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Forum Post: PUFF On the Return of the Fairness Doctrine and the Equal Time Rule

Posted 2 years ago on Nov. 30, 2011, 12:53 p.m. EST by puff6962 (4052)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

(from Wiki)

The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, that required the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was, in the Commission's view, honest, equitable and balanced. The FCC decided to eliminate the Doctrine in 1987, and in August 2011 the FCC formally removed the language that implemented the Doctrine.

The Fairness Doctrine had two basic elements: It required broadcasters to devote some of their airtime to discussing controversial matters of public interest, and to air contrasting views regarding those matters. Stations were given wide latitude as to how to provide contrasting views: It could be done through news segments, public affairs shows, or editorials. The doctrine did not require equal time for opposing views but required that contrasting viewpoints be presented.

The main agenda for the doctrine was to ensure that viewers were exposed to a diversity of viewpoints. In 1969 the United States Supreme Court upheld the FCC's general right to enforce the Fairness Doctrine where channels were limited. But the courts did not rule that the FCC was obliged to do so. The courts reasoned that the scarcity of the broadcast spectrum, which limited the opportunity for access to the airwaves, created a need for the Doctrine. However, the proliferation of cable television, multiple channels within cable, public-access channels, and the Internet have eroded this argument, since there are plenty of places for ordinary individuals to make public comments on controversial issues at low or no cost.

The equal-time rule specifies that U.S. radio and television broadcast stations must provide an equivalent opportunity to any opposing political candidates who request it. This means, for example, that if a station gives one free minute to a candidate on the prime time, it must do the same for another candidate.

However, there are four exceptions: if the air-time was in a documentary, bona fide news interview, scheduled newscast or an on-the-spot news event the equal-time rule is not valid. Since 1983, political debates not hosted by the media station are considered news events, thus may include only major-party candidates without having to offer air time to minor-party or independent candidates.

This rule originated in § 18 of the Radio Act of 1927. It was later superseded by the Communications Act of 1934, where the Equal Time Rule is codified as § 315(a).

Another provision of § 315(a) prohibits stations from censoring campaign ads. A related provision, in § 315(b), requires that broadcasters offer time to candidates at the same rate as their "most favored advertiser".

The rule was created because the FCC thought the stations could easily manipulate the outcome of the elections.


The Equal Time Rule and the Fairness Doctrine of media should again be enforced. Frank errors, misrepresentations, and lies in reporting should again require sanction. The news media serves a vital function in our Democracy and it is rotting on the vine. News has become entertainment and it must again be treated as a service to the public. Newspapers and investigative journalism are dying and our federal government should adopt every incentive, tax break, or subsidy to preserve them.

I cannot stress this one enough. If our ability to find truth is allowed to perish, then our ability to govern ourselves is lost.

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[-] 4 points by geno52 (18) 2 years ago

Conservatives rail against the Fairness Doctrine because it's demise gave them control of the airwaves and print media. You can't swing a cat without hitting a conservative talker or blogger anymore. The lib talkers are around but in nowhere near the numbers and with nowhere near the budgets. We used to have regulations that limited American Media Ownership. The Rupert Murdochs of the world were successful in overturning those regulations and as a result Rupert now controls an estimated 30% of the news and information consumed by Americans every day. And he's just one man! Think about any of the News outlets you can name and ask yourself if they are run by true journalists in the interest of the public good or are they just mega corporations in it just for the bucks? The American People don't get a pass from me either. They allowed this to happen. They fail to demand better. As a consequence we are some of the most under, if not mis-informed people in a world leading Nation. How about this, how about we hold politicians and their election campaigns and supporters to the same standard that we hold all other advertisers to? Lysol once claimed they had ingredients that fought the common cold. This turned out not to be true and their ads were pulled. So why do we allow pols to tell the biggest whoppers they can think of on American TV with no accountability except through the fact checkers we can occasionally see on local broadcasts? If politicians and/or the supporters and detractors of ballot issues can't abide by a standard of truth in advertising then their ads get pulled without refund. We don't have to stand for deceitful and misleading ads from the people who wish to represent us.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

And that applies to this thread, right wingers supporting free speech to be bought and paid for by the 1%. And its worked well for them.

