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Friday, October 13, 2006

Free Speech

A few days ago in "You've Got To Be Kidding" I laughed about Geoffrey Stone's list of liberal beliefs.

In today's Opinion Journal (and on Wall Street Journal's print opinion page), Peggy Noonan takes the left to task on the idea they support open debate, and are tolerant of others views, the number 2 and 3 "good things" Stone mentioned about being a liberal.

She points out at least a four instances; in just the last few weeks; of conservatives being shouted down at speaking engagments, news organizations being attacked by the left for allowing conservative guests and speakers to get a word in, and generally the whole demeanor of the left on the idea of "free speech".

Give Peggy a read today, it's worth it.

Also on that topic today, Charlie Sykes mentioned the idea that the Chapter 11 filing by Air America, the liberal talk network couldn't come at a worse time. Many on the left, especially larger donor groups have been calling for the return of the "fairness doctrine", and Air America dying would make that call even louder.

For those not old enough to remember the pre-Limbaugh days on the airwaves, the fairness doctrine basically said you had to devote equal time to opposing viewpoints as a requirement of keeping your broadcast license. If you allow sponsors to pay for four hours of Rush, you have to find sponsors to pay for four hours of Al Franken.

The free market has shown that there isn't a real call for liberal talk radio, but a huge outlet for it on the conservative side. The left would like the doctrine returned; not to get equal time because they've proven no one will listen; but instead to force broadcasters to chose between two bad choices, giving liberals that no one listens to air time, or cutting down on conservative talk shows. The feeling on the left is that broadcasters would rather cut down on conservative talk shows and fill with something that would make money, rather than give liberals, who Air America has proven don't sell airtime.

While many who advocate this return claim that it's the consolidation of broadcasters (who are right wing and evil) that necessitates this, keep in mind Milwaukee's two biggest talk radio hosts are on stations owned by generally liberal media companies. Evidently they know what sells, and it's not like minded talk show hosts.

Just keep Geoff Stone's #2 rule of liberals, they support open debate of ideas, which is hard to reconcile with their desire to return the fairness doctrine.

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2Comments:

Blogger shoprat said...

There is a surviving liberal talk-network and it survives because of gov't funding.

It's called NPR.

9:22 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:22 PM  

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