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October 21st, 2009
06:54 AM ET

Talk Radio: Do we need a new Fairness Doctrine?

By Carol Costello and Bob Ruff

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 With its constitutionality in question, the doctrine was repealed in 1987.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.

“If you know that you live in a town where everybody votes Democratic and all you have on your radio is conservative talk, then you can see how localism isn't part of the equation in media programming,” Rhodes says.

The idea of requiring radio stations to carry more local programming is appealing – even for some conservative talkers – but there is a sense there is something else behind the idea of localism.

“In effect what they want to do, is they want to program the radio station,” says Bob Durgin, a conservative talker in Pennsylvania. “They want to tell the people what they want to hear. They don’t want the people hearing what they want to hear, and they want people to hear more liberal radio.”

Durgan says liberals want it all, even though they have plenty now. He says Hollywood, newspapers, FM, satellite radio and the mainstream media all give voice to liberals.

Michael Harrison is the editor of Talkers Magazine, an online publication that reports on talk radio. He agrees with Durgin. “There’s no bias against liberals. There is bias against people who don’t have track records of success, of ratings and revenue.”

Randi Rhodes, a progressive talker, who has had success, strongly disagrees. She says she has no interest in shutting down conservative talk radio. She says millions of Americans get their political talk from AM radio, and it’s unseemly that 91 percent of AM radio offers conservative voices – even in cities where the population is mostly liberal.

“I do want to be on their stations,” she says. “I ... want a crack at their audience, and let me live or die by the success or failure, but I don’t have that. I don’t have access.”


Filed under: Talk Radio
soundoff (192 Responses)
  1. Mike

    Why does Rhodes have such a big ego. She went AWOL. She's a high school dropout. All she does is repeat the words of journalist from the Huffington Post, Brent Budosky , Naomi Klein, Jane Meyer etc.

    November 13, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  2. Cliff G.

    I see it was touched on by a few comments above, but the reality is that liberal talk radio doesn't work because to listent to political talk radio you have to understand poltiics. Liberals, in general, do not. They here the sound bits and agree with what the major networks give them. They don't engane in serious political analysis or thought. They throw names and epithets around to make themselves feel good. What about Air America? That was a huge push for liberal political talk radio and it fell flat. The Fairness doctrine is anything but fair.

    November 11, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  3. Jim

    If your going to talk to Liberal radio hosts- Please don't interview Randi Rhodes. Rhodes is an embarrasment to liberals. Stephanie Miller, Ed Scultz, Tom Hartmann, Rachel Maddow, would be a better choice. Remember Randi Rhodes is the flake who fell down drunk outside a New York City -bar-e-mailed her boss-Mark Green (Air America) and flat out lied to him- she told him she was beaten up and mugged. Her colleauge-Jon Elliot said on his show she was beaten up by Right Wing thugs. Rhodes loved the attention she got from that mess she created-AND she stills lies and says she didn't remember what happened to her -even though wittnesses said she was being rude & obnoxious to the bar staff. Google- Randi Rhodes drunk. Rachel Maddow worked with Randi at Air America yet she has never invited Randi on her show. Wonder why?
    Rhodes went AWOL from the Air Force. But she lied on her bio and would always tell her audience she was an Air Force Veteran -that she served 6 years & that she was voted "Most Outstanding woman in the Air Force. BOTH LIES- She went AWOL after serving 2 years. google- Randi Rhodes Goddess of Gab. Also according to that article she would have a Letterman impersonator on her show and tell her audience she and Letterman were great friends. She even lied to the reporter who wrote that article. Rhodes has never been on Lettermans show. She is a pathological liar. Google "Rhodes rage retains fury on national stage" She was so drunk-she peed on a XMAS tree. Yes there were witnesses to that bizzare incident. Rhodes has had her chance many times and she still tries to blame everyone but her self for the reason why she has crappy ratings.

    November 9, 2009 at 8:36 pm |
  4. Larry

    I believe the fairness document should be returned, but only to "clear channel" stations. When traveling through rural areas, these are the only stations available for news on regular broadcast radio and they carry nearly all talk radio full of name calling, exaggerations and half truths. It gets very tiring! I wish stations would try a good, honest debate program. I think people would flock to it!

    November 4, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  5. Ed

    Amen and Cheers for Andy. It is nice to know that there are some
    Andy's in the world. Rush Limbaugh is buffoon and a CRAZY. But
    we owe him a debt of gratitude for his crazy strategies last year that helped President Obama get elected. Thanks Rush!!!!

    November 2, 2009 at 9:09 am |
  6. Rick

    Limbaugh, Beck and Savage are not the problem. It is the right wing nuts that own the radio stations and hire them. These are powerful people that want to own the media and push their hate down Americans throats. Fox news and Clear Channel are a couple, but they spew their dogma while stopping reasonable points of view. There are no public air waves, they are bought and paid for by closed minded people with an agenda.

    November 2, 2009 at 1:49 am |
  7. andy

    I wouldn't listen to Limbaugh if he was the only channel on the radio. I used to listen sometimes, but now he is to full of hatred for everything democrat. My question is if there are so many people who adore him and are hanging on his every word, then why did those people get voted out of power last November?
    The way it works here in America is that we go into the booth and we vote for somebody or we vote against somebody. The last few years I have been voting against every repub that I can find. One big reason why I do this is because of Rush Limbaugh. Now, Glenn Beck is off my radio as well. Mr. Savage is coming unglued with his hatred of everything on earth. So when I'm in the voting booth my contempt for these three is greater than my support for democrats.
    These three represent and preach to republican listeners only. They are marginalized to AM radio audiences. Their radio shows and their websites demonize democrats as if we were all Osama Bin-Laden.
    When Limbaugh got caught being a doctor shopping drug-addict and was prosecuted for it, I thought that might do it for most people. Apparently, they think it was OK for him to committ a felony. That tells us who's listening to him doesn't it? 15 million out of 300 million of our people adore a comitted felon who lied about his crimes. 275 million of us got him turned off for good.

    October 31, 2009 at 11:01 pm |
  8. dnd

    This was a fascinating series. Great work Ms Costello.

    October 23, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  9. Aric G.

    The answer is quite simple, really. Let the audience decide. Do you think it is mere coincidence that so much of talk radio leans toward conservative values? And why do FOX’s ratings dwarf those of the competition? Liberal media has crashed and burned time and time again, because the vast majority of Americans have the ability to generate their own informed opinions. If you can simply present our citizens with common-sense facts, they will arrive at their own appropriate, informed conclusion. To do otherwise is truly an assault on our cherished freedom of speech.

