The Instigator
RoyLatham
Pro (for)
Winning
20 Points
The Contender
Gr8tDeb8er
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points

The "Fairness Doctrine" should be rejected

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
RoyLatham
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/2/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,696 times Debate No: 6731
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (4)

 

RoyLatham

Pro

Resolved: The "Fairness Doctrine" should be rejected.

Definitions

The "Fairness Doctrine" is a government rule that would require broadcast radio to offer time for opposing viewpoints in response to editorial comments. There was a Fairness Doctrine imposed in the early days of radio and television, but it was revoked in by the FCC in 1987. From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org...:

"According to Steve Rendall of FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting),

The Fairness Doctrine had two basic elements: It required broadcasters to devote some of their airtime to discussing controversial matters of public interest, and to air contrasting views regarding those matters. Stations were given wide latitude as to how to provide contrasting views: It could be done through news segments, public affairs shows or editorials. The doctrine did not require equal time for opposing views but required that contrasting viewpoints be presented.[3]

The Fairness Doctrine was introduced in the U.S. in 1949.[4] The doctrine remained a matter of general policy and was applied on a case-by-case basis until 1967, when certain provisions of the doctrine were incorporated into FCC regulations.[5]"

Note that the doctrine required each and every station to have public affairs programming. Top Forty music stations had to provide something, so they would run an hourly news feed and come out in opposition to littering or something, and then provide time for opposing viewpoints, for fear of losing their license.

History

In various Court cases, some aspects of the Fairness Doctrine were upheld by the Supreme Court, while other aspects have not been tested. The resolution for this debate asserts that no form of the Fairness Doctrine should be instituted by any branch or agency of the government, whether or not it is Constitutional.

In the early days of broadcasting, the Fairness Doctrine made some sense. The logic was that many people could only receive a few radio or TV stations, and airwaves were a limited resource controlled by the government. If a person could only receive a couple stations, there was a chance that the listener would not get any news program unless it was required. It was comparable to having the government be the sole owner of the only printing press and deciding how it would apportion time for use of the press.

Arguments

However, even back at the time the grounds were dubious. Newspapers and magazines were the main news sources, so it was not as if a person had no access to news or opposing viewpoints. Not having the Internet or much television, people not only had access to print media, they actually read the media a whole lot.

What brought about the present interest in the resurrection of the Fairness Doctrine was the failure of liberal talk radio. Conservative talk radio dominates opinion on AM radio. In an attempt to counter that, Liberals launched and heavily funded Air America http://en.wikipedia.org..., and liberal print media promoted it as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Air America could not attract listeners or advertisers and went bankrupt. The remnants were sold off, and the network continues with a reduced schedule and small audience. The top two Air America shows combined draw less than 6% of Rush Limbaugh's audience, never mind the rest of Conservative talk radio. In liberal New York City, the Air America station had lower ratings than the all-Caribbean music station it replaced.

Station owners would have to convince government bureaucrats they are being fair according to the standards of liberal bureaucrats, which poses yet another burden to discourage the talk radio format.

Re-instituting the Fairness Doctrine is perceived by Liberals as a win-win situation. One possibility is that stations will continue to broadcast Conservative talk radio, in which case the Libs will get free air time to promote the virtues of big government. The other possibility is that having to give out free air time that has a very small audience will destroy the economics of the radio stations so they will switch to a different format.

The Fairness Doctrine should be rejected because:

1. It is a hypocritical attempt to suppress free speech. If there were an interest in "fairness" for the sake of fairness then advocates would use that logic to demand that the Internet and every newspaper and magazine also be "fair." There is, however, no interest in spreading this brand of fairness to anything except media that has become Conservative.

2. It depends upon the government to determine what is fair. That is exactly the mode adopted by China and the old Soviet Union. Government bureaucrats cannot be trusted to make the determine what is fair. If one examines PBS and the BBC, they believe they are fair, but in fact they are overwhelmingly leftist. That's because people who choose to work for government as a career strongly tend to favor government solutions to problems. That's true no matter who happens to be the chief executive. Bureaucrats always have predominantly a leftist agenda.

3. With current technology, there are is no shortage of alternative media sources. Cable television is now in 85% of homes, and anything one wants can be found on the Internet. Whatever case there once was for supposing limited bandwidth is now gone.

