Well, That Sucks

Rats:

The Senate voted Thursday in favor of an amendment to the District of Columbia voting-rights bill that would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from reinstating the so-called Fairness Doctrine, which critics say would decimate conservative talk radio.

The Senate passed the measure 87-11.

Nothing drove these guys crazier than the Fairness Doctrine, and I thought it would be a useful bogeyman to distract them every now and then. I was kind of looking forward to every couple of weeks for the next four years having some lefty mention the Fairness Doctrine in an interview, have the right freak out, and then a week or so later have a White House staffer make a vague dismissal/denial.

But then again, I am malicious and entertained easily.






87 replies
  1. 1
    calipygian says:

    No, this is a good thing. Now Rush can keep on looking for Obama’s birth certificate and say more stupid shit that drives more nails into the Republican coffin.

  2. 2
    roseyv says:

    "which critics say would decimate conservative talk radio"

    Um. Okay, I’ll bite — so what? I mean, seriously. Who cares? How many people can "conservative talk radio" possibly employ? And even if there really were some sweeping hit to the economy to be suffered by its demise, how exactly would this happen? Do we seriously think that if Rush Limbaugh were legally required to have someone on each of his shows, pointing out each and every point on which he was either lying or otherwise wrong, that his listeners would suddenly abandon him?

    If anything, it would triple his audience. People would tune in just for the laughs.

    So, I’m serious. I can understand why Rupert Murdoch would have a problem with the reinstatement, but why would anyone else?

  3. 3
    Zifnab says:

    ZOMG, don’t you see what they’ve done? Now every Republican that votes in opposition to the DC Bill goes on record as supporting the Fairness Doctrine! Proving that there are Democrats in the Senate with a fantastic sense of humor.

  4. 4
    Gregory says:

    the so-called Fairness Doctrine, which critics say would decimate conservative talk radio.

    It never ceases to fascinate me how conservatives openly admit that conservative talk radio can’t withstand challenge by an alternative viewpoint — that is, being called on their bullshit.

    My question is, since when should a public resource be ceded to one political faction regardless of viewpoint?

  5. 5
    gbear says:

    But then again, I am malicious and entertained easily.

    Yep, you can take the man out of the republicans, but you can’t take the republican out of the man.

    And I’ll repeat is question: How can the conservatives complain about how screwed they’re going to be by the fairness doctorine while simultaneously complaining that the media is controlled by liberals? Does not compute.

  6. 6
    calipygian says:

    Joe the Plumber is coming to a Barnes and Noble in my town on Saturday. How do I bait him into saying something really, really stupid?

  7. 7
    JenJen says:

    Oh wow, Chris Matthews just smacked the shit out of Darrel Issa on "Hardball". It was a thing of beauty. Matthews doesn’t like it very much when Republican Congressman use the term "The Democrat Party."

    Awesome. Well played, Tweety!

  8. 8
    JL says:

    OT, Chris Matthews just told Issa to stop playing games and to stop using the words "democrat party."

  9. 9
    brainpan says:

    Heh. Tweety just told Issa to drop the "Democrat Party" shit and call it the "Democratic Party" as is proper, and, i.e. We are in a fiscal crisis. Let’s stop with this bullshit.

    Tweety delivers a golden nugget now and then.

    I believe Issa has earned a pair of clown shoes tonight.

  10. 10
    Ned R. says:

    @calipygian: Just wait for him to open his mouth?

  11. 11
    demkat620 says:

    Whatever will they cry about now?

  12. 12
    Xenos says:

    It should not be ceded to one view point. Especially when corporations are willing to lose money in order to maintain a unified front of wingnut mouthpieces.

    In any case, once Rush has finished bankrupting clear channel, this will be less of an issue.

  13. 13
    Max says:

    Joe the Plumber is coming to a Barnes and Noble in my town on Saturday. How do I bait him into saying something really, really stupid?

    That’s one of the nice things about the man. You don’t have to bait him into saying something really, really stupid. It’s more or less automatic.

  14. 14
    calipygian says:

    I’m looking for "really stupid", not just stupid.

  15. 15
    Ned R. says:

    @brainpan:

    Heh. Tweety just told Issa to drop the "Democrat Party" shit and call it the "Democratic Party" as is proper, and, i.e. We are in a fiscal crisis. Let’s stop with this.