    October 23, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  10. Sandee Cohen

    Randi Rhodes is only based in Washington DC because her latest boyfriend was based there. Before that she was based in Florida where it was hardly 93 percent of the people who voted for Obama.

    Before that she was based in New York City because she Air America wanted her there. Not because there was any liberal leaning in that city.

    Before that she was based back in Florida because that's where she happened to be. She has a house down there where she raised her sister's daughter.

    But Randi Rhodes could be broadcasting while sitting in the offices of People for the American Way. Her audience doesn't come from her local station. It comes from the number of affiliates who run her show. And if a liberal-leaning population was all that was needed to get her on the air, Randi would be heard in a lot more stations than where she is. She is NOT on in New York City, Boston, Chicago, or Minneapolis.

    Randi's day has come and gone.

    And Randi Rhodes had a much bigger audience when she was at Air America. She had a much bigger audience when she went to Nova M. But now she has a much smaller audience because her syndicator hasn't drummed up the station line-up for her.

    What's sad about Rhodes is that she is extremely bright, does tons of research, speaks very plainly, and yet manages to piss off her core audience.

    Just look at some of the others who were on Air America when Randi was there: Rachel Maddow is the #1 progressive voice in the country and a big star on NBC. Al Franken is a US Senator!

    Randi seems to be in this just for the money. Her ne

    October 23, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  11. Nik

    I think the fairness doctrine is not a good idea. I do think that commentary should be limited to truth and fact. I am listening to Michael Savage right now spit fire and lies right now on youtube discuss this segment and something about left wing rats who he thinks runs tv. ha ha. Good one.

    I do think that if progressives want to get their message out, they should not be charging for service or podcasts. I used to enjoy listening later in the day or after work but now I cannot.

    October 22, 2009 at 3:28 am |
  12. wb

    Why there are more conservative talk shows.

    1.Liberals are more educated and therefore more likely and able to think for themselves. Conservatives need the Rush Limbaughs to do their thinking for them.
    2.Conservatives are less able to articulate their own views and need someone to do it for them.
    3.Liberals are more articulate and therefore more likely to engage in dialogue rather than be on one end of a monalogue.
    4.Conservatives are more likely to be followers. Most deeply religious people are conservative. Sheep need a shepherd.
    5.Conservatives are resistant to change and need the constant reinforcement in the face of a changing world. Radical Islam and fundamental Christianity are good examples.

    October 21, 2009 at 9:38 pm |
  13. kevin

    for all you idiots that want a new fairness doctrine...

    if your left-wing radio hosts had decent programming, there WOULD be more liberal talk shows. it's advertisers that make up the programming. if you have a good show, you'll have advertisers. if not, they go away. no pay, no airplay. got it?

    it's called competition. of course, you probably don't believe in competition because it likely scares you or hurts your feelings.

    October 21, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  14. rm

    If this president along with the democrats in congress start censoring talk radio and the American peoples freedom of speech, they will pay a very high price. People are waking-up and they're seeing their freedoms slowly being taken away, we're not going to sit by and allow this kind of tyranny.

    October 21, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  15. Hallie

    Are you kidding me–LOCALISM! Is that even a word?

    October 21, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  16. Bob

    Again, these are entertainers. Rush, Hannity etcl. If they don't get you all shook up, you don't listen. Are things wrong in America? Absolutley! Do these guys have the answers? NO WAY! I don't expect them to have the answers anymore than I expect any actor to. It's all verbal diaherra. From the left as well. Al Franken in the senate?! Are you freaking kidding me. Hell, we have starts as governors and Presidents so why not!?!

    See, I believe in capitalism. And when I hear Rush say that there should be NO LIMITS on executive pay for Wall Street firms (as he said on Jay Leno), then I know that he is on the wrong side of conserative issues. Also, I should note, that we have NOT been living under capitalism for the last 20+ years. It has degenerated into a few powerful entities controling everything. Hell, Wall Street makes stupid greedy mistakes? And the government gives them money to bail themselevs out and reward themseleves with huge bonues while the rest of the country goes to hell? And Rush is ok with those executive bonuses?

    Guess the difference in these talk show guys and me......I do and HONEST day's work. Not verbally assult everyone in their way!

    October 21, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  17. Kathy RN

    To the person who says Rush is just entertainer I wish that was true. There are people who take him at his word.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  18. Tom

    Does anyone really think they say outrageous things because they believe it?? Its only about $$$.
    Its just entertainment that some backwoods under-evolved people think is real.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  19. Kathy RN

    I love it when the conservatives say "most or all americans are conseratives" . That is not true most people I know care about other people. YES we need more liberal talk to balance the hate white messages. By the was I am white RN 53 years old. Everyone I know by the way is liberal and want the best for all even if it costs something. Why put all our money and resources into war when we could be helping others instead of killing them.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  20. Kathy RN

    They ,Rush,Hannity share the Hate message well. I know of marriages who have broken up over the controversial retoric.
    Look at the numbers in the FAIR polls regarding the regular man on the street. 20% are identifing themselves as Republicans. Get a clue and get those people who preach hate off the air. Jesus was about love for all be them black, white or a mixture of all races. We need kindness and love not Tea parties preaching racisim.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  21. Bob Johnston

    We don't need a fairness doctrine. Let the radio market be a market. If there is a demand for left leaning radio then it will grow that way.
    We don't need to manipulate the radio market just because we don't like what's on am radio. Obama doesn't need to manipulate the media either.
    He act like Fox isn't part of the media. He is president of all the people, all the insurance companies, and all of the media outlets. Gibbs is jerk!!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  22. Katherine Eskew

    I do not like this idea. We live in the United States of America, not Russia, North Korea, China, Cuba, Venezuela....
    Currently, I have the options of listening or not listening to whatever I choose. I like it like that. Please keep the Government out of it. It is already "Big Brother" enough.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  23. Nancy Weiss

    As an Independent voter, I believe the current concentration of media ownership serves the owners’ interest, and not average Americans. When any market is controlled by a narrow group of private interests and agendas, then their slant will be consistently presented – whether their bias is Liberal or Conservative.

    Even MSM routinely airs one-dimensional viewpoints from politicians and special-interest groups, with no attempt to provide fact checking or contrasting views to correct any false statements.

    The most obvious result of the power of special interests is Congress, where special interests ‘rent’ needed votes via political contributions, fund raising events, and free junkets to expensive resorts, etc. Special interests even write much of the legislation that is enacted which provides them additional unfair advantage.

    Until we Americans become better informed regarding these abuses (and this requires we gather information from a variety of contrasting viewpoints, not just Liberal or Conservative), we will continue to return the same people to Congress, and we will remain the victims of special interests.