4. It is contrary to free speech to attempt to force-feed opinion to people. People should be free to choose, by virtue of what they listen to and support, what programming they get. If people want all-Caribbean music, they should not be required to get news broadcasts of any kind, let alone a government-approved concept of balance.

5. The Fairness Doctrine avoids the central issue of real fairness, which is bias in the selection and reporting of news stories. For example, the New York Times ran fifty front page stories alleging, without evidence, that Abu Ghraib was official government policy. No evidence was every discovered; it was simply a biased hope, not news. Commentary labeled as commentary is well-understood as being someone's opinion, and that is not a problem. Attempts to pass off opinion as news is the problem, and that is not touched by the Fairness Doctrine. In fact, while suppressing opinion, the Fairness Doctrine would permit and encourage news bias. While opinion suffers a burden, biased reporting suffers none.

For all these reasons, the resolution should be affirmed.

[This debate challenge should not be accepted by anyone who suspects they might forfeit even one round. The unexpected can happen, of course, but the probability should be low.]
Gr8tDeb8er

Con

Great choice for a debate and I accept.

Thanks for the brief history and your right wing opinion against liberals. Not bad at all. Well organized and very informative. Anyways my responses to your arguments:

1. Radio waves are owned by the government. That is why you need a broadcasting license to run a station. Because the government owns the am/fm frequencies they have a right to make the rules of what goes or doesn't go over the air. The Internet and print media are not distributed by the government, so it wouldn't be accurate to include them into the discussion.

2. Actually the government has little to do with judging what is or is not fair. It is the job of political watchdog groups such as Fairness Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR for short.) That is why there are watchdog groups in the first place, because the government isn't fair. China on the other hand doesn't allow watchdog groups and makes the rules them selves, which is because China is a communist nation. The United States of America is not Communist and that is why we allow watchdog groups. This falls under the whole "checks and balances" thing.

3. 85%? Where did you get a percentage like that. The National cable and Telecommunications Association states that the percentage of homes with cable is only at 57.1%. So first of all, you might need to recheck your sources and second the Internet is not owned by the government. (unless you are in China.)

4. I'm stating this again. Our government doesn't choose the balance... That is the job of Watchdog groups. I also don't think you realize what Free-Speech is. In good nature, I will tell you that free-speech is allowing someone to give their opposing view point. This is what the Fairness Doctrine does!!!! By you saying that liberals should not be allowed to give opposing viewpoints means that YOU are banning free speech.

5. Fox News is conservative. MSNBC is liberal. Apples are apples and oranges are oranges. This is why it is so important to have the fairness doctrine, because all news has someone's opinion and is never just news. The Fairness Doctrine helps give people an accurate perspective on both sides opinion. Not just one.

Give up?
Debate Round No. 1
RoyLatham

Pro

Definitions and History. Con asserted that my account of the Fairness Doctrine, mostly copied from Wikipedia, was "right wing." However, he did not cite any inaccuracy or offer any alternative definition or history. Therefore I assume he accepts it. I guess it is history he doesn't like.

1. I argued that it was hypocritical to suppress free speech on the airwaves, when free speech is allowed on the other media. Con argued that government has the inherent right to control anything the government owns as the government sees fit. It would follow from Con's argument that since the government owns the highway system, the government has a right to determine the content of newspapers shipped on the highways. The government has no such right by virtue of ownership. The government does have a right to regulate drivers licenses for vehicles on the highways and to regulate the power and regulate the frequency of transmitters on the public airways. Drivers licenses and transmitter licenses are justified by the public good in keeping the publicly-owned property operating successfully. However, there is no inherent right to regulate every aspect of the public property to suit government purposes. Thus the government cannot assert that only "fair" newspapers, as judged by the government, can be shipped on delivery trucks over the public highways.

If there is doubt as to the right of the government to manage every aspect of what it owns, that doubt is settled by the Constitution, which states in the First Amendment that the right to free speech cannot be abridged. To abridge free speech, there must be some extremely compelling reason. For example, a permit to demonstrate on public property may be required for reasons of public safety, but not because the protesters have failed to meet a fairness doctrine in providing alternative viewpoints in their protest demonstration. Opposing viewpoints cannot be banned from the public lands, but the government cannot require that time be given in the same rally. The opposition must organize their own rally. Similarly, the government should not be allowed to require a radio station owner to give his virtual podium to opponents. Opponents need to get their own.