[-] 1 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

Yes. We are entitled to our own opinions, but we are not entitled to our own facts.

Rupert Murdoch has placed an Iron Curtain around truth wherever he has tread and he has sprung a divisiveness that could unravel Western Society.

That may sound paranoid, but unfortunately it is the truth.

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

Amen and Exactly.

The erosion of the Fairness Doctrine and the Equal Time Rule was the "Citizen's United" of the Right wing propaganda machine.

Like getting big money out of politics, there has to become a different set of incentives for our major sources of news and medial.

Truth serves a public service. You wouldn't hand someone a loud speaker in a crowded theater if he were screaming "fire," but that is what we have done.

[-] 2 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 2 years ago

OWS needs to focus on a few issues or it will become overloaded and spread too thin to be effective and be able to do nothing good. First we need to brainstorm all the possible ideas then we need to pick the best ideas and begin to work on making those changes. OWS has captured for a moment the ear of the public, now is the time to fill the ear with the most important demands we all (or most) agree on. This could be the start of a new form of government better than Capitalism if we proceed correctly. We the people form of gov where "we the people" become the 4th branch of government and we get to vote on all new laws passed by the other 3 branches, within 1 year of them passing. The bills would have to be read by a non-lawyer (just like New Zeeland) in 5 minutes or less. Then let them try to pass a bill that contains a huge raise for Senators and we could veto it, and have control of our government for the first time. THINK

[-] 1 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

That was the system of the Roman Forums.....the Senate were only guides.

[-] 1 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 2 years ago

interesting, is it worth perusing?

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

No, because you end up in the possibility of the tyranny of the majority.\

What if 90% of the society thought it would be great to enslave the other 10%.....you would have a majority of 90%.

[-] 1 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 2 years ago

you speak of mob rule? or democratic rule?

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

Referendums have been, in American history, profoundly regressive and anti-Democratic. I think the notion of having Americans voting on all laws and regulations is just not realistic or, in theory, a good idea.

[-] 1 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 2 years ago

how else can we control a out of control government that is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding government???

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

By electing ethical, energetic, and talented representatives and handing them the proper incentives in their political future, namely that of serving the public interest.

[-] 1 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 2 years ago

our system corrupts new representatives with amazing speed. Power corrupts and absolute power absolutely corrupts. Term limits many help, but a new 4 branch government would serve us better and give us some real say in OUR government. That branch would be "{we the people" and we would get to vote yes or no on every bill that the other 3 branches passes. Let them vote themselves a raise of 100,000.00 per yer then and see if we let them keep it. YOU GOTA THINK!

[-] 1 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

Governance has become a very technical matter and no incoming member of Congress truly understands the process until he has been around for four years. Term limits are therefore a red herring.

In the old days, there did exist a system of term limits. Representatives who did a crappy job got voted out by an informed populace.

Some guys built careers in Washington and served their districts for decades.....others floundered in a single term and that was their term limit.

A million people voting on hr bill 33553.535, or the thousands of other measures that pour through Congress per year, would require that citizens do nothing else but hang around for a vote. Not realistic and it's not going to happen.

[-] 1 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 2 years ago

study New Zeelands system of governance. They are part time. They pass bills that can be read in 5 minutes and be understood by non-lawyers. The people get to vote on some of the laws that pass. "We should copy this model and improve it. The voting of we the people would happen one a year for one day. The bills would be published so we could read the fine print and give a informed decision if this law will be good for us or not. Or we can have what we have a government for the banks by the banks.

[-] 1 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

Do you have any comprehension of how detailed and technical many bills are.....summarize them in 5 minutes? You're going down a winding road that will lead you nowhere.

[-] 1 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 2 years ago

do you realize that they DO NOT have to be so technical? they SHOULD be written so a 9th grader can understand quickly, stealing is wrong, violence is wrong, those 2 bills were short, no? But a lawyer could inflate those to 500 pages with out trying. Heck the senators don't even read the bills they vote on. How does that work? Did you check on New Zeelands democracy and see how they do it? It seems to work for them, why not copy it????? Keep what works and keep it simple. Our citizens are not lawyers so they can not understand the laws being written until they get caught doing something written into page 2745 of a bill on oil imports that also covers double parking on Sundays on the south side of town when the sun is shining, and you try to claim that you did not know about the law, ignorance of the law is no excuse. But even the cops don't know the laws they do as told. Laws should be able to be read in 5 minutes and understood by 9th graders. This country is full of people who's education only goes that far. How long does it take to read and understand the 10 commandments? 10 X 5 minutes = 50 minutes, all done.

