The Instigator
Jamesothy
Pro (for)
Losing
10 Points
The Contender
brian_eggleston
Con (against)
Winning
28 Points

The "Fairness" Doctrine should not pass through Congress.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
brian_eggleston
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/7/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,273 times Debate No: 6432
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (21)
Votes (6)

 

Jamesothy

Pro

The "Fairness" Doctrine should not pass through Congress. There is nothing fair about it. Are we becoming a Socialist state?
brian_eggleston

Con

So balanced, unbiased reporting is going to lead to a socialist state is it?

"Here is the United Socialist States of America Broadcasting Corporation evening news.

New York - people were dancing in the streets this morning when the US Federal Government announced plans to severely restrict bonuses paid to greedy, incompetent, investment bankers, so that from now on the parasitic spivs on Wall Street will never be rewarded for failure.

Miami - and a filthy-rich tycoon was killed earlier today when his $250,000 Ferrari careered into big tree. Good, the evil capitalist pig. I hope he suffered. And they should make his family pay for the damage to the tree as well.

And finally, Los Angeles, and crowds of tourists stopped to point and laugh as crummy ham actor turned Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was pelted with rotten eggs by disgruntled city employees as he left his office - he was so dazed that he fell down the steps and landed in a stinking puddle of muddy water. Ha-ha-ha! As one visitor from Sweden put it: ‘Now that's what I call entertainment!'

Now over to Boris for the weather…"

No, I don't think that is very likely, do you?
Debate Round No. 1
Jamesothy

Pro

The Fairness Doctrine (as I would like to point out) pertains to TALK RADIO!!! Not news. Talk radio has the privilege to say whatever it wants- they tell the news and their side of the story.

NOT- an unbiased account of what happened during the day. NO- It is the news reporters' and stations' job to make an unbiased report.

NOT talk radio. We live in the US- FREEDOM OF SPEECH!!!! The only reason the liberals (Democrats for those of you who are oysters) want this through is because CONSERVATIVE talk radio is the only place where conservatives can get news. The Dems are pissed off because their lib. radio station didn't take off so they want to effectively CRUSH the opposition.

Annoy a liberal-
Think for yourself.
brian_eggleston

Con

Many thanks to my opponent for continuing this debate.

He made the point that the Fairness Doctrine "pertains to talk radio, not news" although, in fact, it applies to all broadcasting: news and current affairs programmes on both radio and television; and was formerly administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

The FCC ensured licensed broadcasters discharged their responsibility to represent both mainstream political points of view in an unbiased and balanced fashion and when challenged, this tenant of their authority was upheld in the Supreme Court.

"A license permits broadcasting, but the licensee has no constitutional right to be the one who holds the license or to monopolize a...frequency to the exclusion of his fellow citizens. There is nothing in the First Amendment which prevents the Government from requiring a licensee to share his frequency with others.... It is the right of the viewers and listeners, not the right of the broadcasters, which is paramount." (U.S. Supreme Court, Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC, 1969.)

However, in the 1980's the Reagan administration appointed Republican lapdog Mark S. Fowler as the chair of the FCC and charged him with the task of drowning out opposition opinions. To achieve this, Fowler duly stopped enforcing the Fairness Doctrine until it was officially repealed in 1987, knowing that broadcasters were, in the main, more sympathetic to right wing views than to left.

Fowler justified this cynical attack on broadcasting standards by stating: "The perception of broadcasters as community trustees should be replaced by a view of broadcasters as marketplace participants." (Washington Post, 2/6/83):

This echoes the view of my opponent who suggests it is the job of the broadcasters to interpret the news in a way that suits their political paymasters.

My opponent then suggests that conservative radio stations are the only place that a conservative audience can get the news (that is to say the news they want to hear, as opposed to the truth). He justifies this by claiming that the media has an overall liberal bias. If this were true, then he should logically support the reintroduction of the Fairness Doctrine as it would oblige all broadcasters to give right-wing commentators a fair crack of the whip.