The attempt to make Air America a commercial success showed that their is no problem whatsoever buying the air time required to present the liberal viewpoint. It failed because no one showed up to listen. It is not the government's job to force viewpoints upon the public. It should be legal to have a civil rights rally without offering the podium to racists for an opposing viewpoint -- that's the principle at stake.

2. Con claims that the government has little to do with determining what is fair, because that is the job of fairness-in-media organizations. If that is true, then clearly there is no need for the Fairness Doctrine, because such media organizations already exist, and the Fairness Doctrine will not change that. Of course, it is the enforcement aspect that requires the government, and in that case it is the government that decides what is fair and unfair. That is exactly the model applied in authoritarian states, only in those states the government determines "fairness" in all media, not just the public airways.

3. Con is correct that I didn't distinguish cable subscribers from satellite TV subscribers in saying there was 85% coverage. Reported in 2007, "Cable penetration dropped to a 17-year low of 61.3% in February, as pay TV competition from direct-broadcast satellite and telephone rivals continues to eat into the basic-subscriber counts of cable distributors. ... Combined DBS penetration from DirecTV and EchoStar Communications hit 25.2% in February, up from 21% this time last year, TVB said." http://www.multichannel.com... Thus, total coverage for pay TV, cable plus satellite, is 86.5%. This does not take into account the old-fashioned free C-band systems that use large satellite dish antennas. They still exist, mainly in remote areas.

The point is that there is no shortage of media availability. The justification for the fairness doctrine is that there is no way to get news other than the public airwaves. That is obviously false. To the 86.5% pay TV coverage must be added the coverage provided by the Internet. The Internet is extremely strong in remote areas; Alaska has the highest rate of Internet coverage in the US. http://blogs.zdnet.com...

4. "I'm stating this again. Our government doesn't choose the balance... That is the job of Watchdog groups. I also don't think you realize what Free-Speech is. In good nature, I will tell you that free-speech is allowing someone to give their opposing view point. This is what the Fairness Doctrine does!!!! By you saying that liberals should not be allowed to give opposing viewpoints means that YOU are banning free speech." I ask Con to state explicitly how he thinks the Fairness Doctrine will be enforced. How will watchdog groups *require* that liberals get time to respond to conservative viewpoints, and that all-Caribbean-music stations meet their quota of public affairs programming? Air America had no difficulty getting air time; they failed because they could not attract listeners. Why does Con believe they were not allowed to give their viewpoint?

The Fairness Doctrine is supposed to remedy the failure of Air America to attract an audience by forcing the profit-making conservative programming to pay for the liberal air time. I challenge Con to state clearly and explicitly how that is going to be accomplished using media watch dog groups. The way is worked in the past was that the government threatened to yank the station's license if the station didn't meet government standards. What is Con's system, and why does he call it the "Fairness Doctrine"? Nothing in the proposed law involves watchdog groups, so what is he talking about?

5. I argued that the fairness doctrine avoids the central issue of real fairness, which is bias in the selection and reporting of news stories. I gave examples. Con failed to address the problem at all, asserting the Fairness Doctrine gives both "an accurate perspective on both sides['] opinion." My examples relative to this point were with biased news reporting, not with opinion. The Fairness Doctrine would do nothing to prevent media from presenting wildly biased news reporting. Thus, the news media reported a severe problem with homelessness under Bush41, but the day that Clinton took office, reporting ceased. There are innumerable examples. Biased reporting is a much bigger problem than biased opinion. No one believes that Rush Limbaugh is offering straight news. He is offering opinion and everyone knows it, so listeners are aware they should consider it as opinion. However, when MSNBC or the New York Times slants the news by failing to present hard questions to Obama or failing to report negative stories, the public in fact tends to accept the bias as truth. All the Fairness Doctrine will do is promote biased news reporting while suppressing the people who point out it is biased.

I asserted that the sole purpose of the Fairness Doctrine is to suppress dissenting Conservative opinion. Con did not argue that point. He simply argued the "fairness" enforced by the government is a good thing, but only on talk radio and not in any other media. He offers some strange notion that watchdog groups have something to do with the Fairness Doctrine. They do not. It is purely government censorship done on the false premise that media space is so limited that it needs to be rationed. Air America got plenty of space, it just failed due to lack of listeners.

"Give up?" I'll hold off on that until such time as Con makes a credible case.
Gr8tDeb8er

Con

First of all I said Pro's opinion was right-winged; not the history lesson off Wikipedia. Pro might want to study some more history. I'm glad he was up to another round, though I wish Pro knew what he was talking about.

