Heartland Institute Reacts to FCC Killing the Fairness Doctrine

Published August 23, 2011

The Federal Communications Commission on Monday officially killed the Fairness Doctrine, wiping it from the pages of the Federal Register. The following statements from experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank based in Chicago – may be used for attribution.

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“Driving a stake through the heart of the Fairness Doctrine should be a heralded event, but it really has been a toothless vampire since President Reagan defanged it with a presidential veto back in 1987. But like horror movies that spawn countless sequels, the FCC’s net neutrality regulations passed last December promise to be far more rapacious than their predecessor, and go a long way toward the acknowledged purpose of government seizing control of the Internet – where consumers increasingly go for their news and entertainment – from private interests.”

Bruce Edward Walker
Managing Editor, InfoTech & Telecom News
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“It is good to finally see this remnant of a distant media age buried. The Fairness Doctrine was undemocratic and un-American. The government should never be in the business of determining the ‘fairness’ of political expression – a pointless exercise today when the digital age allows anyone to be a radio host via podcasts.

“But we still need to watch out for the ‘backdoor Fairness Doctrine’ in which the FCC could use the licensing process and the mandating of unelected station advisory boards staffed with community organizers to stifle speech on the airwaves.”

Jim Lakely
Co-Director, Center on the Digital Economy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

The Heartland Institute is a 27-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; Tallahassee, Florida; and Columbus, Ohio. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.