Under Fairness Skies

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Despite the Constitutional edict, lacking in ambiguity of any kind, we have rules regarding churches creeping into publicly funded education.  Take a verbal poke at the wrong specially protected group, and freedom of speech will wave to you from the gallery while some lawyer does his best proctologist impression on you.  Get enough folks together in one place, and you’d better have the right paid permits – not to mention the blessing of the local authorities.  And redressing the government for grievances?  Drop by Capitol Hill without an appointment sometime – see how redressed you feel after the Capitol police get through with you.

Why should freedom of the press be any different?  Barack Obama’s ascension to the throne has the Democrats feeling their oats.  The Fairness Doctrine, a long-dead abrogation of the 1st Amendment, is alive – at least, undead – and is walking the allegorical earth with impunity; guided on its path by gleeful lieutenants of the left.

Congressional Democrats have been making news the last few days with promises that the Fairness Doctrine isn’t going to lurch into motion like The Monster clambering off the table in Dr. Frankenstein’s lab.  Steny Hoyer (D-MD) came right out and said he wasn’t going to let it make it to a vote in the house.  Steny Hoyer is a liberal democrat.  More importantly, he’s congressman.  Steny – you’ll understand if I thusly maintain a healthy dose of skepticism.  Especially since while you’re promising the Fairness Doctrine will remain 6 feet under the legislative soil, His Royal Highness, Emperor Barack I, has decided to open his momentous, ground-breaking, history-making, light-of-freedom-casting administration by….picking public fight with Rush Limbaugh.

The Fairness Doctrine, a golem charged with the mission of ending right-wing hegemony over talk radio.  A homunculus singly tasked with stomping the Limbaughs and Hannitys of the world shod in boots of pure ideological purpose: if you air an Evil Conservative talk show for 3 hours – then give us 3 hours of…..well, someone.  If your station offers Hate Filled Right Wing Rhetoric, then so should you give…..someone else…equal time to retort.  Never mind that the free market economics of radio have already ruled “someone else” – anyone else – represents a ratings dead zone.

Of course, as a warning to my Democrat friends, I should be FAIR: a Fairness Doctrine requires an attendant Fairness Doctrinaire.  All well and good if you’re a Democrat in a democrat-run America.  But what happens when the cycle reverses, as it so often does?  For every Carter, there was a Reagan.  For every Clinton, a Bush (or even two).  In 2009, the Fairness Doctrine Czar might be a hyper-liberal flack like the aforementioned Franken, and judging by how unfunny and unlistened-to his talk radio effort was, he could use the work – and with the right mix of fraud and guesswork, he may have found it in the U.S. Senate.  But in 2013?  Imagine the horror of a Director Rush Limbaugh – or…horrors…Karl Rove.

To wit:  Let’s open our papers years hence and see..

Olbermann waits by phone.

Homogenized Press Reports

September 9, 2016

“DNC headquarters erupted in paroxysms of rage today upon learning the New York Times lead editorial consisted of a studied endorsement of school choice, lower income taxes, heightened military strength and the preservation of the 2nd Amendment.  Dennis Kucinich, the current DNC chair said ‘we didn’t deliberately obfuscate the obvious lack of President Obama’s quality and qualifications just to see our media turned against us after only 4 years.’

Kucinich’s comments came as the Times, a redoubtable clearinghouse for DNC talking points, was forced to offer the non-liberal editorial following a Fairness Doctrine complaint from conservative watchdog group “CNN Blows“.  When asked about the increase in corporate media outlets being hit with Fairness Doctrine rulings, Fairness Czar Karl Rove said ‘look, this has been the law of the land since February of 2009 – the FAIR application thereof does not change with Presidential administrations.’

RNC chairman Eric Cantor said “Hey, turnabout is fair play.  They wanted it when Obama got elected and they used it to hamstring talk radio – now President Palin is forcing the corporate media to play by the same rules.  Looks like the hypocritical chickens have come home to roost.’

Surprisingly, the left wing appeared to have been caught completely flat-footed by the new aggressiveness of the Director of the Office of National Speech Control Policy.  Rove has been extraordinarily active since being appointed to the office by President Sarah Palin in March of 2013.  While the 4 years of the Obama Administration saw the new Fairness Doctrine being used essentially to run talk radio out of business and force Fox News to show 2 hours of Randi Rhodes each night, the new direction has been much more even-and heavy- handed.

And the left is – to turn the phrase – bereft.  Once-dependably liberal outlets like the Times and CNN have been forced to not only offer Fairness Czar-approved editorials, they are also no longer allowed to read DNC talking points memos as news copy.

The newest developments promise to incite even more ire from the left.  Director Rove’s office has indicated interest in the blogosphere.  Although no rulings have yet been issued regarding online opinion comment, ONSCP agents have reportedly been scrutinizing postings on such far-left sites as George Soros-backed Moveon.org, with records requests also landing in the offices of Dailykos.com, a fringe site run by Al Qaeda supporter Markos Moulitsas.  Reached by phone in on vacation in Waziristan, Moulitsas said ‘I talked to Osama and Aym….I mean, my advisers..and we are going to bomb….I mean…sue.’

To add insult to the left wing’s deepening injuries, only last week, MSNBC announced the termination of Keith Olbermann.  Olbermann’s ouster came after Director Rove’s office ruled the far-left cable net offer a nighttime host who ‘Isn’t a complete no-talent bloviating partisan hack who wouldn’t know the truth if it bit him on his pansy ass and who doesn’t owe his entire career to the much funnier Dan Patrick and the much more important Bill O’Reilly.’

Unable to find an outlet with a right-wing commentator sufficiently lacking in quality, honesty and talent, Olbermann remains unemployed – and possibly unemployable; an ironic icon of the policy he and the rest of the liberal media once championed.”

A Fair forecast, indeed.

– Ben Crystal