[-] 1 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

No. Governing is a very technical enterprise and language must be exact in order to be accurate. I am sorry you don't understand "lawyer speak." Neither do I. However, you would be amazed how important it is to have a good attorney at your beck and call when dealing with contracts.

The world is a complicated place. Pretending that it is not will not change that.

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

Have you ever read an actual bill before Congress? Do you understand that if you change one word of that bill, it's entire intent may be altered?

[-] 1 points by jjuussttmmee (607) 2 years ago

written by lawyers so lawyers will always have a job reading and interpreting the law (more of what OWS should be hating (my opinion)). You do know how long those bills are don't you? look at New Zeelands bills and see if you can read one of those and understand it, I thinks you will be able to. Then try one of ours, and go hire a lawyer to interpret, what a scam for lawyers to make money where there once WAS NOT a need.

[-] 2 points by 99thpercentile (94) 2 years ago

The fairness doctrine doesn't imply fairness at all but is just a way to limit free speech. Any centralized attempt to enforce standards of "truth" in reporting will just be used by whoever is in power to limit dissent by claiming that those who oppose the government/corporate issued talking points are in violation of any such act and therefore to be shutdown. What ever happened to the idea of the marketplace of ideas? The internet is almost totally free and most people get their news from the internet now rather than broadcast journalism. Any attempt to shut down free speech for the benefit of "fairness" is a ruse designed to promote a false debate.

[-] 4 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

Systematic distortions of the truth have become the standard for some networks, stations, and newspapers.

I am not advocating the sanctioning of free speech, but it should be a requirement for obtaining a FCC license that the station demonstrate a public service. Truth is a public service.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

Media ownership consolidation and the loss of the Fairness doctrine are 2 very important issue. Both moves benefit the 1%, and amounts to Free speech being bought. And also amounts to unequal protection of Free Speech.

Edward R Murrow could not get a job today.

[-] 1 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

Amen. Walter Cronkite would have been a used car salesman. He would have been too honest to be a newscaster.

[-] 1 points by Censored (138) 2 years ago

Sure, government will enforce what's fair. Great plan. Free speech doesn't mean speech to be monitored, approved and mediated by government. Geez, it's amazing that we actually have to say this stuff.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

information and national facts are two separate things. i dont want them regulating morality (entertainment), i want them regulating the facts

[-] 1 points by Censored (138) 2 years ago

What you see as the facts. But after you empower government like that, wait until the censors change sides.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

that is the constant struggle of republican warfare. it is not for the faint of heart. and considering we have only had one civil war and now overreact with rubber bullets, this is worth the struggle in my book. what i mean is that each generation has winners and losers and facts are always at the winner's discretion.

[-] 1 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

But, the struggle must also take places in Congressional offices, in the courts, in Constitutional Amendments, and in every living room in the country.

You gain nothing by converting the converted. The instruments of power exist everywhere beyond these parks.

[-] 1 points by Censored (138) 2 years ago

Government shouldn't do censorship, even if they do dress it up as "fact fixing" or "fairness". And if you're for it, imagine the other side doing it via government 20 years from now and then you'll be against it.

[-] 2 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

I don't think you understand how systems work so instead of going around in circles with you, i'm going to go play somewhere else. good bye and cheers!

[-] 1 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

I think there have been instances of such egregious reporting that sanctions and fines were warranted.

[-] 0 points by Censored (138) 2 years ago

Then let people change the channel. Government news police only makes sense until the government changes sides. Then you'll scream like hell.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

SO we should let Corporations and the 1% buy free speech instead?

Puh lease.....

[-] 1 points by Censored (138) 2 years ago

Seriously? There's no monopoly on speech; alternatives have proliferated. People can exchange ideas and acquire information more freely than ever before in human history. Liberals are losing the war of ideas. Make a better case and you won't need censorship.