    I see my joke the other day about GOP congressional unable to smarten up was merely a prediction.

  16. 16
    MattF says:

    No, wait. The House will remove the Fairness Doctrine clause in committee. Pelosi has a sense of humor, I’ve heard.

  17. 17
    JenJen says:

    Interesting that John McCain is the dude who tried to kill the DC Voting Rights legislation yesterday.

    Whatta guy!

  18. 18
    Ned R. says:

    @calipygian: Ask him to talk about flagburning. Act very insistent about it…deeply concerned, even.

  19. 19
    nylund says:

    Now that they have volcano monitoring, they don’t need the fairness doctrine bogeyman anymore.

  20. 20
    Michael says:

    Joe the Plumber is coming to a Barnes and Noble in my town on Saturday. How do I bait him into saying something really, really stupid?

    Tell him that volcano monitoring is important.

  21. 21
    Michael says:

    In any case, once Rush has finished bankrupting clear channel, this will be less of an issue.

    Couldn’t happen to a bigger bunch of bastards.

  22. 22
    Comrade Stuck says:

    The bill for granting DOC voting rights is kind of like unconstitutional, if it passes. But the FD amendment could, I suppose’ be parsed out by any SC ruling. Either way, I don’t really care. We’ve had our fun baiting wingnuts on the FD thing. Time to move on to media ownership rules.

  23. 23
    bootlegger says:

    @calipygian: Tell him you don’t pay taxes and ask him why he wants to cut he taxes you don’t pay.

  24. 24
    gbear says:

    @gbear:

    And I’ll repeat is question:

    is = this. I hate timed editing.

  25. 25
    bootlegger says:

    @nylund: Don’t bet on it, Vannity had Blackwell and Juan Williams on an hour ago to discuss the "new" version that would "back door" the fairness doctrine under the guise of "localism" or "diversity". Personally, I don’t think most people to the Left of the Hannity Drones and the Limbaugh Dittoheads give a flying fuck about their domination of the AM radio waves. If anything its priceless PR for why people shouldn’t listen to anything conservatives say, kind of a like a heroin junky is held up to kids as an example of why drug addiction is bad.

  26. 26
    calipygian says:

    Nothing to see in this comment space. Move along.

  27. 27
    Martin says:

    Ask Joe what his preferred form of rebellion is: Military coup, armed rebellion, war for secession. Tell him it’s for a Sean Hannity poll.

  28. 28
    Michael says:

    We’ve had our fun baiting wingnuts on the FD thing. Time to move on to media ownership rules.

    You shoulda heard Hewitt last night. He was roaring like a gored pig over the portions of the CPSIA as it applied to items sold for the use of children under 12 (it address the issues of tainted products coming from China – like cribs, beds, teething rings). He took a call from a pen seller about how the new rules were stalling his orders from big retailers.

    Hewitt whined with him for a while, then he had this great exchange:

    Hugh: Where do you live.

    Caller: California

    Hugh: You should call Boxer and Feinstein. Are you Republican or Democrat?

    Caller (dejected): Republican

    Hugh: Well, tell her about your employees – how many people do you have working for you?

    Caller: Uh, well, I outsource these items to a foreign manufacturer and get them from them….

    Hugh: Oh. The government doesn’t know what its doing does it?

    Caller: No, Hugh. They’re killing my business!

  29. 29
    AnneLaurie says:

    Joe the Plumber is coming to a Barnes and Noble in my town on Saturday. How do I bait him into saying something really, really stupid?

    Ask him if he’s signed the petition demanding public release of Jeff Gannon’s birth certificate?

  30. 30
    JGabriel says:

    The Senate voted Thursday in favor of an amendment to the District of Columbia voting-rights bill that would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from reinstating the so-called Fairness Doctrine, which critics say would decimate conservative talk radio.

    So, they get talk radio and a floating House vote that’ll land in one of their states about half the time, starting with Utah.

    We get a House DC permavote.

    Sigh. I can live with it.

    .

  31. 31
    Zifnab says:

    @Michael: That’s right! Me and my business of… uh… um… shit. Army of One!

  32. 32
    NonyNony says:

    I was kind of looking forward to every couple of weeks for the next four years having some lefty mention the Fairness Doctrine in an interview, have the right freak out, and then a week or so later have a White House staffer make a vague dismissal/denial.

    And this changes things how?

