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The "Fairness" Doctrine: Unfair, Unwise and Unconstitutional

Recorded on October 4, 2007

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

In 1949, the Federal Communications Commission established the Fairness Doctrine requiring broadcasters to provide fair and balanced public affairs related programming.  By 1985, it was clear that the Fairness Doctrine was no longer necessary due to the emergence of a "multiplicity of voices in the marketplace."  Following a Federal Court's ruling that the FCC was not statutorily bound to enforce the Fairness Doctrine, the FCC abolished the Fairness Doctrine in 1987.  That same year President Reagan vetoed Fairness Doctrine legislation.

Nevertheless, in recent weeks several prominent politicians have been voicing a desire to reinstitute the misleadingly-named Fairness Doctrine - thus threatening our constitutional right to free speech and fundamentally undermining the workings of our free market democracy.  Join us as Senator Norm Coleman addresses efforts to bring back the Fairness Doctrine and its dangerous concept of the government rationing free speech and determining what is fair.