The Instigator
independentprogressive
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
cody30228
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

Fairness and Equal Time Doctrines

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/23/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,095 times Debate No: 2117
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (8)

 

independentprogressive

Pro

Since the classically liberal presidential administration of Ronald Reagan, the complaints surrounding the wrong-doings our large media conglomerates commit fall upon the apathetic, indolent ears of both constituents and representatives alike. Does anyone ever question this? No. Why? Because most American people don't know of any sensible solutions to our biased media, so as a result, most of their elected representative do little, or nothing about it. Just yesterday, Democratic Presidential candidate, Dennis Kucinich was excluded from the CNN debate, hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus, just as he was from the one before that (hosted by MSNBC), and the one before that (hosted by ABC), but why? For starters, ABC (owned by Disney) has given money to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, and Bill Richardson, the only candidates included in that particular debate. The debate MSNBC hosted only included three
candidates; Edwards, Obama, and Clinton.

It is obvious MSNBC doesn't want Kucinich to become president. How can General Electric (MSNBC's parent company) maintain their role as the largest provider of unclean energy in the United States with the president calling for an end to coal and nuclear energy? How can Raytheon (also owned by GE) survive as a profiteering wartime contractor when the president calls for an immediate troop withdrawal in Iraq? No. Kucinich does not represent commercial interest.

Whether or not special interests in media is undebatable. It is undeniably wrong. I am convinced that without the FCC's minor regulation of fairness in media, we will always have censorship of information the American people are entitled to. The only way to fix this is to re-instate the Fairness and Equal Time Doctrines. Some believe these small regulations are unconstitutional, but I don't see how. The press is still free to publish independent information. In fact, I believe these doctrines hold the first amendment in the highest
regard.
cody30228

Con

To begin, this is what the "Fairness Doctrine" is to anyone who does not already know what it is:
A policy that forces equal showing of both sides or an argument in the media. It also says that you CANNOT make an argument without showing both sides.

My opponent says that the Fairness Doctrine solves the biased media problem in America. He mentions the presidential debate. Could it be the reason that some candidates aren't getting air-time is because not enough people support them? Clinton and Obama both have the wide support of most democrats. Any debate would focus on those two. There is a simple answer to a lack of information.
1.) Turn the channel
2.) Read another source (newspaper, online, TV)

The FD is bad for many reasons
3.) Hurts media companies
Conservative watch FOX News. Liberals watch CNN. (Generalization). Conservatives and Liberals enjoy listening to their own rhetoric. If FOX and CNN was unbiased and fair, many viewers would not have such "loyalty" to some news stations. This means the fan base goes away.
4.) Unconstitutional
I can say what I want. This is the 1st Amendment. Kucinich was able to claim that he was getting no air-time. (I saw his statement regarding it). Why? Because the 1st Amendment allowed it. If Kucinich came on CNN, if we had the FD and said that NBC was bad, he would be sued unless a representative from NBC was present to debate this. The FD forces speakers to meet a requirement, which violates the 1st amendment.
Debate Round No. 1
independentprogressive

Pro

Your analysis of the Fairness Doctrine is way off base. The Fairness Doctrine has two basic elements: It requires broadcasters to devote some of their airtime to discussing controversial matters of public interest, and to air contrasting views regarding those matters. Stations are given wide latitude as to how to provide contrasting views: It can be done through news segments, public affairs shows or editorials.

The Fairness Doctrine does NOT regulate talk shows of any sort.

This is how the Fairness Doctrine Worked:
Citizens, or citizen groups could file a complaint to the FCC for judgement. The Supreme Court ruled that "[the Fairness Doctrine] advances First Amendment values. It safeguards the public's right to be informed on issues affecting our democracy, while also balancing broadcasters' rights to the broadest possible editorial discretion."

The Fairness Doctrine would solve many of our media problems because it promotes citizen's involvment and interest over the media's agenda.
cody30228

Con

"Stations are given wide latitude as to how to provide contrasting views: It can be done through news segments, public affairs shows or editorials."
Stations can do what ever they want. The problem arises when individuals sue when the radio station is not following the Fairness Doctrine. Just look at many McDonald's lawsuits over spilled coffee. Any toe out of line by the media outlet would result in a suet.

"The Fairness Doctrine does NOT regulate talk shows of any sort."
In Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC, 395 U.S. 367 (1969), the founding case for the Fairness Doctrine, began when Fred J. Cook sued a Christian TALK SHOW.

"The Supreme Court ruled that "[the Fairness Doctrine] advances First Amendment values. It safeguards the public's right to be informed on issues affecting our democracy, while also balancing broadcasters' rights to the broadest possible editorial discretion.""
What you are refferring to was the Red Lion 1969 case. However, in the case of Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo, 418 U.S. 241 (1974), Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote (for a unanimous court), "Government-enforced right of access inescapably dampens the vigor and limits the variety of public debate."