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

But, where does advertising end and destructive propaganda begin? Are public corporations truly entitled to free speech. If the East India Company had tried to buy off our founding fathers or first members of Congress.....do you think that the framers of the Constitution would have allowed it? Do you believe that, with the invasiveness of modern media and advertising that the authors of the Constitution would have been so broad in their first amendment articulation?

[-] 0 points by Censored (138) 2 years ago

LIberals wanting government "truth" commissions to control the media; it just doesn't get any better. Here's a better plan: Come up with better ideas and you won't need to censor the other side for them to have a chance.

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

Do you mean better lies or better ideas.

Fox news and talk radio sell a narrative that often treats the truth worse than a Tijuana prostitute.

The left couldn't come up with some of the stuff they spew. They're just not that smart.

Was the movie rating system that existed for 50 years liberal or conservative? Did it intrude upon free speech?

We are all entitled to our own opinions, but we are not entitled to our own FACTS.

[-] 1 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

Do you have any notion of "public service."

Are institutions responsible for promoting a better society?

Oh, ya, you're dull knife guy.

I think that you would be happy if Fox news could continue to spew a propaganda narrative.

[-] 0 points by Censored (138) 2 years ago

Yeah, that's it. It wouldn't be media police, it's just the gentle hand of government making society better. Seems like what they'd say China to justify state control. State control is really neato until they're no longer siding with you. Then it's not so neato. But you're too dumb to know that ahead of time.

[-] 1 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

Wouldn't you like to see Olbermann fact checked?

Wouldn't you just love to see a newspaper or MSNBC sanctioned for projecting heresy they know not to be true?

[-] 0 points by Censored (138) 2 years ago

No, because government censor and "truth" squads are a bad idea. Olbermann and MSNBC are"censored" by viewers which have turned them off in droves.

Liberals are losing on their ideas, nothing else. They're upset and want government to stop conservative speech. But one day, liberals could be on the losing end of government censorship. Liberals are too dumb to think that far down the road.

[-] 1 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

Conservative speech is lies.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

Conservative free speech is bought and paid for by the 1%.

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

Censors have existed throughout our history.....these "censors" were those individuals who demanded the truth instead of some fairy tale to help them sleep at night.

Fox News viewers sleep very well at night.

[-] 1 points by Censored (138) 2 years ago

Sure, censors demand "truth". LOL.

[-] 1 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

In our society, do we not have libel and slander laws in every state?

[-] 2 points by Censored (138) 2 years ago

We do. Liberals want state sponsored suppression of speech that offends them. Nice, but we'll just call it "fairness".

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

Do not conservatives seek protection against libel and slander?

Look, I can't keep up with this 2 minute thingy. Will somebody please tell the moderators to turn it off. The forum has slowed down and I don't see the need for it.

[-] 1 points by Censored (138) 2 years ago

I know liberals would like to wrap state sponsored censorship in something legitimate sounding like libel or slander, I get that.

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

Do not conservatives seek protection against libel and slander?

[-] 0 points by 99thpercentile (94) 2 years ago

Who gets to decide what's true? Any central decision by the government to get to decide what is "true" and what is "false" is incredibly dangerous to our liberty. Please watch news from other countries. Watch the BBC or Russia Today or Iran's PressTV. You will see stuff that will blow your mind that isn't even mentioned on American TV. The last thing I want is for the government to be able to say that it is illegal to report something just because some bureaucrat wants me to believe that it is not true. There are many sides to every story and many of them are false but that's not for the FCC to decide. That's for the people to decide. Things like the fairness doctrine typically accomplish the opposite of what they claim to want to accomplish.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

why not make the press the fourth estate legitimately. if the press was funded by taxes and uninfluenced by congress, then their interests would be the nation's. they would be picked by the president and confirmed by congress.

[-] 1 points by sinead (474) 2 years ago

Wonderful, "state" funded press............ Doesn't Iran have a "State" news agency?

[-] 0 points by MVSN (768) from Stockton, CA 2 years ago

Jesus tap dancing christ are you serious?