    “Insanity is doing the same thing, and expecting different results.”

    - NW in Tucson

    October 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  24. t22

    We have a fairness doctrine, it's called the marketplace. Al Franken was a failed radio host, now he's a US Senator. He never would have been a political figure had it not been for his radio show.

    Doesn't this cut both ways though? If I want to hear conservative news and opinion on TV I've got to get Fox. All the local stations are liberal even though we live in a mostly conservative area. Maybe we need to demand that ABC and CBS be more conservative to combat NBC and CNN?

    If liberals don't like what's airing, do like Al Gore and start your own network.

    October 21, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  25. Randy

    The market has spoken. The left tried Air America with name brand talent. It failed. Progressives (yes, liberals) have a lot to contribute. But much of the message has the appeal of “eat your brussell sprouts”. The fundamental tenet of liberalism is that the privileged are obligated to give up some of their excess to take care of the less fortunate. Conservatives value rugged independence and individual achievement. The vast majority of Americans identify much more with the message of protecting individual resources and freedoms than they do with sacrificing for the greater good. So it is not surprising that people would rather not spend their day listening to somebody tell them how good they have it and how selfish they are if they are not willing to pay higher taxes for more government programs. The spectre of government waste and the discomfort with our reduced retirement nest eggs cuts across the political spectrum as evidenced by the “blue-dog” Democrats.

    Progressives are not without a platform for sermonizing. MSNBC and CNN have deliberately created platforms to counter the Fox effect. NPR generally has a liberal shading to its programming and choice of talent and is arguably one of the most effective outlets due to its intellectual appeal. Unlike the “entertainer” shows from both right and left camps, NPR takes a no-nonsense, rational, somewhat subdued (some might say “dry”) approach which substantially elevates its credibility.

    Not long ago, there were complaints (somewhat justified) of a clear liberal bias in the media, especially print and television. Now that some liberals are complaining about talk radio, I think it is pretty clear that the ideal of American freedom of speech is working as it should. Let’s not tinker with it!

    October 21, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  26. Gail Marie

    How about this one? Obama has lied about a lot of things. So you really want us to believe he will not try to take over of Radio as he is working on the News stations? will this one make it in or do I need to call Rush and Hannity and Beck to get my voice heard by even more open mined people? my first comment went in at 8:30 ish? 10:49 still awaiing your approval? whats to hide i was short and to the point just telling America to wake up we are in danger of losing our Freedoms one by one....

    October 21, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  27. Anthony

    I find Ms. Costello's report misleading. For example, if you watch her report one is left with the impressiion that "liberal" or "progressive" radio has been summarily shout out of the marketplace; but by whom? Ms. Costello does not address the "elephant in the room," liberal or progressive talk on the radio is moribund because, simply, no one listens! Liberal radio can't get any traction with ratings or hold an audience so stations, who need ratings to charge for advertising, go with programming that actually holds an audience and gets RATINGS! Randi Rhodes wants a "crack" at the conservative radio audience, well Ms. Rhodes has had several "cracks," most recent with Air America, and Ms. Rhodes has simply never been able to pull in and hold an audiece, so stations "let her go" to put in programming that people actually want to listen to!

    For better or worse, liberal radio cannot hold an audience, i.e., where is Air America today? Where is Randi Rhodes? Mario Cuomo? Answer: they died in the marketplace with inability to get and hold an audience! Perhaps, Ms. Costello should do a follow up report entitled, "Why do liberal talk radio shows consistently FAIL in the marketplace of ideas."

    October 21, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  28. Linda Seaton

    Conservative talk radio is supported by the listeners. Liberal talk radio is not supported by the listeners, therefore, it does not survive. The reason we have NPR which has a liberal slant is because we all support it with our taxes.

    I challenge CNN to honestly check this out.

    We have programs the liberals want because they want someone else to pay the bill. Why are there so many democrats who haven't paid their taxes? I challenge CNN to check it out. Honestly without bias. Who, what, when, where and why. You don't even challenge the President to keep him honest and that's your job and you are not doing it. Shame on CNN. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely if you don't do your job you will be told how to do your job.

    I hope you have the guts to examine yourself before pointing finger and faulting others or more laws and regulations and restrictions.
    No longer free.....

    October 21, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  29. Ron Bowman

    What is really shameful here, is the complete collapse of objective journalism. On TV I have to switch from liberal CNN to conservative FOX, then weed through it all to come to my own middle-of-the road conclusion. Then, in the car I have to switch from liberal NPR to conservative AM talk to do the same.
    WE DO NOT NEED ANY MEDIA POLICE.

    October 21, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  30. Dan Bourquard

    The Fairness Doctrine and “localism” is wrong in so many ways. Again, the government is trying to get involved in areas where it doesn't belong. What happened to freedom of the press and free speech? The market should determine what is on the air. If there were no audience for conservative talk radio it wound not be on the air. If there were a demand for more liberal talk shows, then sponsors would demand them – and they would be on the air! This country was built on free enterprise and capitalism. If we destroy that we will destroy the country. The government should not control the media. This should be as sacred as the separation of church and state.

    October 21, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  31. Bob

    I am a conservitive and vote Republican. I believe in the capitalist system. And I still think Rush is a loud mouth idiot. But you know what? He's suppose to be. Because he is an entertainer, nothing more. The more he speaks, the more people react. For or against him. Like any actor. No one takes these type of people seriously? Folks they are entertainers! They have to entertain you to keep you listening. To me its no different than the radio shows of old. None of it's real. For goodness shakes, Rush was a DJ. I use to be a DJ. It's all BS.

    October 21, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  32. Dan Cotto

    RE: Carol Costello's Talk Radio Analysis.

    In watching Ms. Costello's report on Talk Radio this morning (Wednesday) I was troubled by a number of issues that seem lost in the "debate".

    First, the goal of a radio station is to make money, and radio stations broadcast those programs that will bring them the most money. That translated into rating. Liberal talk show hosts have never performed as well as conservative hosts has been demonstrated time and again. If Randi Rhodes could get the same ratings as Limbaugh in the same market, people would carry her show instead of Limbaugh. This seems lost on Costello and others.

    Next, Costello's analysis of Washington DC is either deliberately misleading, or shows her ignorance of the industry. That DC voted 91% for Obama is meaningless, since DC itself is only part of the greater market, and a relatively small part of the 5.5 million in the market. How would “local ownership” change that? Would it force Arbitron and Nielsen to only consider those within the DC district limits?