    Seriously – facts haven’t gotten in the way of this Fairness Doctrine bogeyman before now, I don’t see how a little thing like a law against the Fairness Doctrine is going to change this one whit.

    @Zifnab:

    ZOMG, don’t you see what they’ve done? Now every Republican that votes in opposition to the DC Bill goes on record as supporting the Fairness Doctrine! Proving that there are Democrats in the Senate with a fantastic sense of humor.

    I wish the Democrats were this smart. The guys who introduced the amendment were DeMint and Thune. Did they not understand that the Fairness Doctrine stuff was political theater? That it’s just a red meat non-issue that the Talk Radio Nutters were using to build up the paranoia in their listenership and keep them fired up about voting for Republicans? The thought that two guys who supposedly know how politics work thought the Fairness Doctrine crap was anything but theater makes me either worried or highly amused. perhaps a bit of both…

  33. 33
    JGabriel says:

    calipygian:

    Joe the Plumber is coming to a Barnes and Noble in my town on Saturday. How do I bait him into saying something really, really stupid?

    This just calls out for the classic response:

    Wait for his lips to move!

    .

  34. 34
    demkat620 says:

    @NonyNony: Conservatism=Crackpotism

  35. 35
    rerun says:

    What are they going to talk about at 3:45 today?

    3:45
    Targets of the Fairness Doctrine
    Regency Ballroom
    Joe Scarborough
    Roger Hedgecock
    Tucker Carlson
    Introductions: Seton Motley, Media Research Center

    http://www.cpac.org/agenda_20708.html

  36. 36
    NonyNony says:

    @demkat620:

    But the guys in the Senate are supposed to be the smart ones. They’re supposed to be working the crowd and pulling the strings. They’re supposed to know the difference between a real issue that needs to get taken care of legislatively (say, tax cuts ) and fake issues that are used just to scare the crap out of the rubes in the base so that they turn up to the polls and vote (abortion, flag burning, Fairness Doctrine twaddle, etc). It’s why the GOP’s big domestic accomplishment from 2000-2006 was tax cuts, while they made no motion on abortion, flag burning, cutting back gay rights, or anything else that they claimed was important to them when they were out vote-begging. If you "take care of" the fake issues then at best you lose your red meat to fire up the base and at worst you generate a backlash from the majority of the country that actually doesn’t want to see those fake issues "taken care of".

    If the guys in the fracking Senate are starting to think the fake issues are the important ones, the GOP is EVEN MORE BONED than even I have been giving it credit for. And I’m not sure what to make of that just yet.

  37. 37
    Comrade Stuck says:

    For anyone wanting to track bills through congress and current actions and changes, here is a good service for doing such. It comes in rss feeds, or an HTML addendum to a blog, which is what I use.

  38. 38
    gbear says:

    Joe the Plumber is coming to a Barnes and Noble in my town on Saturday. How do I bait him into saying something really, really stupid?

    I think his co-author is with him on the tour. Ignore ‘Joe’ and ask the other guy how co-authorship roles were split/determined/assigned in the writing of the book.

  39. 39
    demkat620 says:

    @NonyNony: Worry. If they can’t tell reality from their propaganda anymore, worry.

  40. 40
    Cris says:

    @calipygian: Ask him if he knows of any country in the Middle East that has nuclear weapons.

  41. 41
    JGabriel says:

    calipygian:

    I’m looking for "really stupid", not just stupid.

    Ask Joe how he feels about lesbian on large woman Chinese restaurant boxing.

    Does he enjoy it? Does he find it spectacular? Should the government get out of the business of regulating restaurant assaults?

    .

  42. 42
    bootlegger says:

    @gbear: FTW. And then see if the co-author’s lips move when JTP "speaks".

  43. 43
    Scott says:

    Yeah, these guys are going to keep freaking out about the Fairness Doctrine, guaranteed. It doesn’t matter how many laws the Democrats pass saying they won’t pursue it — the Republicans will absolutely stone-guarantee continue to freak out about it forever. Freaking out about stuff is the only thing they’re good at.

  44. 44
    demkat620 says:

    @rerun: How in the hell am I going to live having missed this?

