Monday, May 21, 2007

Fairness is in the ear of the listener

There’s plenty of hot airtime on several political talk shows over this “Fairness Doctrine” thing. Apparently, some of the more conservative hosts are just a tad miffed that a move seems to be afoot in the Congress to demand of major media outlets that equal time be given “all points of view” which, naturally, means those on the left side of the political spectrum aren’t happy with the popularity of shows which tilt to the political right.
If there’s a real problem with fairness, we must believe — in all fairness — that those who take to the airwaves with political philosophies which lean left just don’t seem to be able to attract a sizeable audience. Air America, that great progressive radio experiment, has dipped its wings before dropping like bomb, and to the great consternation of progressives, Limbaugh, Hannity, O’Reilly and a number of others seem to be merrily soaring on the updraft of the political right.
One is hopefully forgiven for believing that the major difference is that most Americans — politically speaking — seem to be more conservative and moderate than liberal. We know that’s a bitter pill for George Soros to swallow, but the primary backer of moveon.org and left enough candidates needs to understand that fact. Even we who claim the Democrat donkey as a part of our logo life often find ourselves at odds with the party leadership which wants us all to believe that “moderate” is the most acceptable political tag in this country.
Current Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, one individual whose voting record speaks for itself, continues to dispute the “liberal” tag when applied to her. During an interview with Tim Russert, Pelosi was quick to discount the dreaded L-word, claiming she is a “moderate” in the classical sense. We admire Ms. Pelosi (forget the cards and letters, please), but the classical sense of which the good lady speaks is classically off base.
Returning to the fairness question...our little radio talk show has apparently stepped on the nerve of some listeners who don’t believe fairness is extended to all. The irony of that claim is evident by a couple which we would love to mention (names withheld to protect the guilty).
One, from a Republican friend, points out that we “...seem to take great pleasure in bashing our President and any other member of his administration. Don’t you find it a bit strange that Democrats can find nothing good about Republicans and nothing bad about their own. Even when discussing the Louisiana legislature, it’s apparent that you Democrats believe Republicans are the problem even though they are not the majority which has given us poor roads, high taxes, an educational system that’s in disarray, a healthcare system that’s unhealthy and insurance problems no other state ever dreamed of.”
Then, we have this from a fellow Democrat. “I wonder if you really are a Democrat when I hear all the things you say about you own party. If I hear correctly, the national party has no conscience and the state party has neither a plan nor the guts to try and find one.”
Apparently we’re doing something right if both sides believe we’re picking on them. Now that’s what we consider a Fairness Doctrine.
Seriously, though, we’re watching with caution what’s coming from the national scene where talk radio is concerned. It would be a really nasty thing, indeed, if talk radio found its voice censored to the point that independent thought and natural disagreement found itself the baby which happened to be thrown out with the wash.
Liberals and conservatives need to be heard. It’s no one’s fault but their own if marketability is more attainable for one than another. Maybe some talkers should listen as much as they move their lips. Those who want a genuinely honest discourse on the major issues facing our states and nation are the ones who should be making the noise if “fairness” is disappearing from the airwaves.
We find it more than a little ironic that it’s those who listen least to the people are the ones who are attempting to take steps to mandate what the people hear.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Moderate One said...

I can't believe "conservatives" would complain because there is a show with "moderates" doing the commenting. Get a life. It's about time we get some views other than those that are given by the right-wing nuts who occupy so much air time. Give 'em hell, Pat.

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Chad said...

I call myself "conservative." George W. Bush is not, so it could logically be argued that anyone who bashes you because you bash Bush is, in fact, a "liberal."

Ain't nuthin' conservative about nation building in the middle east or giving $30 billion dollars to Africa.

The Republican establishment is willing to carry his water, but not conservatives. There is a difference.

4:39 PM  
Blogger Kevan Smith said...

Here are some of the "conservative" idas most Americans support:

* The role of government - Americans support an active government that tackles problems, provides services, and aids those in need.
* The economy - Americans support increasing the minimum wage and strong unions, and believe the wealthy and corporations don't pay their fair share of taxes.
* Social issues - Americans support legal abortion and embryonic stem cell research; opinions on equal rights for women and gay Americans have grown dramatically more progressive in recent years.
* Security - Americans support a progressive approach to national security, emphasizing strong alliances and diplomacy over the indiscriminate use of military force. On domestic security issues, progressive approaches to crime and gun control enjoy wide support.
* The environment - By enormous margins, Americans favor strong environmental protections, a core progressive belief.
* Energy - Americans support energy conservation and the development of alternative fuels.
* Health care - Americans clearly favor universal coverage and are more than comfortable with government solutions to the health care problem.

Clearly, you should do more research before you claim Americans are mostly conservative politically.

8:29 AM  

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