Thursday, February 26, 2009

Democrats Vote Down Censorship Doctrine, Before They Voted To Censor Free Speech

As Sean Hannity has been predicting, they Congress will not reinstate the so-called "Fairness Doctrine". Instead, they have passed an amendment which may accomplish the same goals, without calling it the "Fairness Doctrine".

They have successfully back-doored censorship back into talk radio with Sen. Durbin's Amendment.

This cannot stand. We need to fight for this one. This needs to go The Supreme Court.

It not only stands against free-market enterprise, but violates our First Amendment right to free speech!

From Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC):

Today, at 2pm, the Senate will vote on two amendments with respect to the Fairness Doctrine.

The DeMint amendment (Broadcaster Freedom Act) would ban the Fairness Doctrine.

The amendment by Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) would achieve the same goals of the Fairness Doctrine through backdoor FCC regulations. His legislation forces the FCC to “take actions to encourage and promote diversity in communication media ownership,” an attempt to dismantle successful syndicated radio programs.

The Durbin amendment would hurt small, local radio stations who depend on popular syndicated programming for listeners and revenue.

The Hill reported:

The Senate voted Thursday in favor of an amendment to the District of Columbia voting-rights bill that would prohibit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from reinstating the so-called Fairness Doctrine, which critics say would decimate conservative talk radio. The Senate passed the measure 87-11.

However, Democrats did pass the Durbin Amendment to restrict free speech- 57-41."Durbin Amdt. No. 591; To encourage and promote diversity in communication media ownership, and to ensure that the public airwaves are used in the public interest."


Sen. DeMint added this statement this afternoon.

“Today’s vote slammed the front door on the so-called ‘fairness doctrine,’ which threatens to censor free speech and shut down talk radio,” said Senator DeMint.

“When senators were forced to vote in the open on this issue, they were compelled to side with the American people.”

“Today was an important victory for free speech, but the fight is far from over. Senator Durbin’s amendment exposed Democrat intentions to impose radio censorship through the back door using vague regulations dealing with media ownership. Senator Durbin’s language was so broad, it could apply beyond radio to television, newspapers and the internet. All eyes are now on the FCC. If they attempt to shut down free speech indirectly, we will fight to stop them,” said Senator DeMint

“It was reassuring to see the Senate stand up for free speech today and reject this anti-American policy. However, I am troubled that as we killed the ‘Fairness Doctrine,’ Senator Durbin’s amendment brought to life a new threat to talk radio and other arenas of free speech. Senator DeMint and I, along with others, will continue to stand up to efforts to limit the expression of differing opinions and free speech on talk radio, TV, and the internet,” said Thune. “With such an overwhelming vote in the Senate, I hope the Democrat leadership in the House does not block this provision when they consider this legislation.”

Senator Inhofe said, “The overwhelming bi-partisan vote in support of the Broadcaster Freedom Act shows that the American people reject the idea of reinstating the fairness doctrine. As one of the most outspoken members in the Senate against re-instating the doctrine, I am pleased to have supported Senators DeMint and Thune in their effort. Today is a tremendous victory for free speech and the First Amendment, and while I am sure liberals will continue to look for another way to attack conservative radio, I will be standing with my colleagues to ensure that doesn’t happen.”

As reported by Broadcasting & Cable on 2/24/09, liberal activist groups believe breaking up media ownership is their next attempt to undermine successful conservative talk radio.

As radio host Rush Limbaugh wrote in the Wall Street Journal:

Mr. President, we both know that this new effort at regulating speech is not about diversity but conformity. It should be rejected. You've said you're against reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, but you've not made it clear where you stand on possible regulatory efforts to impose so-called local content, diversity-of-ownership, and public-interest rules that your FCC could issue.

"I do not favor content-based regulation of National Public Radio, newspapers, or broadcast or cable TV networks. I would encourage you not to allow your office to be misused to advance a political vendetta against certain broadcasters whose opinions are not shared by many in your party and ideologically liberal groups such as ACORN, the Center for American Progress, and There is no groundswell of support behind this movement. Indeed, there is a groundswell against it.”

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