    PRESIDENTIAL BANQUET
    Regency Ballroom
    Master of Ceremonies: Rep. Michelle Bachmann (MN)

    Presentation of John M. Ashbrook Award
    Sponsored by the John M. Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs
    Presenter: M. Stanton Evans
    Recipient: Tom Winter, Human Events

  45. 45
    bootlegger says:

    @Cris:

    Ask him if he knows of any country in the Middle East that has nuclear nucular weapons.

    Fixt.

  46. 46
    Brachiator says:

    @Gregory:

    It never ceases to fascinate me how conservatives openly admit that conservative talk radio can’t withstand challenge by an alternative viewpoint—that is, being called on their viewpoint. My question is, since when should a public resource be ceded to one political faction regardless of viewpoint?

    The issue is really moot. The proliferation of blogs, podcasts, cable TV and other opinion venues renders the "Fairness Doctrine" a quaint relic of a bygone age. And the notion that there are always two opinions, conservative and liberal, that must be given equal footing, is equally old-fashioned. There are far more varied opinions on any subject than can be simplistically accomodated on any talkshow or TV program.

    And of course, most TV news programs have ossified into political kabuki in which everyone, from moderators to guests, play to spin, and avoid anything resembling thinking, confrontation or ever mere conversation. Meanwhile, talk radio is a vast wasteland.

    As an aside, the sad reality is that there are some people (mainly right wingers currently) who don’t want to think and who desperately flock to wingnut sites that spoonfeed them their preferred ideological bile.

    Meanwhile, newspapers are dropping like flies.

    DENVER – The Rocky Mountain News, Colorado’s oldest newspaper and a Denver fixture since 1859, will publish its last edition Friday.

    Owner E.W. Scripps Co. said Thursday the newspaper lost $16 million last year and the company was unable to find a buyer.

    Fairness doctrines don’t mean much if there are no forums for news and information.

  47. 47
    Montysano (All Hail Marx & Lennon) says:

    @calipygian:

    Joe the Plumber is coming to a Barnes and Noble in my town on Saturday. How do I bait him into saying something really, really stupid?

    Ask who is the bottom: he or his co-author?

  48. 48
    Martin says:

    The issue is really moot.

    Not entirely. In addition to balance, the Fairness Doctrine also required a certain amount of local content. That’s damn hard to find even in large markets and I certainly would like to see the public airwaves used to deliver a broader range of content for the public.

    My compromise would be this: If you embrace the rules of the Fairness Doctrine, your FCC license is free. If not, you pay for the spectrum proportionate to the population you reach. If they want to blast Rush and nothing else, they can – they just have to pay the public for the spectrum use.

  49. 49
    Warren Terra says:

    John, as someone noted upthread, the Fairness Doctrine amendment still has to survive Reconciliation, and while the Dems don’t want the Fairness Doctrine they have no actual incentive to put nails in its coffin; so long as its theoretically possible for it to come back, the Doctrine acts like a brightly colored ball of yarn that anyone can toss to distract the wingers while they worry about the real world.
    And speaking of the Real World, the fact that 87 Senators voted to bury the prospect of the Fairness Doctrine returning only matters there; it doesn’t matter in the fever swamps of the Right, which are wholly unconnected to it. In fact, they’ve now got documented proof that fully a quarter of the Democratic caucus in the Senate don’t want to seize every chance to add amendments killing the Doctrine to unrelated bills! What greater proof do they need that all Democrats go to sleep clutching pillows embroidered with the words "Fairness Doctrine"?

  50. 50
    gbear says:

    @bootlegger:

    I’m just thinking that ‘Joe’ will get mad if you ask questions that insinuate that his co-author is the guy who actually wrote the book (does anyone really think ‘Joe’ wrote it? ). Just fucking ignore ‘Joe’. Don’t give him the pleasure of thinking you’re there to hear his story. His 15 minutes are over.

    As far as book-tour questions go, the only interesting story regarding the production of this book is how it felt to ghost-write for an egotistical moron. If the co-author is there at B&N, he’s going to have the more interesting stories.

  51. 51
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @calipygian:

    Ha I’ll see your Joe the Plumber and raise you a Presnit!

    http://www.jdnews.com/news/bas.....obama.html

  52. 52
    Martin says:

    Oh, ask Joe if he thinks individual Americans should be able to support themselves, through their own hard work, without the need for outside intervention.

    When he predictably says yes, ask him why he needed a co-author, and how will he ever learn how to write if the nanny publishers don’t make him stand on his own two feet.

