it to the big time has prolly got them shittin’ their Pampers Plus, too. It’s more significant than most progressives realize, it seems.

  103. 103
    Napoleon says:

    @Fritz:

    Pelosi and Schumer are talking about it.

    Actually, moron, they are not.

  104. 104
    Fritz says:

    @101 — First, people who use handles like "Napoleon" should probably be circumspect about flinging around words like "moron".

    http://thehill.com/leading-the.....11-04.html

    You can use Google to find other news reports (not conservative blog entries) referencing the same interviews.

  105. 105
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    You’d hardly guess that the people who are whining about the Fairness Doctrine are the same ones who insisted that broadcasters be fined for showing part Janet Jackson’s breast, who cheered when Howard Stern’s show led to huge fines for talkin’ dirty. On the other hand, the extra-legal mayhem on "24" makes it a must-watch for these folks.
    Boobs and dirty talk = bad
    Paranoia, hate and violence = good.
    I’d say that they have some serious personal issues.

  106. 106

    The GOP polled this and found out that the fairness doctrine worked better than table manners as the horse to ride.

  107. 107
    demimondian says:

    @Fritz: Hey, wow! Fritz plays the -selective- conservative quotation game like a pro.

    Welcome, Fritz — we were in need of new and improved trolls.

  108. 108
    Doug H. (Comrade Fausto no more) says:

    First, people who use handles like "Napoleon" should probably be circumspect about flinging around words like "moron".

    Fritz is aware of all internet traditions.

  109. 109
    JD Rhoades says:

    Fritz has the dishonest wingnut talent of being technically correct while being completely wrong at the same time. Pelosi and Schumer were talking about "fairness" in broadcasting, in a generally approving way, and in response to a direct question. Durbin’s the one who said "it’s time to revive" the FD. None of them, however, said anything about doing anything specific to reinstate it, which would, in any case, be up to the FCC, would it not? And as far as I know, Obama hasn’t been pushing it.

  110. 110
    Tim Fuller says:

    Satellite (paid) is not what I consider part of the radio spectrum under discussion here, but I am aware that alternative exists. However, I am not willing to PAY EXTRA simply because the asshats think they have a right to monopolize PUBLIC airwaves.

    I don’t care how much they scream. Rachael is fine, but I can’t watch MSNBC riding around town, and last I checked MSNBC wasn’t even on the PUBLIC airwaves, but exists entirely under the auspice of yet another PAY TO SEE (cable-satellite) service.

    Fairness. I’m still for it no matter how much the idea causes heartburn and torment within the thug circles and no matter how much so called moderate conservatives howl.

    Enjoy.

  111. 111
    gwangung says:

    @101—First, people who use handles like "Napoleon" should probably be circumspect about flinging around words like "moron".

    How about "Liar" then?

  112. 112

    […] All you have to do is read the conservative blogs to realize just how crazy and radical this guy Obama is. These socialist appointments, of course, have worked to distract us from the real challenge ahead — the return of the fairness doctrine. […]

  113. 113
    Fritz says:

    @108 — Either the FCC could reinstate it or Congress could codify it. Such an attempt was made in 1987.

    Sorry about being technically correct.

  114. 114
    joe from Lowell says:

    LanceThruster

    The easiest way to "translate" Republican thought is the "180 rule". Things they accuse others of are the things they are guilty of.

    Exactly. They assume that the Democrats are, of course, going to use their control of the government to wage a crusade against their political opponents, and focus in particular upon their media presence, because it’s what they would do if they had the chance.

  115. 115
    gwangung says:

    Sorry about being technically correct.

    Nope. Wrong on all counts–not sorry and not correct.

    And still a liar.

  116. 116
    demimondian says:

    @Fritz: Dear Fritz:

    Thank you for sending your resume to us to be considered for the position of "Chief Jackalope Russler". Unfortunately, that position is currently not available, as we have several competent jackalope russlers in our employ.

    However, please be assured that we’ll keep your resume on file, and will not hesitate to call you if we have any positions for which you appear qualified.

  117. 117
    liberal says:

    @Tim Fuller:

    Satellite (paid) is not what I consider part of the radio spectrum under discussion here, but I am aware that alternative exists.

    If it uses the broadcast electromagnetic spectrum, it belongs to the public.

  118. 118
    Fritz says:

    @113 — Absolutely. That is exactly what Republicans did when they were in power — work to diminish Democratic power bases.

    I don’t understand why you think Democrats will not do the same thing. And talk radio is a significant Republican power base.

  119. 119
    Moe Gamble says:

    It’s projection, John.

  120. 120
    briber says:

    The answer is a single word… projection. Consider this scenario:
    – Democrats and "Movement Liberals" have dominated for 3 decades
    -This dominant position was enabled in large part by left-wing demagoging on radio and television.
    – After a series of very turbulent years marked by failures in both foreign and domestic policy of unprecedented magnitude, a newly energized and resurgent Republican party comes to control both the legislative and executive branches of the federal government.

    What would they do?

    Why of course they would re-instate the fairness doctrine so as to limit the free speech of those with whom they disagree. Its how they roll.

    -briber

  121. 121
    liberal says:

    @Fritz:

    I don’t understand why you think Democrats will not do the same thing. And talk radio is a significant Republican power base.

    The Dems are obviously not nearly as thuggish as the Republicans, for one.

  122. 122

    […] to admit I am conflicted on the issue. First, I just don’t like it. Second, I swore over and over again that no one on the Democratic side was interested in reviving it (and in truth, Obama won’t […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] to admit I am conflicted on the issue. First, I just don’t like it. Second, I swore over and over again that no one on the Democratic side was interested in reviving it (and in truth, Obama won’t […]

  2. […] All you have to do is read the conservative blogs to realize just how crazy and radical this guy Obama is. These socialist appointments, of course, have worked to distract us from the real challenge ahead — the return of the fairness doctrine. […]

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