    Rhodes acts as if she is not given the chance, and Costello plays along. Yet Rhodes is aired in Los Angeles (2 stations) San Francisco, Seattle, and (oops!) Washington DC (on WZAA-AM), in the afternoon drive time slot! So, what are HER ratings compared to whoever the conservative gets in the slot against her? I would bet that there are 2 or 3 conservative talkers at the same time, each with better ratings. So does Costello think radio stations should lose money because she does not like what they air?

    Finally, Costello also ignored the clear bias of organizations like her own, where they do fact checks on comedy skits but don’t do fact checks when slandering Limbaugh. Is Costello oblivious to the bias? Or does she encourage it? Should CNN and MSNBC and CBS et al. be forced to be as equal as she clearly thinks AM radio should? And who gets to make that decision on her bias? For every minute Costello speaks, I think Michael Medved should get equal time. How about that? Will CNN and MSNBC put up conservatives for every hour of liberals they air?

    And will CNN ever admit their bias? That's really funny.

    October 21, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  33. Dewy

    John seem correct Rush is very sensitive, so are his listeners. I guess Carol, your new theme song should be the Police's "I'll be watching you".

    Another comment, not on this report. I was thinking Chicken Man from Philly. Forgot about the radio show. Confused me before 2nd the cuppa tea.

    October 21, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  34. Ron Bowman

    Listen to more music. It is better for the soul. The only 'fair and balanced" hour on television is the Lou Dobbs show. And with the ultra liberal CNN, I bet his future there is bleak.
    If you want a Fairness Doctrine, you need to first start with TV, which is ALL LIBERAL except for FOX, which is ALL CONSERVATIVE.
    Objective journalism is dead.
    BEWARE, we are getting closer and closer to the old USSR and the new Venezuela.

    October 21, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  35. Bill

    YES! It's definitely time for the return of the Fairness Doctrine plus any other regulations that clearly separates OPINION from NEWS.

    When I was young I recall a seeing and/or hearing disclaimers during the OPINION segment of a NEWS broadcast. These days it's all mixed in together and it's difficult for some to differentiate the two. Something similar is desperately needed once again just like the disclaimers found in advertising and the warnings found on products such as cigarettes and alcohol.

    Conservative talk radio and a political organization masquerading as a 'fair and balanced' news channel are clearly influencing opinions with falsehoods and distortions. In response, the left has created it's own biased cable news channel, but the balance is still weighted heavily to the right. Things will only get worse if measures are not taken to resuscitate REAL FAIR AND BALANCED JOURNALISM.

    In the meantime, it's best to get your news from a variety of sources then make decisions on your own. I highly recommend NPR, CNN, PolitiFact.com and FactCheck.org.

    October 21, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  36. Osman

    Lazy people don't have the time to fact check talking points from talk radio. They tend to believe whatever they hear from Talk Radio: Conservative or Liberal. I know people like that. The Fairness Doctrine will be a great help to many lazy couch potatoes. Every view will be right there for them. It is easy to be misguided if you don't know all the facts. Fairness in the court room requires a prosecuting attorney on one side and defending attorney on the other. We, the listeners, are the jurors. We like to hear from both sides to come to a verdict. That's the Fairness Doctrine my friends!!

    October 21, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  37. Don, a libertarian

    We need the fairness doctrine like we need another Mao, Stalin, Lenin, and Hitler. Let's go–start burning books and silencing ideas. Great idea when the ideas in power are not winning the argument.

    October 21, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  38. Sonny Zee

    There must be a reason the converative radio talk hosts are so popular. I beleive it's what the silent majority want to hear. The Obama administration has turned out to be a nightmare for Americans. If the dark side wants to have their side told they better start supporting the left's talks shows not turn off what Americans really want to hear. The Fairness Doctrine is a coverup for liberals and their far out ideas because these ideas are so far out there it bloggles the mind. How did these people get into power? My guess is, when you come down to it, it's a 'sign of the times'. As our America goes slowly down the drain the people of America will beleive anything and anyone to get back the country they once knew, all to no avail.

    October 21, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  39. Thomas Rau

    The system is fair now – compete as you will in a open market for listeners to radio programs. What the change is proposing is unfair and certainly not representative of the free society. Stop the bureaucracy – we have more people watching than there are producing real goods and services in this country – no wonder the GNP sucks.

    October 21, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  40. Mike Schuller

    In all fairness, I don’t believe we need a fairness doctrine. Each and every one of us possesses the power of fairness. In this case, if anyone believes a particular broadcaster (TV included!) unfairly clogs the airway with objectionable programming the solution is simple. Note the advertisers who support the program in question. Turn off the program. Write to the station regarding your dismay. Stop supporting the involved advertisers and organizations who advertise on the questionable program. Poof! The objectionable program and personality will disappear. Celebrate out loud!

    Rush Limbaugh still broadcasting? Who knew?!?!?!

    Kudos to you, Carol, for not falling into the Lamebrain trap!

    Mikey S.
    The Buckeye State

    October 21, 2009 at 9:20 am |
  41. Jeff

    I have listened to almost every Left leaning talk show host. I am a right center individual, and the only one worth listening to was Stephanie Miller. All of the others are SO angry and mean. They completely abuse and ignore the "red center" as "inbred hillbillies". That is a quote from Randi. And you wonder why they fail. These peopel are elitist who think they are better than everyone that doesn't support Moveon/Dailykos and Huffington.

    October 21, 2009 at 9:14 am |
  42. Ed

    We need a new "fairness doctrine" to balance all of the hatred that is
    now on talk radio. The meanness and venom that is coming out is just fanning the flames of racism. It has got to stop or we are going to find hatred never will go away. The hatred is because of President Obama. He did win and he is the president of all of us. They should stop running the election of 2012.

    October 21, 2009 at 9:10 am |
  43. Rob

    In my opinion we are a society of people who love to hate...I think the Limbaugh's of the world might want to take a look in the mirror and find out who their real audience is. Most of them act like children throwing a tantrum when something doesnt go their way. I am an independant and listen to conservative radio all the time just to hear them make complete fools of themselves. They show how truly narrow minded they really are...That might explain why the votes still sway liberal even though the conservatives have captured talk radio. Liberals might be careful what they wish for if given the same opportunity to make fools of themselves.

    October 21, 2009 at 9:10 am |
  44. Ma

    NO WAY should this fairness doctrine go forward. Localism smacks of censorship. This is what happens in Russia and parts of Latin America.
    I can't believe CNN is doing a cheering ralley for Latinos tonight, and also sending it out in spanish. God help us all! We're are for legal aliens coming into the US but illegals are drowning our country, esp. our medical systems. Rick Sanchez appalls people every afternoon with his biased show. It isn't news that he is doing. People are taking note.