  53. 53
    woody says:

    Is it remotely possible that the measure passed by the Senate today was a cleverly disguised, tactical move designed to deprive the Conservotards an annoying talking point?

    i know it beggars imagination to think the Dims capable of such chicaneries, but what if?

    nut here’s the thing: If there is one member of the caucus capable of this kind of subtlety, what excuse have they for their ineffecuality these last 8 years?

  54. 54
    woody says:


    @calipygian:

    Joe the Plumber is coming to a Barnes and Noble in my town on Saturday. How do I bait him into saying something really, really stupid?

    Ask him a plumbing question…

  55. 55
    Original Lee says:

    Shorter Utah’s Republican governor talking sense the other day: I can make nice with Democrats until they vote my state an extra seat in Congress.

    There must be some doublespeak in that Fairness Doctrine amendment to make it palatable to so many Senators. Or maybe it’s a free market thing: reinstating the Fairness Doctrine could impact their fees for appearing on the cable news shows! (Ouch. Trying to channel wingnut just bruised my cognition centers.)

  56. 56
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Completely OT however, I love the commenters at Wonkette they are so damn funny sometimes, this one from a story about people having to cut back on things (hairdressers, lawn service etc.,) had me laughing so hard I was literally crying, (no doubt the girlies on this board will get it)

    "It is NOT easy to wax yourself at home. You could accidently wax yourself onto the lid of the toilet where you remain stuck until you are able to reach the baby scissors with your toes and then you are forced to snip yourself off the seat. This happened to a “friend” of mine."

  57. 57
    gbear says:

    Groovy. John Bolton jokes about the nuking of Chicago at CPAC today. Everyone laughs.

    "The fact is on foreign policy I don’t think President Obama thinks it’s a priority," said Bolton. "He said during the campaign he thought Iran was a tiny threat. Tiny, tiny depending on how many nuclear weapons they are ultimately able to deliver on target. Its, uh, its tiny compared to the Soviet Union, but is the loss of one American city" – here Bolton shrugged his shoulders impishly – "pick one at random – Chicago – is that a tiny threat?" Bolton wasn’t the only one who thought this was funny. The room erupted in laughter and applause.

    What hotel are these guys staying at again?

  58. 58
    calipygian says:

    Ask him a plumbing question…

    I think we have a winner…

  59. 59
  60. 60

    So, how long before John Derbyshire has to apologize to Rush Limbaugh for writing this article?

    Money Quote:

    Where once conservatism had been about individualism, talk radio now rallies the mob. “Revolt against the masses?” asked Jeffrey Hart. “Limbaugh is the masses.”

    In place of the permanent things, we get Happy Meal conservatism: cheap, childish, familiar. Gone are the internal tensions, the thought-provoking paradoxes, the ideological uneasiness that marked the early Right. But however much this dumbing down has damaged the conservative brand, it appeals to millions of Americans. McDonald’s profits rose 80 percent last year.

  61. 61
    Joshua Norton says:

    There must be some doublespeak in that Fairness Doctrine amendment to make it palatable to so many Senators.

    Does anyone today even know what the freaking "Fairness Doctrine" entails? The only time I ever saw it in action was if a local TV station had an editorial someone disagreed with, they had to allow spokesman from the opposing side give a rebuttal. There was never any interference with regular TV or radio programming.

    I remember a classic "All in the Family" episode where Archie was chosen to give an opposing view to a gun control editorial on his local TV station. What he pretty much said was "arm everybody and problem solved". A joke back then, a real wingnut position today.

    Concepts like "fairness" and "civil liberties" and "voter’s rights" just send these wingers into full-froth mode every time.

  62. 62
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @gbear:

    That’s nothing, also today some dickhead said "in the 1980s you could say that the President was born in the United States" also to huge applause and cheering. These people are really delusional.

  63. 63
    JenJen says:

    @calipygian: Looks like the Birth Certificate thing is a major topic at CPAC:

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlan.....rse-o.html

    I really wish I could just laugh at this stuff, but honestly. WTF is wrong with these people?

  64. 64
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I’m all about fat pasty Republicans further marginalizing themselves on talk radio unfettered but there is a larger issue at stake here. Don’t call yourself a progressive until you figure out what that is and what needs to be protected.

  65. 65
    Cain says:

    @Michael:

    Tell him that volcano monitoring is important.