"The Fairness Doctrine would solve many of our media problems because it promotes citizen's involvment and interest over the media's agenda."
This is the extent of your actual argument. As I said before, we can simply change the channel or find another source for news. Now you ignored my argument that media companies are hurt. So the Fairness Doctrine has some advantages (that are non-unique) and causes damage. If you could travel from A to B in a painful manner, or an equally quick painless manner, you would choose the painless manner. We should all choose the option AGAINST the fairness doctrine.
Debate Round No. 2
independentprogressive

Pro

independentprogressive forfeited this round.
cody30228

Con

So my opponent has no response to why the fairness doctrine is bad.
It is unconstitutional
There are other alternatives
Businesses are harmed
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Amos 9 years ago
Amos
Good job Cody! I hope that my comments were not detrimental to this topic. I really wanted to see this one carried out to the end. Freedom to do what we want is a great thing and the one thing that made us great! The only proper role of government is to protect the individual's rights. Anything else will take freedom away from us the individual even the "group" of individuals that the law professes to "protect".
rjb
Posted by Amos 9 years ago
Amos
I agree with the jest of this rant. It has some pointing fingers to people and individuals that seem to be contradictive in nature. Ronald Reagan and the Liberal Media unchecked? Where is the connection? As far as a sensible solution, Ronald Reagan had the answer, get the government out of business! Let the market adjust itself. Here is my "sensible" solution to the large media wrong-doings. I have not watched a broadcast newscast in 6 years, except when my son was chosen as the "Prep-of-the-week" for his high school wrestling. Guess what!? I do not watch for the very reason my opponent states. Reagan believed that it was not the "Representatives" apathetic and indolent ears duty or role to put in check the one sided bias of the media. He proposed that it was just as I have done, stop watching, listening, reading or supporting them! My opponent got one thing right! The wrong doings of the large media is falling on apathetic . . . . . constituents. . . . Here is where he is wrong! Stop complaining about it to the representatives and so something about it! Do you think that any company will pay any broadcast to advertise if it did not bring customers to buy there products? No! The solution is to stop watching . . . get your news from other sources. Internet! Debates like this one! Radio programs, that promotes your own beliefs. Support civic organizations that work to get correct information out to the public.

My opponent mentions the CNN debate and a boycott of one of his candidates. Well CNN and MSNBC totally have the right to broadcast what they want! Who is holding a gun to your head to watch it? The act out of self interest, PROFIT! At the end of the day, week, month year, if they do not have "watchers" they will not have advertisers. When they do not have ad revenue, they will either change so they can get them or they will go out of business.
Posted by Amos 9 years ago
Amos
Dennis Kucinich sounds like the victim of his own poison. Force the media, with a gun, to allow equal time to candidates. Government involvement in "bailing out" big media and subsidizing them in the name of "the good of the people" creates the very problem with the wrong-doings of large media. Do you think if the "government" controlled what is being broadcast you would get more freedom for Mr. Kucinich? What if he had a platform that was different than the standing "rulers" of the existing government? They would say ok we just broadcast 30 minutes of the "left" now we must broadcast 30 minutes of the "right", you can insert black and white, or radical or moderate, or any other opposing view anyone could conjure up that was in opposition to an others view. This would mean much less time for a long shot candidate like Mr. Kucinich. Because the broadcast will not spend more "public" time that takes away from the money making "trash" that sells ads for them. Do you think they make a lot of money on the debate ads? NO! But they do the debates so they can dup guys like my opponent into believing that they are a "public service" organization, and they belong to the public so they can get the support from government instead of letting the market adjust their profit. It is clear that they do not want some candidates to have the exposure others get. They do not have his support if he was elected! They will only expend enough of their profit to keep our leaders in control and will not support any others. And yes their advertisers chosen candidate will get their support. It is all about profit. But to create a "law" to get "equal" time in the media is not the answer! The answer is just this. Don't support them! Let the government doing its proper role. Protect our individual rights, life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Not determine what broadcast companies send out on air waves.
Posted by Amos 9 years ago
Amos
Free Enterprise and the Free Market is the answer to the "unbeatable" media. How? By our freedom to choose what we want to read listen to, and believe. The Fairness and Equal Time Doctrines are some of the worst socialistic rhetoric in this the United States of America! It would protect the very symptoms my opponent is complaining about! But do nothing about the cause of these symptoms. Treat the disease not the symptom! He is wrong about it being unconstitutional! It takes the "guns" of the government at puts it to the head of every small media enterprise trying to take down the "Big Media" and forces them to produce unmarketable material, in the name of "Fairness", and gives the "market" an unfair advantage to the bigger media groups that are already controlled by "big money" special interest groups. Wow! The Press and Radio were not "free" to publish independent information. It forced them to leave out some great information because they could not find content that was contradictive content, or content that shows the "other" or "both" sides. Most of the great Radio programs I remember got cancelled because the owners could not either find opposition point of view content, or they would drive away existing listener ship because they did broadcast different opinions from their clientele. Think about it! CNN would have to right after the Democratic debate run a Republican Debate! But wait! What about the other independent Parties! Where do they get their "free nickel" of time!

I am sorry I missed getting in this debate. But I wanted to say my 2 cents worth! Wait. . . . Now here is Jonny with his opposing opinion! Because it is against the "law" for you to only read, or better yet for Debate.org to only post, my side of the issue! You do not understand the 1st amendment!
Posted by thelemite 9 years ago
thelemite
I'm in two debates right now both longer than 3 rounds so I wouldn't be able to do this debate justice. Seek me out when I'm not in a debate and I'll go at with you.

Could the reason that Kucinich wasn't allowed in either debate is because he doesn't comply with the qualification rules. In other words, Kucinich is not a contender having won no delegates yet. So why take the time from the real candidates by having him there.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
Posted by Dapperdan2007 9 years ago
Dapperdan2007
Interesting topic of discussion. I agree with much of what you say. I look forward to watching this debate.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by Krazzy_Player 3 years ago
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independentprogressivecody30228Tied
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Vote Placed by Amos 9 years ago
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