    October 21, 2009 at 9:09 am |
  45. Chuck

    Let's see – in the case of communications, the White House has already taken over mainstream 'so-called' news channels, ABC, NBC, CBS, and MSNBC, they will be taking over the major newspapers soon, and tomorrow they will vote on regulating the Internet, so why not radio too, huh? Where are we headed? These foolish news reporters and their networks are oblivious to what is happening here in America. Their grandfathers and grandmothers would roll over in their graves if they could see how their offspring are selling out this nation to the enemy – Marxism. Maybe they ought not hire any reporters unless their family has been in this country at least 200 years – long enough to appreciate what a wonderful country we really had in the USA.

    October 21, 2009 at 9:08 am |
  46. Jeff

    MArk, you are wrong. EVERYONE had access to Air America. How did that do??? You were one of the few who listened. Id o however, find it amusing that because YOU wanted to listen, that means that everyone must want to listen. Typical Progressive. "I know better". No, you know nothing. The experiment failed regardless of what you wanted.

    October 21, 2009 at 9:00 am |
  47. pat

    Money controls everything in this country. Corporations control our representatives in government. Rupert Murdoch and other big money conservatives control most of the airwaves. They put out the lie about the liberal media. No such thing! CNN used to be fair, but is no longer. FOX is all conservative. AM radio has wacked out nuts like Limbough. We need fairness on the radio. Who in our government will work to provide us with a Fairness Act? Sure people want to listen to likeminded viewpoints, but we yearn for real fairness and balance in the media.

    October 21, 2009 at 9:00 am |
  48. Jane

    This Administration just can't stand to have any opposition. Instead of having real debates they would rather just shut the other side down (AM radio, FOX news) just amazing. Do they forget what was said about the Bush Administration on all the liberal stations (NBC, CBS, MSNBC, and your own CNN. Just remember that when you try to silence a people they will only make there voices heard another way. We all know this is censorship at its core. Here is an idea if you don't like the station you turn the dial.

    October 21, 2009 at 9:00 am |
  49. Luke

    No access? With all the money that liberals have, they are complaining about opportunity? Why doesn't anybody want to read the liberal newspapers? Whose fault is that? Try engaging your audience for once, then maybe your ratings would improve. The fact is that liberal elites can't really identify with the average american, and liberal voters don't really understand or follow politics anyways.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:59 am |
  50. The Voice

    Just as I thought, CNN doesn't want to talk about Mark Lloyd and his position as "chief diversity officer" at the FCC.

    Maybe CNN needs to review it's policies....

    October 21, 2009 at 8:59 am |
  51. Scott C.

    The FCC has always maintained a rule that stations carry a percentage of local programming, as they are licensed to serve a "local" audience.

    The deregulation of ownership has created a massive change in the radio industry in many negative ways, including more consolidated programming, like syndication. Most of this is driven by financial reasons (cheap to operate), not because of great programming that the masses want to hear. Stations don't want to pay for a body when they can automate the whole operations! ...and they especially don't want to pay for a talented entertaining host when the alternative of syndication is there.

    Personally, I am sick of hearing the distasteful propaganda radio we have now on AM, regardless of being left or right. What happened to radio being entertaining? I grew up listening to music and very talented disc jockeys who weren't shocking nor demeaning, but just non-offendingly funny. Those were real "Talent," unlike 99% of what is on AM radio today!

    I am also sick and tired of people criticizing those who are actually taking action on rules/laws that have always existed. As I said earlier, the FCC has always required local programming requirements of stations and I know first-hand how many do what they can to avoid having to program local shows. It's been widely known in the industry to just roll the dice and take chances with some rule violations, because owners/operators were aware of the continued downsizing of the FCC enforcement field agents and were willing to take the hand slap for their violation if they were caught. This to me says the violation punishment is not high enough and too much precident is getting set by the FCC not having the budgets to handle proper enforcement. Owners/Operators don't have the fear of making a mistake because of this. Most don't employ any staff member who has even a basic knowledge of the rules.

    I have been in the business for 30 years working full-time for major companies and consulting smaller. I have only been involved in an FCC inspection two times!

    The 1996 Communications Act may have provided telecommunications savings for the American consumer, but it has certainly seriously harmed us in many other ways, especially with regard to the radio industry.

    Radio needs a big enema and I look forward to seeing it flush away all the toxins it has accumulated over the years!

    October 21, 2009 at 8:59 am |
  52. Jack

    Mr. Mark Lloyd, Associate General Counsel and Chief Diversity Officer, at the FCC was placed in this position by President Obama (and did not go through a confirmation process). It appears that Mr. Lloyd wishes to impose principals of "diversity" and "localism" to achieve the same result (or worse) of limiting free speech that would be accomplished by re-imposing the Fairness Doctrine.

    Given Mr. Lloyd's admiration of Hugo Chavez, I am concerned how long the most basic of United States freedoms, freedom of speech, will continue in this country. To quote Mark Lloyd:

    “Venezuela under Chavez really had an incredible revolution, a democratic revolution, to begin to put in place things that would have an impact on the people of Venezuela. The property owners and the folks who were then controlling the media rebelled, worked frankly with folks here in the US government, worked to oust him. He came back in another revolution, and then began to take the media seriously.”

    Here is a link to video of Mr. Lloyd making the statement above:

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/seton-motley/2009/08/28/video-fcc-diversity-czar-chavezs-venezuela-incredible-democratic-revol

    Given the fact of Hugo Chavez' past and most recent efforts of "taking the media seriously", by shutting down opposition newspapers, radio and TV, and imprisonment of political opposition, Mr. Lloyd's statement should be an urgent warning to US citizens including Carol Costello.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:59 am |
  53. Norman Russell

    Talk radio is entertainment. Right wing hosts just do it better. Left wing hosts who fail can always become senators.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:58 am |
  54. lmtor

    Would have liked to have seen a more in-depth report,, like an interview with Media Matters, or FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting),and FactCheck. org, etc to present actual figures that show the gross disparities in talk radio and corporate media i.e.. that there is no Liberal Media controlling the airwaves.

    Actual, concrete, third party verrifiable FACTS -.rather than a bunch of corporate right wing shills making unsupported pronouncements -that PROVE that the cry of Liberal Media is a MYTH propagated by the right.

    We could use more localism if not the return of the Fairness Docrtine, something, anything, as a balance to the constant, fact-deprived screeching of the insane right that currently crowds talk radio and tv.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:58 am |
  55. Jeff

    Osman, show the people who own radio stations that they can make money on a lib talk show host, and they will. The problem is almost all of those lib hosts, SUCK. They are boring, preaching, elitists who constantly make fun of people. How many times have we heard that Palin is dumb. That people who live in the center of the country, dumb. That is not how you make firends and influence people. No radio owners have put libs on because they lose money. You can demand anything you want. But when you demand that private companies do things that make them lose money, we no longer live in a democracy. Liek say,w hen the prez demands that GM make cars that don't sell>...........