[-] 0 points by 99thpercentile (94) 2 years ago

I'm sorry I thought you just said that the press should be funded by taxes and uninfluenced by congress. Doesn't Congress appropriate spending? How exactly do you expect Congress to fund something but have no influence over it? Other countries have experimented with state run medial like the USSR, North Korea, Russia, China, Nazi Germany. That didn't work out too well. The safest protection of our first amendment is to assure that any idea no matter how whacky it may seem is allowed to be expressed. Corrupt governments love to control the media.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

well we are made to believe that the supreme court is uninfluenced and the fed is uninfluenced. another way would be to let them pick their own advertisement endorsements, but i see this method being corrupted in the future. also you don't believe that every congress man in every generation is corrupted. and i believe that congress wouldn't want to fuck with the media for political gain, but would bend over backwards to catch it in a lie. it a checks and balance thing, man. Also, most of those nations you named were not republics.

[-] 0 points by 99thpercentile (94) 2 years ago

Why is it that when people find that they distrust the government then they believe that the answer is to give more power to the government? I really have no idea how that makes any sense. Read Orwell's 1984. His dystopia has exactly what you're talking about, an organization called the Ministry of Truth or MiniTru in newspeak. I don't want to spoil it for you but I'll just say that it didn't turn out too well.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

it is to get the media out of factional control. or we could just bring the Fairness Doctrine back and kill the echo chamber. also, fiction is a great primer for the brain. But when has it ever written a society's destiny? and, i believe we are experiencing his nightmare threw its opposite. instead of history being rewritten to distort the present, it is being distorted to suit the present.

[-] 0 points by 99thpercentile (94) 2 years ago

But why do you trust a single authority to somehow pose opposing viewpoints? That really doesn't make any sense. James Madison said something to the effect of if men were angels there would be no need for the law which is often misconstrued to mean that more government is always the answer. The 18th century French economist and philosopher Bastiat put it well in saying that "If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?".

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

because it would be their business to get it right for the nation or they could be recalled. again, if checks and balances are going to be continued to be sold to the American people as good, then they should be good for all that ails. James Madison did not live through a 24 hour news cycle and had to rely on a donky and and printing press to to get his message out. and all his adversaries could afford the same or use the pony express. your logic leads me to believe that because there are so many prisoners the optimal thing would be to take half of the police force out of service. and i don't care what a 18th European, no offence, thinks about an American 21 century problem, no offence. another solution would be to have a task force of fact checkers with billy clubs and mace scattering around the media behemoth, making sure they are not distorting the picture. and why do you have such a problem with trust?

[-] 0 points by 99thpercentile (94) 2 years ago

I have a problem with trusting one organization to determine what is true and what isn't because I wasn't born yesterday and I study history. What's to prevent these "fact checkers" as you call them from eliminating anyone who doesn't see things the way we're all supposed to see them. The real question is why do you have such a blind trust in government? It is corrupt at every level and you want to give it the ultimate power, the power of a monopoly on information? You may think that an 18th century man's view of human nature is irrelevant but I don't. People act the same way today as they've acted for thousands of years. This neophilia that some people have regarding rejecting ideas that they deem "too old" simply because they didn't come out with the last Justin Beiber album is just silly. The media was just as wild and just as vitriolic if not more in the 18th century as it is today. The system of checks and balances in media is that nobody controls it. Balance means multiple agencies sharing power not a single behemoth.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

ok, being I don't have a dog in this fight, happy on the bottom rung, how about we break down the vertical integration of the media empires and only allow states to regulate local media outlets. this will give each state its own flavor of the truth, and leave national consensus building to congress, maybe, within a proportional representation system. and if this aint good enough, what would you suggest? and as for old ideas not being applicable, i live by the philosophy that if you want a new idea, read an old book, but if you want a stagnating culture, use an old idea. the subtle difference makes an abysmally huge difference. but my clay is the same as your clay, so i could be wrong.

[-] 0 points by 99thpercentile (94) 2 years ago

If you want the government to tell you how to think then go right ahead. Watch the major media outlets as they are all cheerleaders for the government. I will continue to form my own perspective based on numerous disagreeing sources. The difference of opinions is where truth can be discovered. You are subscribing to a very naive way of thinking.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

no body tells me what to think. with that said, it seems like a lot of people enjoy being told what to think. so, one more time, how about we make college free and compulsory? this would proliferate critical thinking. but I know, damn pesky laws, who needs them.

