Monday, October 22, 2007

The Left's Attempt to Silence the Right Part III

We do have some allies in the fight to prevent the left from getting Rush Limbaugh and other conservative talk show hosts off the radio. As I have said, the whole purpose of the Hillary Clinton driven plan to eliminate effective criticism of her plans and her campaign that surfaced with Senator Reid's obnoxious letter was to eliminate talk radio. Indiana Representative Mike Pence is leading a fight to prevent the FCC from enforcing any "Fairness Doctrine" type rule.

The Left's Gag Rule

Fairness Doctrine: The Democrats' assault on the First Amendment has run into a wall. Republican Rep. Mike Pence is determined to see that freedom of speech isn't repressed in the U.S. as it is in tin-pot dictatorships.

For years, the political left has been setting the country up for a rerun of the Fairness Doctrine, looking for a Reichstag fire to whip up public support for a regulation that is clearly unconstitutional despite the Supreme Court's absurd 1969 ruling.

The Fairness Doctrine was instituted in 1949 as a Federal Communications Commission rule that required broadcasting licensees to provide balanced views on controversial issues. A Democratic Congress voted to turn it into law in 1987, but Ronald Reagan vetoed the bill and the rule was scrapped. In the bloom of freedom, conservative talk radio has dominated.

Which is why Democrats want to revive the Fairness Doctrine.

The market, in which people make decisions without government interference, has chosen. Conservative talkers such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity rule the airwaves because they offer the opinions and analyses most Americans want to hear.

At the same time, there is little market for the rantings from the Democrats' worldview. The public has heard both sides and has found the ideas on the left to be wanting.

So Democrats, jealous of the right's success and frustrated over their failures (they can't understand why everyone doesn't think correctly, as they do), aim to fix things with authoritarian regulation. Apparently the legacy of liberty left to us by our founders is an archaic notion. Censorship is the new freedom of speech.

Though he'll get no praise from the mainstream media for his vigorous First Amendment protection, Pence is pushing through the House a bill with more than 200 co-sponsors that prohibits the FCC "from having the authority to require broadcasters to present opposing viewpoints on controversial issues of public importance."

Should Pence get 218 House members to sign the discharge petition he filed Wednesday, the Democratic majority will be forced to bring his bill, the Broadcaster Freedom Act of 2007, to the floor for an up-or-down vote. Given that 113 House Democrats voted in June in favor of a one-year moratorium on the Fairness Doctrine, it's likely the Indiana congressman will draw the required support.

Getting the Senate to pass a ban will require a greater effort. Minnesota Republican Sen. Norm Coleman has tried, but Democrats have blocked his bill from seeing the floor for a vote. Apparently their definition of fairness is the absence of opposition to the leftist agenda and their voices' artificial domination of the airwaves.

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