Monday, March 2, 2009

Son of Fairness Doctrine

I sent this message to congressman Rick Larsen. The Broadcaster Freedom Amendment is supposed to put the ineptly named Fairness Doctrine to rest once and for all, except for a little rider put there by Illinois senator Dick Durbin. Read on...

Dear Mr. Larsen,

I think it is good that the Senate chose to protect against infringement of the first amendment by passing the Broadcaster Freedom Act, but there is a nasty fly in the ointment in the form of a rider placed there by Dick Durbin of Illinois.

S.160's Purpose is "To encourage and promote diversity in communication media ownership, and to ensure that the public airwaves are used in the public interest." My yardstick for any government action is this: "Does this action enhance, or diminish individual liberty?" The obvious answer in this case is "diminish", because it adds more government control over an already heavily regulated industry.

The stated goal of the Durbin rider is to increase diversity and minority ownership of broadcast facilities. That may or may not be a desirable goal, and it may or may not be in the public interest, but as legal citizens of the USA, minorities have the same legal right to own broadcast stations as anyone else. The Constitution does not enumerate powers for the government to impose quotas and affirmative action for We the People, or to decide what is in the public interest. We decide, and if we're interested, we'll get it. I want the US Government to stop assuming roles and responsibilities that belong to We the People!


Karl & Peggy Uppiano

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