Editor's Note: Wednesday's Talk Radio segment on the Fairness Doctrine split American Morning's audience opinion regarding its necessity. Progressives and liberals wanted more diversity, while conservatives were against the doctrine for radio. Others remarked that deregulation was at fault for a lack of “localism” in radio.
What do you think of the Fairness Doctrine being applied to talk radio?
WASHINGTON (CNN) - As President Obama navigates his way through a series of issues as controversial as they are vital, he's getting a yellow flag from the American people.
For the first time since Obama took office, fewer than half of Americans agree with the president on issues important to them, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Tuesday. A majority, 51 percent, disagree - a jump of 10 percentage points since April.
Despite the majority disagreement on issues, the poll also found the president's approval rating remains in the healthy mid-50s. And two-thirds of Americans say he has the personal qualities a president should have.
"It's awfully early yet, but this president might be shaping up to be a little like Ronald Reagan, where people actually didn't often agree with Ronald Reagan's ideas, but they loved the guy," said Paul Begala, a Democratic strategist and CNN contributor.
A popular president who is less popular on the issues - Obama could use his personal popularity to rally support for his less popular agenda.
With elections less than two weeks away, President Obama is busy helping raise millions of dollars for Democrats. He was in New York last night headlining a $30,000 a couple fundraiser and is scheduled to attend four more next week.
With a lot of Wall Street executives in the audience last night, the president made a pitch for regulating financial firms, saying “If there are members of the financial industry in the audience today, I would ask that you join us in passing what are necessary reforms. Don't fight them. Join us on it. This is important for our country.”
Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, once known as the sheriff of Wall Street, has strong views on the Obama administration's financial reforms. He says the administration has “not gone anywhere close to far enough to reform the banking sector.”
Spitzer joined Kiran Chetry on CNN’s “American Morning” Wednesday. Below is an edited transcript of that interview.
Kiran Chetry: It seems a little bit strange that at the same time you're commanding $15,000 a plate from people who can afford it – a lot of big business – you're asking them to reign themselves in. So is there a contradiction there?
Eliot Spitzer: There is, but it's worse than that because the moment to impose the reform was when we gave the industry trillions of dollars. Trillions with a “T.” We gave them all the money and yet have not imposed upon the industry anything close to the necessary reforms that were appropriate. Paul Volcker, you can read it in today's papers, is saying this administration is not going anywhere far enough.
I've been saying – many others, even Alan Greenspan – that we have to restructure banking because they're making millions and millions of dollars, billions of dollars, using our tax dollars to play with it in the marketplace and then taking those profits out in bonuses instead of lending it to the businesses that need the cash and capital to expand. The industry is opposing the fundamental reforms that are necessary. Tim Geithner had all the negotiating power in the world. He didn't use it. Tim Geithner continues to be the voice of Wall Street, not Main Street. This administration has not gone anywhere close to far enough to reform the banking sector.
In the late 1940’s, the Federal Communications Commission decided that it was more likely to grant and renew licenses to broadcasters who offered up more than one point of view to their listeners. That decision came to be known as the Fairness Doctrine.
The doctrine was intended to serve the public interest by having broadcasters offer the public more than one side to controversial issues.
But the Fairness Doctrine didn’t last. With its constitutionality in question, the doctrine was repealed in 1987. Not long after that, conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh took to the AM radio dial and became a hit.
It wasn’t long before other conservative talkers followed his lead. They became so successful they pushed most liberal talkers off the dial. Today, according to Talkers Magazine, 91 percent of talk radio on the AM commercial dial is conservative.
Some say that’s reason enough for the return of the Fairness Doctrine. But, most experts say that’s not likely to happen. There is a new push, however, called “localism.”
Simply put, it means radio stations would be forced to carry more local programming that appeals to local audiences. Right now, big broadcasting companies like Clear Channel Communications, CBS, and others own hundreds of radio stations across the country. They often program syndicated, national shows featuring conservative talkers like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck.
Some say that kind of national programming is not serving some audiences across the country. Randi Rhodes, a syndicated progressive talker, is based in Washington D.C., where 93 percent of voters voted for Barack Obama. Yet, only a small percentage of AM talk radio is liberal or progressive.
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) - The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating how an international flight into Atlanta's major airport landed on a taxiway instead of a runway early Monday.
FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said Delta Flight 60, from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, was cleared to land about 6:05 a.m. Monday on Runway 27R but landed instead on Taxiway M, which runs parallel to the runway. The flight had 194 passengers and crew aboard, according to CNN affiliate WXIA.
No other aircraft were on the taxiway, and there was no damage to either the taxiway or the plane, a Boeing 767, Bergen said.
A runway or taxiway collision, particularly with one plane preparing to take off and carrying a full fuel load, would be catastrophic.
Bergen said she isn't sure whether or when other aircraft have ever landed on the taxiway at Hartsfield.
Both Runway 27R and Taxiway M are 11,890 feet long, Bergen said, but the runway is marked with white lights while the taxiway is marked with blue lights.
Delta spokesman Anthony Black said the airline is cooperating with the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board in their investigation, as well as conducting an internal investigation. The pilots of the flight have been relieved from active flying pending the completion of these investigations, Black said.