    Ask him if he’s a naturally bald or does he shave and does his head match the head below his waist.

    cain

  66. 66
    Riggsveda says:

    Lefties and liberals have been having a fine chucklefest over those goofy wingnuts and their obsessive fear of the Return of the Fairness Doctrine. Well, keep laughing. Instead of a balanced discourse these last few decades, we’ve given birth to fucking Radio Rwanda II. How funny will it be when Rush or Glenn finally convince their brain-damaged acolytes to pick up the nearest power tools and aim them at their liberal neighbors’ soft tissues?

  67. 67
    JGabriel says:

    Derbyshire, as quoted by Wile E. Quixote:

    Gone are the internal tensions, the thought-provoking paradoxes, the ideological uneasiness that marked the early Right.

    Gone is the "cognitive" part of "cognitive dissonance".

    .

  68. 68
    Martin says:

    The only time I ever saw it in action was if a local TV station had an editorial someone disagreed with, they had to allow spokesman from the opposing side give a rebuttal. There was never any interference with regular TV or radio programming.

    They used to announce it fairly prominently on NYC TV 30 years ago – they’d do op-eds on the news and have two opinions. The local content was pretty prominent as well.

    There wasn’t any apparent interference however there also wasn’t a Rush doing 3hrs of opinion that needed balancing out, which I suspect is their point. Not only would they need a Randi Rhodes to balance Rush out, but they’d almost certainly need to pay her the same (and therefore pay Rush less). That’s likely the main objection…

  69. 69
    Brachiator says:

    @Martin:

    The issue is really moot.

    Not entirely. In addition to balance, the Fairness Doctrine also required a certain amount of local content. That’s damn hard to find even in large markets and I certainly would like to see the public airwaves used to deliver a broader range of content for the public.

    The issue of "balance" and even of "local content" is totally artificial. Most people I see bleating about a restoration of the "Fairness Doctrine" want to see some rigidly phony spectacle in which a "liberal" is "matched" with a conservative. But, for example, since I consider Rush Limbaugh little more than the wet fart of a demagouge, I don’t really see what is gained by having him have someone representing the "opposite" point of view on his show.

    Also, I just don’t see that some local content quota is meaningful. Some days, local issues may need more of a hearing, other days, who cares. But you can’t decide in advance by some formula that local content needs to be part of the day’s agenda.

    People need to stop making a fetish over the erroneous notion that there needs to be some form of "proportional representation" when it comes to the expression of ideas.

    The only real antidote to speech is more speech, not measured "fair and balanced" phony debates.

  70. 70
    Martin says:

    The only real antidote to speech is more speech, not measured "fair and balanced" phony debates.

    Except that the spectrum is a limited resource and owned by the public. Here in CA it’s goddamn hard to get ANY radio news on the state budget – no small matter. Our spectrum is full yet the speech isn’t there. Are you proposing expanding the radio spectrum? Because that’s the only thing left to do to get ‘more speech’.

  71. 71
    Trollhattan says:

    @ calipygian

    Joe the Plumber is coming to a Barnes and Noble in my town on Saturday. How do I bait him into saying something really, really stupid?

    Ask him a question in English.

    (Plumbing answer is better, but anyhoo….)

  72. 72

    @calipygian

    Joe the Plumber is coming to a Barnes and Noble in my town on Saturday. How do I bait him into saying something really, really stupid?

    Get some pictures to show many people show up to bask in the golden showers of wisdumb that he will no doubt dispense.

  73. 73
    Ella in NM says:

    @JenJen:

    Oh wow, Chris Matthews just smacked the shit out of Darrel Issa on "Hardball". It was a thing of beauty.

    Yeah, but true to the Tweetster’s character, 15 minutes later he was extolling the great intelligence and charm of one Bill Kristol.

    Maybe now you’ll learn not to get your hopes up with these guys.

  74. 74
    Brachiator says:

    @Martin:

    Except that the spectrum is a limited resource and owned by the public. Here in CA it’s goddamn hard to get ANY radio news on the state budget – no small matter. Our spectrum is full yet the speech isn’t there. Are you proposing expanding the radio spectrum? Because that’s the only thing left to do to get ‘more speech’.

    Didn’t satellite radio, cable TV, the freakin’ Intertubes effectively expand the spectrum? The gummint gave coupons to help people get digital TV converters, but most people (including a lot of Balloon Juicers) just yawned and wondered why everyone wasn’t all on cable. So, obviously nobody really gives a rat’s ass about some supposedly precious limited spectrum.