1. Pro said that by virtue of ownership the government has no right to determine the content of news papers shipped on the highway. That alone is acceptable, but what is wrong is comparing the highway; a public transit system to a privately owned channel. If you were to compare the two accurately, which you didn't, you would have to make up information that isn't true. Here is were Pro failed to make sense. When a company like Air America buys air space from the government they agree to the rights and conditions, but they control that space. No company from the private sector is allowed to buy a portion of the highway. They can drive on it, but they can't buy it and restrict access to who they want or don't want to let use the highway. On something traveling on a road the government owns is different then buying the road.

Now that that is clear lets go ahead and revisit Pro's argument. Pro says that he argued that the fairness doctrine is a "hypocritical attempt to suppress free speech." Pro says this because it supposedly could be applied to other forms of media, but isn't. Because his argument against my logic was wrong I will restate the fact that it is not hypocritical because of the following reasons: first of all, allowing an opposing viewpoint is not a suppression of free speech and second, is it "hypocritical" to make a law saying that a person no matter their race, gender, or religious belief can enter any restaurant of their choice just because there is no rule saying girl scouts have to be allowed to be part of boy scouts if they wanted to?

Again with Air America. Lets say it did go ahead and succeed and ended up doing so well it bought all frequencies. That would mean every station would be liberal. Having the Fairness Doctrine means that even though the conservatives didn't have any channels they would still be allowed to give their point of view. Considering that the media is mostly liberal Pro might want to forfeit or change his political beliefs.

2. Pro thinks there is no need for the Fairness Doctrine if there are fairness in media organizations, when in actuality there would need to be a Fairness Doctrine or the the fairness in media organizations wouldn't have a job because there would be no fairness doctrine to watch.

3. Here is the date of your article: 3/19/2007 7:06:00 PM MT (source: http://www.multichannel.com...) Here is the date of my source: June 2008 (source: http://www.ncta.com...) Here is today's date: February 9th, 2009. Your source is older and therefore is deemed unreliable. I also want to note that Pro's source is a news article. Pro stated that news is biased, thus Pro's article is bias. My source is a data agency that didn't write a story, but presented factual numbers.

This is important to note because Pro needs to get down from his high horse and understand that not everyone can afford or has access to other alternative sources. Radio is the only free one, which does have a limited availability.

4. Pro asked me to "state explicitly how he thinks the Fairness Doctrine will be enforced. How will watchdog groups *require* that liberals get time to respond to conservative viewpoints, and that all-Caribbean-music stations meet their quota of public affairs programming?"

Watchdog groups are a lot like private interest groups in the sense that if there is a P.I.G. that is pro-guns then there will be another P.I.G. that is anti-guns. If there is a watchdog group observing one side there is another watchdog group observing the other side.

Pro then says that I believe that Air America was not allowed to give their viewpoint. I never said this and yet again Pro is making up things. I said, "By you saying that liberals should not be allowed to give opposing viewpoints means that YOU are banning free speech." I wrote this because Pro said that "liberals" are forcing their viewpoints on radio stations. The very stations that ban others from giving their view points. Which means that the stations that you seem to be supporting are banning free speech. It is the government job to allow free speech on their air waves and that is why the Fairness Doctrine needs to be approved.

About Pro's idea of the government choosing to take away licenses, I will explain how the system works so he can better understand the real world. Lets take a look at a case study: the Super bowl XXXVIII in where Janet Jackson had that wardrobe malfunction. The FCC fined NBC $555k not because they deemed it inappropriate, but because the media watchdog group "Parents Television Council" filed an indecency complaint with the FCC. The P.T.C. declared what happened during the halftime show was a violation, not the FCC. The only thing the FCC did was fine CBS, not determine was was inappropriate. Just like how they don't determine was is or is not fair.

5. It looks like Pro just called everyone dumb because he thinks that the public thinks the bias is the truth. Pro also goes to say that, " the news media reported a severe problem with homelessness under Bush41, but the day that Clinton took office, reporting ceased." It is actually a common occurrence to not address the doings of a previous president when a new president takes office. It is always about what the new president will do. The New York Times is liberal, while the Wall Street Journal is conservative. So when someone reads the New York Times they already expect it to be full of liberal bias reporting, such as the wonders of Obama or the scandals of Conservatives. This just justifies allowing the Fairness Doctrine because it is allowing an opposing side on a biased radio station reporting biased news.