    October 21, 2009 at 8:58 am |
  56. JamesB

    We do not need the "fairness doctrine"
    The last thing we need is our government controlling our freedom of speech and expression.

    A real problem is that our national media has lost it's journalistic integrity and they try to create the truth, rather than reporting on it and letting the viewers/readers decide.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:56 am |
  57. Wendy

    I agree..why doesn't CNN do a story on one of the largest companies in this country (GE) that bids and relies on government contracts,also owning major media outlets(NBC, MSNBC,CNBC)..there is a definite conflict of interest...any administration can control what goes on their airways (and it's obviously happening). There's a much bigger story there than radio..hmmmm..why don't you cover that story..could it be you are also in the bag for this admin..well we all know that to be the truth. Didn't you along with the other majors report on the crazy story about Palin's son actually being her grandson..what ever happened to research..or was it any way to attack her..when she was chosen..Intelligent people see through this..that's why Fox is killing all the other cable news networks in the ratings...it's the only place where you get legitimate questioning of policies...where there is no investigative reporting on policies..I do flip throuigh other cable news channels..except MSNBC..it's all about Obama drooling... and is the least credible..wait..I do sometimes switch to Joe in the morning, it's the only fair show they have on..

    October 21, 2009 at 8:56 am |
  58. Sally O'Boyle

    "Fairness Doctrine" = censorship. A big fat no to that!

    October 21, 2009 at 8:56 am |
  59. Troubled

    I do not like where am radio is going. It is nothing but a KuKluxKlan
    rally on radio. I know because I have been bombed, shot-at, and haranged by the Klan when I was growing up. The only difference with
    these talk show hosts is that they have taken off their sheets and hoods. There is honestly no room in our society for this type of venom and hatred. Meanness is not going to get us a better society and a higher standard of living for all of our citizens. Rush Limbaugh is nothing but a rebirth of the "Master" from slave days and we have got to do something about this. Freedom of speech does not give these people the right to continue a suttle form of slavery. None of them respect President Obama and will not even address him as such. Racial Hatred is not dead. Any of their supporters are Accesories.
    To think that they can make so much money from this sort of venom
    is a crime in itself. With President Obama we finally have a chance to make a better world for everyone if these hate-mongers would just get out of the way.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:56 am |
  60. Dan Leahy

    I guess it would be too much to ask for employees of one of the six large corporations that own and control over 90% of ALL the media in the country to point out this important fact. Those corporate interests are not served by progressive talk, so it's no surprise that conservative radio dominates the airwaves and is broadcast on the stronger signal stations. The consolidation of ownership is what has caused the lack of "fairness" we see in radio.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:56 am |
  61. Rich

    If Carol Costello was really reporting, she'd look into WHY talk radio is 91% conservative, and she'd find out that most listeners end up there because they feel that the "mainstream" media is skewed to the liberal side to almost the same degree. CNN's own "fact-checking" of a SNL skit is a good example of that kind of "reporting".

    October 21, 2009 at 8:55 am |
  62. Roger

    I am against the implementation of a 'fairness doctrine'. By it's own definition (and how it's proponents want to use it), it is unfair to the American information consumer.

    If broadcasting a balanced point of view from both sides of the political spectrum is the definition of 'fairness', then it would seem that all media outlets should have the same standard applied to them. That would include radio (AM/FM), television (local/national), print (newspapers, news magazines, etc.) and internet (news sites, political blogs, etc.).

    Why is talk radio (mostly AM) the only medium being discussed here?
    I would like to see a breakdown of all media outlet types and the political makeup of their "news" offerings. If a matrix of all media outlets showed a clear imbalance across the board, then a fairness doctrine might be needed. However, I have a hunch that, if you were to compare all media outlets and their respective political leanings, you would find a wide vareity of political perspectives in your results.

    So, if proponents of the fairness doctrine are OK with its application to all media outlets (not just AM talk radio), I say go ahead with it. But, I think you would find no small outcry when the major tv news networks and print media had to make room for viewpoints that are opposed to that of their ownership. Which, I'm sure it would have a corresponding impact on their revenues.

    Let's not forget, business drives all of this (government should not).
    Maybe Air America should re-group and include a few good business managers next time around.

    I love a good debate. That's why I sample all of the cable news networks, read online newswires and read multiple print news sources.

    Funny thing, I don't feel slighted by one side or the other. When I want to know what one side or the other is thinking, I know where to find them. I guess the proponents of the fairness doctrine have a real problem with changing the tv channel or going to another web site.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:55 am |
  63. gloria lewis

    I do agree but not only the radio tv also ,every thing in this country is unfair why do you think the economy is such a mess .The same people get all the breaks its about who you know and how much money you have .So if we want to talk about fairness get cut through the chase and get real .
    We sit and complain about all the problems poor people have from broken homes ,to domestic abuse ,teen pregnancies ,school drop outs ,health issues ,drugabuse ,alcohol abuse ,i could go on for ever .How many of you actually believe that this is the life they want ,how many of you in the same situation actually belief you would be any better off.It is time to be fair lets allocate time for these people and these issues they are facing .The same way we can give the rich and famous all of this air time why cant we be fair and give the more just a little time .
    I am so sick of all of it i try my best not to listen or watch because it is all hypocrite and selfserving .I already know what will happen to this email it will not be posted thats how you cnn is .They cant handel honesty just remember the poor is doing the robbing because they feel they dont have a choice ,they are also selling the drugs for lack of being able to get a job .The rich are the ones being robbed and buying the drugs so who wins no one .We are in it together united we stand divided we fall .Thats why we are falling and will continue to fall enless we get fairness on every level .

    October 21, 2009 at 8:54 am |
  64. dianna engle

    The fairness doctrine is not the issue. Check the new FCC rules pertaining to diversity practices of radio stations and the penalties they would impose on very "vague" rules!
    Carol, I believe you are a very fair reporter and journalist, please check into this, journalists owe it to the public to cover every aspect of free reporting. Please, just check this out.
    Thank you very much,
    Dianna

    October 21, 2009 at 8:54 am |
  65. Mak

    It is not necessary to reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine. Instead, the DOJ need only enforce the anti-trust laws already on the books. As things are, the public airwaves are dominated by a few monopoly operators with the largest bandwidth, crowding out all other content.