[-] 1 points by 99thpercentile (94) 2 years ago

There is a difference between having laws and having authoritarian laws. It's a common straw man argument to assume that those who are suspicious of government overreaching it's authority are anarchists. It's not that college should or shouldn't be free it's that it can't be free. Somebody pays and the heaviest burden is on those in society that actually create things rather than simply consume them. We have enough problems as it is with the free money given out as government subsidized loans. These loans encourage malinvestment in fields with low demand and cause education costs to go up. You say you want to proliferate critical thinking but I say if you want to change the world start at home. You're not thiking critically. You're thinking emotionally. Sure it sounds great to have a thought police (I guess) until they are corrupted which they undoubtedly would be. When will people understand that Utopia isn't real and stop trying to give all of the control to the hands of the greedy few?

[-] 1 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

Those are good points, but sometimes the threat of action is the best mode of enforcement.

I am not well versed on the history of these laws and under which conditions they have been enforced.

If you know their history, please forward me a link or something.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I'm afraid I have to agree with 99thpercentile. Unfortunately, there's only one way to cure what ails us, and that's for people to start applying some critical reasoning.

Left to their own devices, it's pretty clear we have a large number of citizens who will believe whatever they want to believe, no matter how absurd. The posts I see in these forums are proof enough. Left unchecked, I'm afraid free speech will ultimately be the end of Democracy.

The only hope I see is to add another year to high school talking about nothing but 'Practical Citizenship' or something. We would show how much bad information is out there on the networks and the Internet then show folks how to apply critical thinking skills to work through it. We would also have some classes on basic financial management so people are better informed regarding credit cards, mortgages, etc. I bet you could think of a few more topics required.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

What we have now is free speech bought and paid for. Why should we allow the 1% to have more free speech than we do?

Pffft.

[-] 1 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

Education is the best safeguard against corruption and fraud.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (17848) 2 years ago

ARTICLE : Arundhati Roy - "The people who created the crisis will not be the ones that come up with a solution" ; http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article29884.htm ...

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

SO Free Speech should be bought by the 1% > ?

[-] 2 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

I would place this as one of the silent objectives of OWS once you have solved the problem of big money in politics.

Without a press or media based upon factual information, we will continue to be a nation divided. We will become more ideological. We will fail.

[-] 1 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

I hate to comment on my own comment on my own posting, but this is a key, serious, topic. I think it is fair to say that I can sometimes be hyperbolic, but this is an issue that Lib's and Libertarians can agree upon.

All commercial media sources should be held to a professional standard......as the delivery of quality information is a profession worth protecting.

[-] 2 points by brightonsage (4494) 2 years ago

I like your point. A democracy or republic depends on an informed electorate, not a misinformed one. One point that no one has made, is that in a campaign of finite duration, propaganda is fabricated to be consumed quickly and believed for just long enough to win, then, since the issue has been decided, why finish the research that would discredit false claims? The answer has to be that it isn't over and severe ramifications are still at stake.

What should those ramifications be? That is the question. Invalidating the results? Disqualifying the candidate that is guilty? What if both or all are guilty? What if one side has 5 fraudulent claims and the other has 1?

Probably not workable. Fines? Big fines? Death penalty?

How about prescreening all campaign materials for accuracy before they can be propagated? Possible if, as I have advocated, campaigns are very short. But late breaking news and comments on it make that awkward.

I don't know the best answer but I think we agree on the question. Some things that are difficult and preclude perfect solutions still must be addressed as effectively as humanly possible.

[-] 1 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

Negative adds work as a means of artillery. They do nothing to energize your own base or to add to your supporters......Instead, like artillery, they keep the other side pinned down and reduce the other side's voter turnout.

It is an interesting dynamic.

I understand the complexities here, but there is a solution.

Negative adds only work if they are repeated over and over. That requires a lot of money.....and that is why our Congressmen spend so much time raising funds.

If you limit big money and corporate donations, then you have neutered the beast of money and negative advertising in one swoop.

