Never mind that President Obama has repeatedly stated his opposition to the Fairness Doctrine.
Never mind that no one in congress has drafted, introduced, or advocated a bill reinstating the Fairness Doctrine.
Never mind that almost every liberal organization, including the most prominent media reform group, Free Press, has come out against reinstating the Fairness Doctrine.
Never mind that it’s been 20 years since anyone has taken an official action in support of the Fairness Doctrine.
The Fairness Doctrine is presently the most serious threat to the United States short of Al Qaeda.
And now we can add an actual vote to prohibit the reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine – an overwhelming vote by a Democratic Senate of 87-11 – to the list of things that we can ignore because hysterical right-wingers STILL believe that the Fairness Doctrine is lurking just around the next bend in the road, waiting to pounce on their loudmouthed radio ranters and deflower the virtue of America.
In a bill aimed at giving the District of Columbia a vote in the House of Representatives (along with a new seat for Utah), the Broadcasters Freedom Act was added as an amendment. The text of this legislation prohibits the FCC from reimposing the terms of the Fairness Doctrine. The margin of approval for the amendment should put to rest any discussion that Democrats are endeavoring to bring back the Doctrine. It should be put to rest, but it won’t be. Republicans are so wedded to the fear they seek to generate with this issue that they will embrace it with all their might rather than recognize that they are battling a phantom.
This is not so much a case of a zombie doctrine rising from the dead, as it is the GOP reanimating a corpse for their own exploitation. Rush Limbaugh began raving about the return of the Doctrine almost as soon as the Senate had voted to prohibit it. And he did it in typical racist Limbaugh fashion. He attempted to explain that completely unrelated media reform measures like local programming, and ownership diversity, were really just new disguises for the Doctrine. On diversity, he described why that wouldn’t work saying that it would be faked by corporate schemers who…
“…would go down to the barrios of Los Angeles, and they would pick somebody out, ‘Hey, you, Hector, over here,’ and they’d put Hector in charge of the company…”
In that brief citation, Limbaugh managed to double down his dumbness. First, he insulted Latinos by implying that they are all residents of barrios and none are qualified to run a business. Second, he admitted that companies are too corrupt to entrust with minor social contrivances like obeying the law – companies like the one that employs Limbaugh.
So now there has been a vote, and everyone is on the record. But the Fairness Fairies are clapping as hard as they can and they refuse to let this go. Obviously, this will never end. No matter how many spikes pierce the heart of the Fairness Doctrine, delusional conservatives will exhume the body and pretend that it still lives.