Pro did NOT assert that "the sole purpose of the Fairness Doctrine is to suppress dissenting Conservative opinion." I am arguing the reason the Fairness Doctrine should be accepted, not if it is or isn't suppressing Conservative opinion. Even if you want to argue that the Fairness Doctrine is suppressing the conservative opinion, you would be wrong. It is wrong because liberals control the majority of the media at a ratio of 7:2. The fairness doctrine would allow conservatives to give their point of view to over 3 times they are doing now, while the liberals expand their access by only 28%. Liberals 28% or Conservatives 350%? That sounds so unfair... Not.

I just disproved your last paragraph and first paragraph by a simple mathematical calculation based on ratios.
Debate Round No. 2
RoyLatham

Pro

Con states, "Pro might want to study some more history." I challenge Con to present the specific history that he thinks is relevant to the debate and to defend its relevance. What is he talking about?

1. Pro asserted that the Government has the right to regulate what it owns in any way they see fit. He clarifies that "When a company like Air America buys air space from the government they agree to the rights and conditions, but they control that space. No company from the private sector is allowed to buy a portion of the highway." So what then is the problem to be solved by the Fairness Doctrine? Was the problem that station owners would not allow Air America to present its viewpoint? Not at all. Clear Channel, an owner widely associated with Conservative talk radio, bought a station in San Francisco to run Air America programming, believing that surely liberal talk radio would be profitable in San Francisco. Media access nationwide was not the slightest problem. Air America failed because no one listened, not because there was any problem getting air time.

Pro further argues "first of all, allowing an opposing viewpoint is not a suppression of free speech." There is no problem whatsoever in *allowing* free speech without the Fairness Doctrine. Air America got all the time it wanted. The issue is *mandating* speech in accordance with a government concept of fairness. That in turn depends upon one's faith in government's ability to determine what is fair. Suppose the Government decides that the Theory of Evolution is controversial. Then "fairness" would dictate that every assertion of Evolution be followed by free time to present the opposing viewpoint. There is no problem making a long list of issues that some people deem controversial and others do not. So should the Government get to decide what requires "fairness" and what does not?

The Fairness Doctrine suppresses free speech by placing financial and regulatory burdens upon the speech. I posed this situation at the outset, and Con never addressed it. Giving out free air time to programming with no audience is not a business model that can be sustained. Moreover, attempting to determine what requires a "fairness" response and what does not is a substantial burden, with a fine or license suspension the penalty for guessing wrong. The way out is to drop opinion programming in favor of music, or whatever. Suppose the Fairness Doctrine paradigm were applied to books, magazines, and the Internet. What would the practical consequence be? It would be radical suppression of free speech due to regulatory burden.

2. Pro argued that media watch dog organization would apply the Fairness Doctrine. Now he seems to be saying that media watchdog organizations will ensure the government will fairly apply the Fairness Doctrine. Media watchdog operations now exist, but they have not ensured that media are fair. Supposing that they would suddenly become powerful enough to effectively regulate government is unsupported and illogical. It practice many of the self-proclaimed watchdogs are spin doctors dedicated to partisan opinion. They are not a significant factor.

3. The question with respect to cable statistics is whether or not there is a compelling need for the Government to regulate the public airwaves because the populace would otherwise be deprived of alternative viewpoints. Alternative viewpoints are provided, redundantly, by cable and satellite television systems. The total coverage is above 85% of households. Con says that in the past year, that cable's penetration has dropped from about 61% to 57%. Sure, that follows from satellite TV continually increasing its market share. It is not relevant to the debate, which is about whether the public is dependent upon the airways as a news and opinion source. Con failed to address the total of cable and satellite subscriptions. Con also ignores the Internet as a source of news and opinion. The total availability of information continues to increase dramatically, so the argument that the airways are critical is false.

4. Con argues, "The P.T.C. declared what happened during the halftime show was a violation, not the FCC." For P.T.C. to have determined the violation, they must be given regulatory authority to assess fines under statute. They have no such authority. It is the F.C.C. that has the authority. Filing the complaint does no more than allege a problem, which the government then may approve, deny, or ignore. If the Flat Earth Society files a complaint that claimed-controversial round-earth theory is being presented unopposed, then the FCC can approve, deny, or ignore the complaint. No enforcement authority is passed to the Flat Earth Society.

