American Morning

Tune in at 6am Eastern for all the news you need to start your day.
October 21st, 2009
03:00 PM ET

We Listen – Your comments 10/21/2009

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.

  • Christopher: I don’t think we need any fairness when it comes to talk radio. It just goes to show that the side with the most and loudest is most likely the one that is insecure and needs to constantly remind people of the propaganda that they spew. The rest of us know the truth....
  • Dee: I do not want a fairness doctrine. I am mature enough to turn the channel if I don't like what they are saying. I watch CNN sometimes, but mostly I watch Fox News, I am a conservative. When Obama reads off his teleprompter I just turn the channel. He needs to take care of the war, illegal immigration, and runaway Medicare and Medicaid crooks. He doesn't need to worry about what I hear or see, or how my child is educated, or how the police in Conn. make an arrest. His first and primary job is to keep our country safe. He is like a teenager with his stolen credit card.
  • Denice: Yes we do need more localism. I live in Texas which seems like a different country from the rest of the world. (lol) We probably have 4 out of 4 stations that are conservative radio. I am an Obama supporter. I just listen to CNN from Dallas. It always gives me a different perspective than our local stations, It is as if we are in the wild wild west (lol).
  • Carolyn: Using Carol Costello's logic for the universal repudiation of her talk radio story-one could conclude that the flat earth society is really on to something. Sometimes when you tick off people of all stripes it’s because you are in the land of nonsense.
  • George: Here in Port St Lucie, AM radio is nothing but ring wing , Rush ,Sean,...Tom. Yes I like the local Thing, I will love to hear the Progressive side.

What do you think of the Fairness Doctrine being applied to talk radio?

Filed under: We Listen
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. patrick murphy

    Good Morning,
    The very first thing I want to make clear is that I don't agree with what the justice of the peace in Louisiana did but I think a very important point has been missed.
    If it is okay to withold service because of their beliefs, regardless of where their beliefs come from, why is it not okay for the justice of the peace to withold service because of his beliefs. I'm afraid it is because someone is black.

    October 23, 2009 at 6:53 am |
  2. Mitch Dworkin - Dallas, Texas

    Hi Carol:

    If President Obama really wants to keep his campaign promise to unite the country, then I think he needs to try to do everything that he legally can that is within his power to force through a back door version of the Fairness Doctrine (such as "local content," "diversity of ownership," or "public interest" rules).

    This is the one and only thing that Rush Limbaugh and his followers really and truly fear which is why Obama should try to make Limbaugh's worst nightmares come true by shoving a back door version of the Fairness Doctrine right down his throat any way that he legally can!

    Obama will definitely take a lot of heat for doing this in the short term BUT he has already taken on FOX News so why not just go all the way and take it all on while he still has large Democratic majorities in Congress and enough personal popularity to possibly do it?

    If Obama can pass a back door version of the Fairness Doctrine, then he will liberate many moderate and reasonable Republicans in Congress who fear Limbaugh and keep on apologizing to him because they know that Limbaugh and his many millions of followers can primary them the next time they are on the ballot.

    Here is what a Politico article said this morning about just how much elected Republicans in Congress fear Rush Limbaugh and others in extreme right wing talk radio just like him (Obama has his chance right now to possibly liberate these Republicans from their fear of Limbaugh by trying to force through a back door version of the Fairness Doctrine. That is in the best interest of the country to try and restore civility and help to change the tone in Washington in my opinion):

    Conservatives roar; Republicans tremble

    "Congressional leaders talk in private of being boxed in by commentators such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh — figures who are wildly popular with the conservative base but wildly controversial among other parts of the electorate, and who have proven records of making life miserable for senators and House members critical of their views or influence..."

    Once these Republicans in Congress are liberated from the strong grip of Rush Limbaugh, then they will not have to fear him anymore and they can seriously work with him on important issues just like how Tip O'Neill and the Democrats worked with Ronald Reagan!

    Obama being able to reinstate a back door version of the Fairness Doctrine will also help to make sure that no far left wing Democratic ideologue such as Randi Rhodes or Keith Olbermann will ever be able to become so powerful in the future like how Limbaugh is now where they can virtually hold the entire Democratic party hostage!

    Even if Obama cannot pass a back door version of the Fairness Doctrine at the end of the day, then this case will still be tied up in the courts for so long that Limbaugh will have to spend a lot of his time and money trying to fight it. Every minute and every dollar that Limbaugh spends trying to fight Obama passing a back door version of the Fairness Doctrine is a minute and a dollar that he cannot use to interfere with Obama or threaten all of the mainstream Republicans in Congress who currently fear him and keep on apologizing to him!