    Millions of people who would love to listen to the radio cannot do so, since the airwaves are dominated by political extremism presented by a handful of media companies. It is as if, say, public transportation was only available to Evangelical Christians. It's a horrible waste of a public resource for private profit.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:53 am |
  66. Jackie

    Localism is a word disguising Government censorship–period. (this administration).

    Randy Rhodes isn't for localism–I saw the interview on CNN. She is for expanding her show into the audience numbers like a Rush or Hannity. Localism is a "method" to do this–forced programming. That is localism.

    Just like healthcare "reform" isn't about reforming our healthcare system, but rather direct government control of the healthcare industry–single payer healthcare, so is "localism" designed to introduce the camel into the AM radio tent.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:53 am |
  67. Fran Marino

    I am very frustrated because I like to listen to talk radio but I cannot find a station that is not airing the right wing views. I believe Ruppert
    Murdock owns and monopolizes most of am radio. I wish that something can be done about it.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:52 am |
  68. Ray Rossberg

    Fairness? Who determines what's fair and how would it be implemented? Would there be panels of program reviewers who would rate the liberal/conservative content of a show and then choose the length and time slot for each one? Would this require the end of live media so each comment could be reviewed in advance to determine its place on the political spectrum? This is one of the most moronic ideas yet advanced by the far left which, despite many attempts, is unable to compete effectively in the media marketplace. They should be ashamed of themselves for trying to advance a form of censorship.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:52 am |
  69. Frank

    Why is the left so paranoid about Rush Limbaugh? He speaks the truth and the liberals are scared of anyone who informs the public of the agenda of the Obama administration. This smacks of censorship and what about freedom of speech? The last time I checked this was still the U.S.A. Obama promised "transparency" would be his policy but this too has become another one of his "OOPS" moments. Let's face it, this country elected a man president that does not have the experience to fix anything. If we relied on CNN, NBC and all the other left-wing networks we'd just get a steady dose of "sunshine blown up our backsides". If not for talk radio we would not have known about the Van Jones czar issue. Where was CNN on this issue? We had an avowed communist and racist serving our country and it took talk radio and FOX news to force his departue. SCARY!!!!!!!

    October 21, 2009 at 8:52 am |
  70. Mark

    Once you decide to enforce "fairness" in media, you open the door for government monitoring and assessment of what is fair and balanced. Who is going to be that judge? The current party in power? And if you decide to go down that slippery slope, you have to look at fairness in newspapers, magazines, blogs and any other form of public communication.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:52 am |
  71. Bob

    We must take our heads out of the sand. Something in talk radio and other media is wrong. New Jersey and New York are not conservative states. There are money, monopoly and deliberate efforts employed to keep issues and views from reaching the people. I have to work really hard to recieve radio broadcast that share my progressive and liberal views. I am from Newark, NJ and now live near Philadelphia. We don't want all conservative, all the time. The free market and the advertising arguement are getting old. The truth will be revealed.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:52 am |
  72. ann sprayregen

    This summer, driving from Huntsville,AL to Birmingham, I was shocked to go through the dial, only to hear over and over the same vituperations against: "government controlled media "(obviously a joke in the face of what I was hearing), the Obama administration trying to impose socialism, health reform a way of imposing government control, no choice etc., etc. If they did brodacast some interviews with Obama, they speeded up these excerpts so that Obama sounded like a chipmunk. I wondered how anyone in Alabama could get any kind of fair presentation of any of the new administration policies, health reform or the stimulus package, which, I learned the impoverished, crime ridden Birmingham had rejcted because they had been told it would "take away unemployment insurance"!

    October 21, 2009 at 8:51 am |
  73. dave in des moines

    Is it true Rush Limbaugh makes $400 million dollars a year as a talk radio host?
    Is it true small businesses create the most new jobs in America? How many new jobs has Limbaugh or Hannity created?
    Radio is supposed to help better every community it serves. I believe there are hundreds of Americans with great ideas to start or expand small businesses; however, do not know how to go about in creating or expanding these new small businesses.
    Let us promote more local programming for new talk radio that interviews experts for people to learn how to start or expand new small businesses. Currently, the talk radio hosts are not doing such endeavors. How many new jobs have they created?

    October 21, 2009 at 8:50 am |
  74. P Nielsen

    By the way...

    Carol Costello, you are such a class act. When you were on the other day and the camera did a full length shot of you it was so refreshing to see someone in a dress below the knee. And I'm not a conservative. It was just nice to see someone going for class appeal instead of sex appeal on tv.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:50 am |
  75. ronvan

    THE TRUTH & NOTHING BUT: Rather than trying to "control" what radio shows, TV, & newspapers can or cannot say, why not just make them pay a hefty fine if what they say is proven to be an outright lie?
    In doing this they could continue to present any subject to the public but would be held accountable that the information given would be accurate & factual and not just someone spouting anything to get better ratings or to incite the general public.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:50 am |
  76. Billy Bob

    Why do liberals think that they must force their opinions on us?

    ...just sayin'

    October 21, 2009 at 8:49 am |
  77. Mike

    The Revamp of the Fairness Doctrine is just another SYMBOL of the Chicago Style ,Strong Arm Politics of the Obama White House..Passing the Fairness Doctrine totally Violates Freedom of Speech.. The Supreme Court needs to get off its duff and Rule on some of the Unconstitutional Crap that is coming out of Congress and the White House .. It is rather apparent now that Pres. B.O. has Thin skin when people attack is Policies and Views , BUT His henchmen will break your arm in a minute.. President Obama is not a Leader , but a Figure Head ( a Puppet for Some one).. He does not lead from the Front , he has no plan of action, no specifics, on ANY of his programs.. Just Broad Generalities..

    October 21, 2009 at 8:49 am |
  78. david hagemann

    I would like to have the fairness doctrine back. I live in North Texas and the only opinions I hear are from the right wing of republicans. We don't have free access to Air America, or any liberal radio. I write to the paper about different viewpoints and rarely do you read any viewpoints on the left. What does the doctrine have to do with restricting of the first amendments?
    david H.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:49 am |
  79. NormDyggar

    I listen to what I want to and I believe what I want to, if I want the other side of the story I find it. The fairness doctrine seems like an attempt to help the public with their lack of reasoning or critical thinking skills. We don't need a new fairness doctrine, we don't need a fairness doctrine. There are so many ways to publicize "anything" in these present days. Individuals can take more responsibility for how they influence and how they are influenced. I also agree with some who believe the type of media which is in debate is entertainment oriented and should be treated as such; known as such.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:48 am |
  80. P Nielsen

    Neither side inspires personal independent thought. They want followers, not thinkers. That is the latest media push. Even the name of your own morning show inspires that by suggesting we watch you for a druglike "fix" of your show. I am personally starving for "just the facts ma'am".