If a candidate has only limited funds, he is not going to waste his TV time spewing filth about his opponent, he is more likely to spend the money introducing himself.

This may be one of the more important posts I can submit because this dynamic of negative advertising and money is the key reason from squashing big money in our political process.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

I have to admit that commenting on your own comment in your own post is problematic.

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

Sometimes you have to jumpstart the engine.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

I just write three dots then instantly delete my message to make an "invisible" bump. It's apparent if there are no messages, but once there is already one, it's harder to tell. But yeah, usually you need a few bumps before people start bumping it for you. New threads go down fast!

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

I think I'm doing it wrong and I'm skipping replies because this 2 minute thing is a pain in the ass.

[-] 1 points by thomasthetank (41) 2 years ago

I think that "too big to fail" should be applied to media enterprises.

The policy would be called, "Too Big To Nail," because that is what has occurred in our media. Politicians are so afraid of incurring the wrath of Fox News or talk radio that they do not speak out about falsehoods.

In fact, they tailor their words to fit these narratives.

It is the ultimate case of the tail wagging the dog.

[-] 1 points by 99time (90) 2 years ago

"It is essential to break up media ownership and re-regulate with lower ownership ceilings. This is a content-neutral method of restoring the First Amendment. More owners guarantees more different views." (blatantly quotes self) http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-tv-is-the-voice-of-the-one-percent

I support the reinstatement of these rules. However, the Fairness Doctrine is not enough. Equal Time is not enough. BREAK up the media!

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

Agree. That should begin to occur after we take over the Democratic primary process and have neutered big money in politics.

[-] 1 points by Puff6962BorgTroll (28) 2 years ago

Thomas Jefferson worried about the same thing. He said that since a democracy works from the bottom up, it requires and educated public. When the USA rebelled from England, we had the highest literacy rate in the world, with 90% male literacy and 70% female literacy.

Jefferson worried that if Americans ever got lazy, and lost their literacy, it would be easy for a despot, like puff6962, to seize control of a democracy.

That's why the founding fathers established a primitive form of Internet, which relied on printing presses, newspapers, and an extensive, rapid postal service network.

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

I have already made it clear that I am not running for Emperor.

"If drafted, I will not run; if nominated, I will not accept; if elected, I will not serve"

[-] 1 points by stuartchase (861) 2 years ago

All the fairness doctrine did was provide more paper work for radio people.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20535) from South Burlington, VT 2 years ago

I cannot stress this one enough. If our ability to find truth is allowed to perish, then our ability to govern ourselves is lost.

I would actually go further - this is just one measure, and a very important one.

But we also expect truth in advertising - those provisions need to be strengthened.

We also need to keep corporate influence out of scientific research - so that companies can't pay to produce faulty theory or results that fly in the face of the data. I'm not saying that companies should not support research - but they need to get their fingers out of the results.

Disinformation of all kinds - we need sanctions, and a workable method that will predictably end the spin.

We gotta end all of the spin, because I'm really gettin dizzy . . .

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

The fairness doctrine would kill the echo chamber effect our body politic now suffers.

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

There has to be a requirement for retractions when reporting is clearly false.

That is not suppression of speech, that is suppression of LIES.

[-] 1 points by RogerDee (411) from Montclair, NJ 2 years ago

Free speech should not be bought, and with media ownership consolidation and no Fairness Doctrine the 1% have bought free speech.

I demand equal protection under the Constitution otherwise I suffer irreparable harm.

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

First Power, Then Change.

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

Does the Press truly enjoy free speech if they knowingly project mistruths?

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

We are entitled to our own opinions, but we are not entitled to our own facts.

Some set of standards will at least place a floor on what propaganda can be disguised as truth.

Censorship is only censorship if you are censoring the truth.

[-] 0 points by MVSN (768) from Stockton, CA 2 years ago

Are you an operative of the Democrat Party?

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

No. Highly independent, highly pragmatic.

[-] 0 points by puff6962 (4052) 2 years ago

“News is what people want to keep hidden; everything else is publicity.” Bill Moyers said that.....Looselyhuman referred me to the article.....which is very good by the way.

http://www.truth-out.org/how-did-happen/1320278111