Interestingly, Rush Limbaugh argued that NBC should not be fined for indecency. He argued that since there was a competitive media market, the public could be left to decide what station they want to watch without need for government censorship. He also defended shock jock Howard Stern's right to broadcast.

Con says, "Pro then says that I believe that Air America was not allowed to give their viewpoint. I never said this and yet again Pro is making up things." Great, we agree that there is no problem with alternative opinion being presented. So why do we need a Fairness Doctrine? Con goes on, "The very stations that ban others from giving their view points. Which means that the stations that you seem to be supporting are banning free speech. It is the government job to allow free speech on their air waves and that is why the Fairness Doctrine needs to be approved." So there is simultaneously no problem in presenting alternative viewpoints, but a serious problem with presenting alternative viewpoints. This is a logical contradiction. Con was right the first time.

How many radio stations would refuse to present a liberal talk show for which there are sponsors? Approximately zero. The dominant factor is listener support. Clear Channel jumped at the chance, until it found there was no audience.

Con argues that fairness would improve under the Fairness Doctrine, because the liberal media dominates and conservative would subsequently get a piece of it, more than a fair return for giving liberals a piece of conservative media. Con makes two errors in that assessment. It assumes that mainstream media bias is mainly in the form of editorial opinion. It is not, the main bias is in the form of slanted news coverage, a problem not addressed by the Fairness Doctrine. Secondly, the conservative talk shows will largely cease to exist, because their economic model cannot support putting on shows with no audience. The mainstream media does not face that problem nearly so severely, because their bias is in slanting the news, which would not have any penalty.

Government regulation should be based on compelling need. If the public were unable to access opposing viewpoints, a Fairness Doctrine might be justified. We know there is no such problem and no such compelling need; over 85% have cable or satellite television. More have the Internet. Most areas have multiple radio and TV stations over the airwaves. In the absence of compelling need, wouldn't it still be better to be more fair rather than less? The Fairness Doctrine would make it less fair by establishing official Government censorship, de facto shutting down conservative talk radio, and favoring biased news coverage over identified opinion. If any abstract belief in fairness provided by Government were at the heart of the debate, then liberals would demand similar "fairness" in books and newspapers. They do not. They know perfectly well that the government is not qualified to impose fairness.

The resolution should be approved.
Gr8tDeb8er

Con

Pro has challenged me to present the specific history that he thinks is relevant to the debate. I have accepted this challenge and would like to present the last paragraph of Pros argument in Round 2. He says that the watchdog groups do not have anything to do with the fairness doctrine. In truth, watchdog groups have everything to with any bill passed because they are usually the ones who came up with the bill in the first place. Pro would have known that if he studied his history some more about this issue.

1. I assume pro has agreed that I won argument 1 for he doesn't counter my argument, but simply asks what if the government forces the Fairness Doctrine on books, magazines, and the Internet. None of which are owned by the government, which means that those media sources would not apply.

Radio waves are owned by the people for the people. Allowing a corporation to dictate its opinion on public air waves and not let anyone else do the same is called a monopoly. The Fairness Doctrine must NOT be rejected to prevent corporations from having a monopoly over public property. That is why I'm the Con in this argument.

2. Because "fair" has different meanings, to let everyone reading this know, the definition that I used applied to what the watchdog groups decided what they thought was fair. Pro hasn't argued against this so he must agree.

3. Pro continues to argue his case that his statistical data is right. All I said is that my data was more accurate because it was less then 1 year old, while his was all the way back from 2007. His data was also from an opinion based news article, while mine was from an unbiased tracking agency giving statistical numbers and facts, not stories. Meaning the information that Pro has gathered can't be used to present his side of the case, because media was different 2 years ago. Which might I add he agreed it was true (last sentence of argument 2 round 3)

4. Pro said that the Parents Television Council who addressed the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction during the 2004 Super bowl had no impact on the FCC's decision to fine NBC. It DOES have an impact on the FCC's decision because we are in a democratic country and P.T.C. representing us, the people, said it was a violation. The FCC didn't do anything until the P.T.C. (a watchdog group) brought it up.

