Tuesday, August 16, 2005

It's time to bring back "The Fairness Doctrine"

On November 14, 2004 the Virginia Pilot fired Michelle Malkin. The public editor Marvin Lake said "readers often took issue with her [Malkin's] seemingly mean-spirited rantings and suggested that she be dropped." Michelle Malkin is just another in a series of right-wing pundits that saturate newsprint and television, like Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, Sean
Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh. All of these acid-tongued right wingers are famous for not letting anyone with a opposite point of view get a word in edgewise or in the case of Limbaugh, not letting anyone on the show who has a different point of view, yet he will put words into other people’s mouths. It was during the Reagan era that the Fairness doctrine was totally eliminated. Once upon a time in America there was a law that stated that equal time would be given to two
parties debating any major issue, it was called the Fairness Doctrine. When Ronald Reagan destroyed this law we began to see the Limbaughs, Hannities, O’Reillys and Michelle Malkin who teamed up with Bill O’Reilly to bash Cindy Sheehan, a mother who lost her son
in Iraq and wants the president to explain what the “noble” cause was that her son died for. Malkin and O’Reilly go on and on about how what Sheehan is doing (camping out near President’s home in Crawford until he tells her what that noble cause is). These two went as far as to say that there are those out there who believe what Cindy Sheehan did is
treasonous, yet they have the gall to say that they respect her grief and that they were not attacking Sheehan. It is rare that you find a columnist who is critical of a writer on his or her paper, but this is the case with Bronwyn Lance Chester, another columnist of the Virginia Pilot who had this to say about Michelle Malkin I think [Malkin] habitually mistakes shrill for thought-provoking and substitutes screaming for discussion. She's an Asian Ann Coulter. I also think that, like Coulter, she says outrageous things just to get TV appearances and book deals. She's the worst of what's wrong with punditry today. She adds absolutely nothing to genuine political discourse.
· Here are just a few examples of the lies promoted by Michelle Malkin that caught the attention of Media Matters.org “Malkin selectively quoted a New York Times editorial board member to portray a distorted image of the mainstream media's treatment of minority conservative politicians.
· Malkin followed the right-wing magazine NewsMax in falsely accusing the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) of registering a terrorist to vote in Ohio.
· Malkin referred to Women for Kerry (a "community" within Senator John Kerry's presidential campaign) as "an embarrassment to a nation at war." All cable networks, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX have a talking head that to one degree or another fits this genre….and these people go unchallenged. At least on CNN you will occasionally see a Paul Begala or James Carville articulately and enthusiastically challenging right wing ideology, but on all the other
networks the viewer gets a study diet of conservative philosophy only. This is the reason Bush was elected. This is the reason why we find ourselves in a war that is based on a proven lie. This is why we have a president who has committed impeachable offenses but cannot be
impeached because all major branches of government are controlled by people from his party. Under today’s conditions you will never see a Bill O’Reilly have a discussion with Noam Chomsky, or Michelle Malkin discuss an issue with Maxine Waters or a debate between Rush
Limbaugh and Michael Moore. Anytime we have anything coming remotely close to this you are almost guaranteed to have the right wing Pundit stand up and scream “THAT’S RIDICULOUS” which will lead to a tantrum and an exit. It is for these reasons that I applaud The Virginia Pilot for dismissing Michelle Malkin and I ask the editors and readers of the following newspapers to do the same: The Miami Herald, The Kansas City Star, Akron Beacon Journal (Ohio), USA Today, Philadelphia Daily News, The Union Leader (Manchester, New Hampshire), The Dallas Morning News, Desert Dispatch (Barstow, California), The Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, Houston Chronicle, The Modesto Bee, The Detroit News, The Rocky Mountain News, The Boston Herald, The Hartford Courant, The State Journal-Register (Springfield, Illinois), The Bellingham Herald (MA), The Asheville Citizen Times, The Herald-Dispatch (Huntington, West Virginia), The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, California), The Star-Gazette (Elmira, New York), The Times (Shreveport, Louisiana), the El Paso Times, the Great Falls Tribune (Montana), The Lowell Sun (Massachusetts), the Lexington Herald-Leader (Kentucky), The Home News Tribune (East Brunswick, New Jersey), The Times Herald (Port Huron, Michigan), The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida), The Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle (New York). The time has come to bring back the Fairness doctrine. A national movement is already taking shape. This is in no way a campaign to silence conservative thought, but the American people need to hear both sides of an issue so that they can decide for themselves and not become the robots and dittos that the conservative media have created.

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