Thursday, February 14, 2008

Rush Limbaugh: Be Careful What You Wish For

A lot of the conservative talk show personalities, i.e. Rush Limbaugh, Sean, Hannity, etc., are throwing tantrums about the fact that McCain might get the nod as the Republican Presidential Candidate. Some, apparently off their meds, have made comments that Hillary Clinton is more conservative than John McCain. Some are willing to take a pass on this election and let Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton win rather than vote for McCain. Their twisted thinking is that a Democrat will "F***" things up so bad that a real conservative will "cakewalk" into the Presidency in 2012. Right! That's a good plan! Maybe, they can "re-awake" Thompson (again) to be "that" real candidate in 2012. Of course, the trick, then, will be to keep him "awake".

If I were in conservative talk radio, I would really worry about a Democrat as President at the same time that the Democrats have control of both Houses of Congress. Those microphone jockeys should seriously worry about the potential resurrection of the "Fairness Doctrine" that could put them out of business. And, believe me, there is no bigger thorn in the side of the far left Democrats and their politics then the conservative talk radio programs in this country. While the "liberals" clearly have National Public Radio (NPR), PBS, and the National Press in their back pockets, they really need to shut down conservative talk radio to insure that their political message isn't contradicted. The "Fairness Doctrine" would insure that they have full control of the media in this country.

If you are not aware of the "Fairness Doctrine", it is a policy that was in effect by the Federal Communications Commission from 1949 to 1987. Wikipedia has a fairly good overview of the "Fairness Doctrine" at this link: (Click to see article). It was originally implemented to suppress any kind of "Communist Party" dialogue on the radio at a time when this country was paranoid over Communism. During the Kennedy Administration, it was designed to suppress any "right wing" talk on television and radio that would be disparaging about the Democrats and the Democratic Party. Many considered this another un-democratic attempt by this country's Democrats to defeat the Constitutional right to freedom of speech.

Radio and television stations could lose their licenses under the "Fairness Doctrine" if there were "personal attacks" against any politicians or "political commentary" by a station or its representatives that promoted any political party. Can you imagine a Rush Limbaugh trying to comply with those two rules. Further, a station "could" allow "personal attacks" and "political commentary" without losing its license if, in doing so, it gave "free" and "equal" time to rebuttal of what was said. So think about this, many of the radio stations that air conservative talk radio programming run that programming about 8 hours a day. If the "Fairness Doctrine" is re-instituted, those stations would have to run a full 8 hours of opposing liberal talk radio for free, or lose licenses.

Last year, Democratic Senators like John Durbin, John Kerry, Diane Feinstein, Barbara Boxer and even Hillary Clinton had openly talked about reviving the "Fairness Doctrine". However, they did not pursue it because they knew they would not get past a Bush veto and because they would not have the votes in the Senate to override it. Believe me, if the Democrats control both Houses and the Presidency, there would be no stopping that rule from being re-implemented.

To those talk show hosts that think that the next four years can be "tossed away" for lack of a real conservative, I can only say: "Be careful what you wish for!"

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