    The problem is that conservative radio makes it's loyal listener's angry at and afraid of the current administration and congress and it's listener's like the adrenaline rush those feelings give them. Both coservative radio and television personalities get loyal listeners by making them feel that if they don't join forces their very survival could be in jeopardy.

    Randi Rhodes can also evoke that zest for anger in liberals but most don't. I've seen some Rhodes listeners become just as rabid and obnoxious as conservative listeners, but most liberals talk about socialistic topics like sharing the wealth that scare even other liberals away. I'm a Democrat and even I don't want to share even health care with people who don't pay taxes and in many cases don't want to work. I don't want to work for people who are lazy or lie about their income to avoid taxes. I'll gladly pay for the elderly or those who are totally disabled, but I don't want to pay for a jobless person who actually cleans homes and offices and makes more than I do but gets paid in cash and doesn't claim any of it. I can't stand promoting anymore generations of welfare recipients. And I have a lot of good friends who are Hispanic and insist on getting paid in cash so no one knows how much they make as well as a lot of college graduates who have lost their jobs, are on unemployment, and won't accept a job making less than $80,000/yr. I don't even make 40K, why should I pay for those people who are making more than I am???? I don't feel sorry for them, they piss me off.

    .

    October 21, 2009 at 8:48 am |
  81. chris451

    The unfairness doctrine is specifically designed to attack AM talk radio and will not bring conservative talk to msnbc or Randi Rhodes ect. It will try to remove the profit from AM radio by putting garbage on the air that nobody wants to listen to by attacking the stations finacially. The people who listen to talk radio are the ones who work with their hands and eyes and like to make lots of money and keep it. The logic of making everyone equal evades me. Einstein wasn't equal to Red Skelton but they were both good at something, and the many people we haven't heard of who have done nothing extrordinary to gain fame or profit don' t deserve forced publicity that the 'unfairness doctrine' attemts to accomplish (so it claims) when in fact its really specifically intended to attack the profits of the AM Talk.
    When I hear diversity I think (giving something to dummies)
    because everyone here has the same opportunities, whats stopping them from being great if they are capable of it? Somehow I think giving the incapable airtime stolen from the capable is not fixing anything. They currently are incapable of attracting this audience
    because they are not talking about the right things, like the truth for example, or telling the whole story. Or simply saying what your audience wants to hear.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:48 am |
  82. H. Lusk

    The reason that the more moderate and "right wing" talk programs are on the air is because their sponsors find that people listen. They would sponsor more liberal broadcasts too if they attracted listeners.

    This isn't a public uproar, this is another move by the current administration to stifle voices that disagree with them. Something similar to the "labeling" that they applied to the citizens who spoke out against the way that health care reform is being handled. If it isn't favorable to them, they want to squash it.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:47 am |
  83. Yousuf, ATL

    To all those who believe in enabling the "fairness doctrine" because "there are many stupid people who believe talk radio."

    There are also many stupid people who believe everything they hear on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and on the internet.

    Maybe, we should just get a news CZAR who can make sure coverage is fair across all these news outlets!

    The real question should be, why is liberal talk radio such a miserable failure?

    October 21, 2009 at 8:47 am |
  84. Joseph Magdalena

    I dare you to drive around New York City and find anything resembling Liberal talk on AM radio. Conservative hate-speak is all you will find. And it's not just a matter of freemarkets fixing this imbalance when the ownership of most of the radio and TV stations and newspapers is concentrated in the hands of one zealot, Rupert Murdoch. Government needs to step in to restore fairness, break the stranglehold of these lying, fear-mongering monopolies that poison the waters of civil public discourse.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:46 am |
  85. Almond Mitchell

    Yes, we need a new fairness doctrine. There is always the very human temptation to try to make life easier by nullifying their fundamental ethical responsibilites. That, of course, is when your true ethics are revealed. According to the National Communication Association's Credo: "Unethical communication threatens the quality of all communication and consequently the well-being of individuals and the society in which we live." Ethical communication is fundamental to responsible thinking, decision making, and the development of relationships and communities within and across contexts, cultures, channels, and media.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:46 am |
  86. Mak

    Those who say there's no market for "liberal" radio have it exactly backwards. There are plenty of people who, like me, would love to listen to talk radio (as I used to before it became a cesspool of political extremism). The problem is that a few companies own all the major stations around the country, and broadcast the same stuff everywhere, even where the audience for such content is miniscule, because their economies of scale allow them to be profitable even with a tiny audience. It is a horrible waste of an important public resource – the airwaves – and yet another example of huge corporations sucking off the public for their private gain. It's not necessary to bring back the Fairness doctrine – only to return the airwaves to local control and content.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:45 am |
  87. manny

    we need to reinstate the fairness doctrine. the radio spectrum used by both tv and radio are owned by the people, and are practically given to the broadcasters for a token fee, with little in return expected from them. all americans own the airwaves, not just conservatives or liberals.

    to clean up politics, and remove the influence that money buys, campaigns should be publicly funded, with free airtime given to legitimate candidates by all radio and tv stations using our airwaves. it wouldn't be all that hard to do...it's just those now in office would oppose it because the incumbents seem to almost always win with the system we now have in place....hmmm.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:45 am |
  88. Bruce Evans

    The Fairness Doctrine was initially put in place to keep any one person from controlling the airwaves with programming or ideology. Since it's repeal fewer and fewer radio stations are owned by small local operators and less of the content is locally based. This affects not only the news programming and talk shows, but also the music programming where fewer and fewer music programmers have an effect on what the nation is listening to. Top 40 radio has gotten very boring as of late simply because it's the same playlists nationwide. These decisions on music, news and radio talk are all being made from one central point, not locally. It's detrimental to all radio and tv stations. The Fairness doctrine should never have been repealed and it should be returned. No one should ever own more than 10 to 20 stations in this country, especially in one town. There was a reason that there was a limit on how many you can own. To keep what has happened with Talk radio from happening. The conservatives took the fairness doctrine away. We need to put it back.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:44 am |
  89. Scott French

    No, let me remind people that this is America. We as a country can't impose on peoples choices. I think the people have already spoken.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:44 am |
  90. Clifford Collier

    CNN,
    You and the other TV stations should think about this. The majority of the information you put out on TV to me seems liberal. when a Republican president comes in this could blow up in your face. Conservatism has a big roll to play in this country. Europe has already gone comunist. The politicians are not smart enough to see the Marksist policies they put in place.
    Control media,Guns And Schools and turn the children in to followers.
    Think about it.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:43 am |
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