Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, said Monday she will work to restore the Fairness Doctrine and have it apply to cable and satellite programming as well as radio and TV.
“I’ll work on bringing it back. I still believe in it,” Eshoo told the Daily Post in Palo Alto.
The Fairness Doctrine required TV and radio stations to balance opposing points of view. It meant that those who disagreed with the political slant of a commentator were entitled to free air time to give contrasting points of view, usually in the same time slot as the original broadcast.
The doctrine was repealed by the Reagan administration’s Federal Communications Commission in 1987, and a year later, Rush Limbaugh’s show went national, ushering in a new form of AM radio.
Conservative talk show hosts fear the doctrine will result in their programs being canceled because stations don’t want to offer large amounts of air time to opponents whose response programs probably wouldn’t get good ratings.
Eshoo said she would recommend the doctrine be applied not only to radio and TV broadcasts, but also to cable and satellite services.
“It should and will affect everyone,” she said.
She called the present system “unfair,” and said “there should be equal time for the spoken word.” (Photo credit: Ian Port, Daily Post)