    By the way, I’m in California and I had no problem getting stuff about the budget, especially on KPCC, 89.3, between Larry Mantle’s Air Talk and Patt Morrison’s afernoon program (both of which are also available as iTunes podcasts). I even count John and Ken on KFI and discussions on the progressive station KTLK.

    The plain fact is that there is no shortage of venues for opinion. The only thing that Fairness doctrine adherents are pining for is mandatory reprsentation on conservative talk radio programs.

  75. 75
    Rick Taylor says:

    I was kind of looking forward to every couple of weeks for the next four years having some lefty mention the Fairness Doctrine in an interview, have the right freak out, and then a week or so later have a White House staffer make a vague dismissal/denial.

    Do you really think this will make any difference? It’s not as though they had a rational basis to believe it would return before; why should this make any difference?

  76. 76
    Ash Can says:

    @calipygian:

    Joe the Plumber is coming to a Barnes and Noble in my town on Saturday. How do I bait him into saying something really, really stupid?

    "Mr. Plumber, Rush Limbaugh said a year ago that if John McCain were to win the presidential nomination, it would ‘destroy’ the GOP. Is the GOP in fact now destroyed in your estimation?"

  77. 77
    bootlegger says:

    @gbear: I’d stomp JTP’s ass, no doubt.

  78. 78
    bootlegger says:

    @Brachiator: This is my opinion as well. Let ’em have the radio, and AM at that. It’s probably the least effective medium anyway.

  79. 79
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Great Bootlegger, all you need now is the "I’m With Stupid" T-shirt.

  80. 80
    JenJen says:

    @Ella in NM: Oh, no worries, I’m not putting any faith in Tweety any time soon. Every now and again he gets a zinger in there though… I’m reminded of the time he smacked down that Appeasing Appeaser guy on his show. :-)

  81. 81
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Hell, while we’re giving public shit away, why don’t we give Bootlegger’s street to a private toll corporation? I don’t use it and it’s a lousy neighborhood anyway.

  82. 82
    Laura W says:

    @JenJen: OT!

    HO-freakin’-SEA?

  83. 83
    JL says:

    @calipygian: Joe attracted 11 people in the DC Borders. You will probably have the opportunity to ask all of the fine questions that were suggested.

    He wore a gray long-sleeve undershirt and baggy jeans, and looked as if he just walked in from a construction site. Joe says he plans to work in construction (hello, stimulus package!) once his gig doing commentary for a conservative Web site runs out at the end of March. Plumbing? Not happening. "I show up on a plumbing job and the first thing someone’s going to say is ‘Joe the Plumber didn’t do the job right,’ " he said. "The next thing you know, it’s on the national news. It would be naive to go back to it."
    Wurzelbacher says he’s still no fan of Obama, but confessed that he never liked McCain all that much, either. Nor has he cared for the politicians he’s met on Capitol Hill. "Liars and thieves," he called them.

    This is from the Washington Post

  84. 84
    ezsmirkzz says:

    yeah, but we still love you despite your faults John. (There he goes with that we crap again.)

  85. 85
    Cat Lady says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:
    I’m happy that we can all laugh here about the fucktard idiot right, and let’s let them have the Fairness Doctrine as a windmill to tilt at, but I’m afraid of the violent, angry wingnut vibe out there- not for myself, but for Obama. There should be WAY more media balance. Most people don’t hang out on progressive blogs, and there’s a lot of free floating anxiety, fear and anger now, and we shouldn’t assume it won’t be channeled by the wingnuts. The Fairness Doctrine is a tool lying there ready to be used for good ( picture the ape in Kubrick’s 2001).

  86. 86
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @JL:

    So instead of plumbing fail, he is going to build skyscrapers and stuff. When the building falls down his shiny noggin will be on CNN all over again. Chyron — "Joe brings down building and blames it on stimulus socialists"

  87. 87
    Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist says:

    @calipygian: Joe the Plumber is coming to a Barnes and Noble in my town on Saturday. How do I bait him into saying something really, really stupid?

    I bet just wearing the right T-shirt would do the job, like an Obama ’08, or an Impeach Bush, or something. Or maybe one that has some wingnuttery on it like a vintage Ollie for Prez.

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