    Author Brian Jennings, who wrote the book "Censorship, The Threat To Silence Talk Radio, truly fears even this scenario happening. On page 240 of his book, he fully admits that there is a chance his side could lose in the courts and that "significant" damage would be done to "conservative" talk radio (I do not recognize it as being "conservative" in any mainstream sense of that word which is why I call it "extreme right wing talk radio") while this case is tied up being fought in the courts!

    The bottom line is that as long as Limbaugh stays in his current position of power where so many elected Republicans fear him and keep on apologizing to him, then Obama will NEVER be able to unite the country or get that many Republican votes in the short term. In the long term, Limbaugh and his activist base will strongly influence who the next Republican nominee will be which means we could risk having someone with the extreme ideology of Jim DeMint or Michele Bachmann becoming President. That is what is really on the line with this issue which is why it is the one and only thing that Rush Limbaugh and his followers really and truly fear!

    Mitch Dworkin
    Dallas, Texas

    October 22, 2009 at 8:13 am |
  3. Pamela holt

    I just heard on CNN this morning that we are about 10to12. Million swine flu shots , low of what we need.isn"t that about how many illegal immigrants that it has been reported on that are here in our country????

    October 22, 2009 at 8:07 am |
  4. Al from GA

    Without an informed society democracy simply cannot work.

    For many of america's hardest working people, talk radio is their sole source for news and political analysis as they commute. Our democracy is done a severe disservice when a large portion of the population is being funneled news through hyper-partisan sources. The lens through which they view the facts is the lesser part of the issue here, though. The bigger one is factual accuracy, which has suffered since the fairness doctrine was abolished.

    When left alone, those with an agenda to push have the luxury of selectively omitting or distorting the facts to suit their arguments. Put hannity in the room with olbermann (or olbermann in the room with hannity), and they would be very motivated to correct one another's "errors" in a very entertaining manner.

    The fairness doctrine did us very well for roughly half a century, and our democratic process at least had some modicum of civility back then because of it. When the pundits in the media at least sit at the table with the opposition, it sets an example of something which has been lacking in the politics of the past couple decades: acknowledgement and respect for the validity of the opposition's perspective, if not their specific ideas.

    October 22, 2009 at 7:22 am |
  5. Mitchell

    I am so against it. The reason the liberal radio stations fail is because after listening to them once why would anyone want to listen to them again. Well mabey "mindless sheep".

    October 21, 2009 at 7:15 pm |
  6. Mike

    Do we really need the Gov't telling its citizens what they can or should be listening to on the radio? This is the case in Iran, N. Korea, China, Cuba, and Venezuela. Radio, like TV is market driven. If there is a market for liberal talk shows, stations would carry them, and sponsors would back them. Radio and tv is all about ratings, even CNN news has sponsors/commercials. If viewer ratings dropped enough, the sponsors would cancel and the show would most likely be cancelled. Consider the SUV-Hummer, when there was a demand, it was marketed and sold. When demand dropped, the line was discontinued. If 15 million want to listen to conservative talk radio, what's wrong with that? If listeners want more liberal radio, create a demand, and let the market produce it. I don't believe that radio stations prohibit liberal talk radio, I believe they make a choice, based on what their markets demand.

    On this a.m.'s CNN news, Ms. Costello reported Washington DC, which voted 93% for President Obama (not sure of the exact %) ,only has conservative talk radio. Might want to ask yourself why, when there is Oprah, Michael Moore, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid etc, who represent the liberal cause. Maybe the public has enough of them and wants more light to be shed on the issues they present to the public.

    Let's keep the gov't out of what we can listen to, before it's too late and all we have is what the gov't allows on the air.

    October 21, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  7. Mike

    There are several reasons why right-wing talk shows predominate. 1)Reactionaries need someone to tell them what to think, and 2)They have nothing better to do than listen to AM radio (would never actually read a book)

    October 21, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  8. Steve

    I think free market has to dictate whats on the radio. The fact is that liberal talk radio doesn't work, whatever the reason. Air America was a horrible failure because no one listened, thus no advertisering revenue. If a liberal radio host was as entertaining as Rush, Hannity, Savage, or Boortz, there would be a market for it, probably on the same stations that carry the conservative shows. I listen to Clark Howard and Dr. Dean Edell because they are entertaining and I love talk radio and I tried Air America and it was just plain horrible. Empty banter about how horrible Bush is/was and how we need to destroy the right wing, true hate speech that really wore me down after an hour or so. Had to change to something entertaining.

    October 21, 2009 at 3:30 pm |