The Fairness Doctrine must be accepted or there would be no such thing as free speech on the airwaves. WE, the tax payers pay for the FCC to protect OUR RIGHTS! Our rights to give our opinions on public property, which includes radio waves that we pay to own, to express our beliefs! The Fairness Doctrine must NOT be rejected to protect our freedom of speech!
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
There was an interview with ex-President Jimmy Carter on the radio yesterday. He said that while he was grateful that there was a Fairness Doctrine in the early Thirties, when there were few radio stations, it was not needed today. Note that in fact there was no Fairness Doctrine until 1949. But he was right about not needing it now either.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
Brian, The BBC refused to broadcast a charity appeal, which proves they are unbiased and fair. Whereas Sky News refused to broadcast the same charity appeal, which proves they are the personification of evil. Did I get that right? Sky News is satellite and cable, right? Yet you are telling me the government still tells them what they can and cannot broadcast, is that the case? In other words, the UK has no equivalent of First Amendment free speech, and everything is subject to government censorship? If so, that's very strange.

The BBC may be careful about charity appeals, about which no one cares, but they were extremely biased in coverage of the Iraq War, both with respect to Bush and Blair.

As you see, someone took the debate here. I don't know if he failed to understand what I was saying or just chose to ignore it. A lousy debate.
Posted by brian_eggleston 8 years ago
brian_eggleston
Ha ha! The BBC refused to broadcast a charity appeal for the victims of Israel's recent incursion into Gaza in case it jeopardized their impartiality. All the other channels broadcast it, except Sky, which is one of Rupert Murdoch's babies, which he would like to turn into yet one more of his right-wing propaganda machines, but thankfully, due to broadcasting regulations, is unable to.

Still, I am surprised that nobody has risen to defend the innate justice of the Fairness Doctrine, perhaps they are intimidated by you, Mr. Latham, I don't know.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
Having watched and listened to the BBC, I would never have guessed that was considered "fair." They are wildly biased.

In the previous debate you had no obligation to respond to arguments that were not raised. I just thought most of the key arguments were not raised. With all the pro-Obama people on this site, and the Democrats eager to impose the doctrine, I thought there would have been many willing to take the debate and assert the duty of the Left to crush infidels. Not so.
Posted by brian_eggleston 8 years ago
brian_eggleston
Well, I was responding to the issues raised...besides the equivalent to the "Fairness Doctrine" is the norm in Europe...for good reasons...there would be riots if any broadcaster admitted a political bias...this is one of the foundations of democracy...the only thing is I don't know enough about American law to argue it in the context of the US. Still, rather than see a good debate go to waste, I might take it if nobody else does...
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
Brian, That wasn't much of a debate as it never got to the key issues. I'm hoping for better.
Posted by brian_eggleston 8 years ago
brian_eggleston
I would argue this subject with you, but I debated it quite recently.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
It's amazing. Liberals are eager to use government to attempt to destroy opposing viewpoints, but no one will step and defend the practice. Religious people will step up and defend all sorts of dopey Creationist ideas, but Liberals won't even attempt to defend their quasi-religious beliefs. They just do it with no compulsion to defend it. Miserable ... grumble ... grumble ....

I have no idea what you believe, so don't take that as a personal attack. Please go ahead and take the debate, it will otherwise expire. I am opposed to even the limited application you outline, although that really isn't the central issue.
Posted by dtclark2188 8 years ago
dtclark2188
From your set-up, it appears that the opponent could defend any portion of the Fairness Doctrine. Therefore, if one can defend even one portion of it, then Con wins. I will accept the debate, but only if I am not required to defend the Fairness Doctrine in its entirety. Just to prepare you for what I am going to defend, the below comes from the wiki source you provided. Let me know.
Two corollary rules of the doctrine, the "personal attack" rule and the "political editorial" rule, remained in practice until 2000. The "personal attack" rule applied whenever a person (or small group) was subject to a personal attack during a broadcast. Stations had to notify such persons (or groups) within a week of the attack, send them transcripts of what was said and offer the opportunity to respond on-the-air. The "political editorial" rule applied when a station broadcast editorials endorsing or opposing candidates for public office, and stipulated that the unendorsed candidates be notified and allowed a reasonable opportunity to respond.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Gr8tDeb8er 8 years ago
Gr8tDeb8er
RoyLathamGr8tDeb8erTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by KRFournier 8 years ago
KRFournier
RoyLathamGr8tDeb8erTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:60 
Vote Placed by CP 8 years ago
CP
RoyLathamGr8tDeb8erTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by s0m31john 8 years ago
s0m31john
RoyLathamGr8tDeb8erTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70