Jenks Journal: Making us listen to liberalism

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By Don Diehl
Editor Jenks Journal

Published: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 11:20 AM CST

I am sorry to say, I have never met a sharp liberal. They speak globblyglook, nonsensical goofiness at every turn. Honestly, check out the likes of Harry Reed and Nancy Pelosi. I've tried to listen to them, but I cannot for the life of me. Nor can I understand how in the world people this stupid get elected to office.

The only liberal I think that had a handle on things was the one who blogged in 2007, ". . . pathetic beyond belief. It is as if the Democrats are trying to out-stupid Bush."

He was talking about Pelosi and Reed condemning MoveOn.org for something it had published on its website.

Of course, I don't care for "MoveOn" either, but you know what? I don't have to partake.  Which is a back-door approach to say that if you don't like right-wing radio talk shows, don't tune in, stupid.

Now Democratic lawmakers are pushing to revive the unfair "Fairness Doctrine" that would force radio stations to increase the number of liberal shows on the airwaves. The reason those shows are not now on the airwaves is because no one listens and free enterprising radio stations can't sell advertising to pay for air space to which no one is tuned. Get it? Besides, we already have all of that fare we want on NPR.

Is there somehow to force the public to listen? Storm troopers, I suppose . . . or next worse thing government forced media. Have we lost our Democracy altogether?

The so-called "fairness" doctrine was an FCC policy that required broadcast stations to provide opposing views on controversial issues of public importance.

Democratic lawmakers who support the doctrine say it will help increase the number of liberal shows in a landscape dominated by conservative talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh.

"I absolutely think it's time to be bringing accountability to the airwaves," Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., told liberal radio host Bill Press last week. She said she expects hearings soon on reviving the policy, which was introduced in 1949 and abolished in 1987.

Stabenow's husband, Tom Athans, is and has been an executive at several liberal radio talk groups.

But Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe said radio programming should be based on what brings in listeners and advertisers.

"I can't think of anything worse than to have government in a position to dictate the content of information going over public radio," said Inhofe, a Republican. "The whole idea is that it has to be market driven. We have a lot of progressive or liberal radio shows but nobody listens to them and every time one tries to get on, they are not successful."

Inhofe and other critics believe those pushing to bring back the Fairness Doctrine -- nicknamed the Hush Rush Doctrine -- want to diminish the influence of Limbaugh and other conservative talk show hosts. Supporters insist that's not the case.

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, told Press last week that the Fairness Doctrine is needed not to remove any conservative voices, but to ensure that there are a few liberal shows on the air.

During the presidential campaign, a spokesman said Barack Obama did not favor reinstating the Fairness Doctrine. But his White House spokesman has since left the door open.

"I pledge to you to study up on the 'Fairness Doctrine' so that, one day, I might give you a more fulsome answer," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said.

Inhofe says Democrats and liberal advocacy groups aren't going to let the matter drop.

"They are committed to make this happen," he said. "We got to be ready."

Inhofe introduced a bill this year to prevent reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, but he said he has not gotten a single Democrat to co-sponsor it.