My opponent ends by encouraging us to think for ourselves. I would suggest that, in order to form your own opinion, you must first listen to both sides of an argument, and the Fairness Doctrine would ensure you would have the opportunity to do this.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
Jamesothy

Pro

You're welcome :-)

Moving on-
If the Fairness Doctrine pertains to all news readers (which it does, it just focuses on talk radio), then the Democrats should be annoyed about the doctrine as well, because CNN, MSNBC, etc. won't be able to put out their liberal, excuse me "unbiased", news reporting without having a conservative on as well.

"On public television, the split is about 80% liberal, 20% conservative. On MSNBC, 78% of their news stories were negative on McCain, about 20% negative on Obama. The outrageously right-wing Fox News (right?) split 40%/40% for the candidates. Press coverage is overwhelmingly liberal, and there no proposal whatsoever to make it "fair." The only right-leaning media is talk radio. Obviously, that has to be stamped out. The idea is to abolish it through a burden of government controls that are far better avoided by getting out of the business."

I quote this from a comment made on this debate by Roy Latham. This is true. Everyone knows that the media in the US has a liberal bias. [IS THIS GOING TO BE AN ACCEPTED COMMENT?] So why do the Democrats want it so much? If it is going to take the curve out of the media, why want it?

Because the Democrats are in control of Congress, the courts, and now, the presidency. The Republicans will not get nearly as much air time as the democrats and if they protest and bring them to court, they will LOSE the case because the Democrats control them. That's why the Republicans brought Fowler to office, because if the Republicans lose their talk radio, they will be consumed and its member base will shrink by half.

This is not because the Republicans can't think for themselves; it's because the amount of information that has a liberal bias to it is so overwhelmingly strong, they will be brainwashed. As it is, colleges and universities indoctrinate students into the liberal point of view.

It is, in part, my opinion that broadcasters should interpret news, but ONLY in the capacity as TALK SHOW HOST. The drive by media (yes, I mean you NY Times and CNN) should not just "drive by" and interpret news stories with a liberal spin. They should give BOTH SIDES of the story and not put in an opinion or spin. That is what the editorial column and guest speakers and political analysts and talk show hosts are for: to INTERPRET news with their point of view.

To suggest also that Conservative talk show hosts are under the employ of political parties is an astonishingly bold comment by my opponent. If this is so and all news sources were under the employ of political parties, FOX would be slightly more Conservative and CNN and MSNBC would have billions of dollars more from the government. Why don't we just become communist and brainwash everybody with one point of view?

"My opponent then suggests that conservative radio stations are the only place that a conservative audience can get the news (that is to say the news they want to hear, as opposed to the truth). He justifies this by claiming that the media has an overall liberal bias. If this were true, then he should logically support the reintroduction of the Fairness Doctrine as it would oblige all broadcasters to give right-wing commentators a fair crack of the whip."

As I have already addressed WHY I do not support the Unfairness Doctrine, I will address another part of this statement.

"My opponent then suggests that conservative radio stations are the only place that a conservative audience can get the news (that is to say the news they want to hear, as opposed to the truth)."

CONSERVATIVE radio stations ARE the only place that the conservative audience can get the news (BOTH SIDES) as opposed to just the Liberal point of view. However, the talk show hosts ARE allowed to spin this because that is what they do. They are allowed to. News readers are not.

The next thing my opponent will say is: "Conservative talk shows don't give both sides". Well I hate to tell you, but they do. They have Democrats call in to the show and give their points of view. However, the conservative TALK SHOW HOSTS don't have to pay attention to the other point of view because they are ENTERTAINERS. They are not news readers- they comment on the news.

INSTEAD of proposing the "Fairness" Doctrine, the Democrats should support "cross-examination"- for people to watch an hour of CNN and then listen to WABC, for example. This way people get both sides of the argument and not just one. However, most Democrats won't do this because they don't want to listen to the "stupid conservatives" because they disagree on a certain issue (or at least they think they do). Therefore: Conservatives won't do this because they know that Democrats won't. I myself watch CNN of MSNBC and then watch FOX's coverage of the same story.

Therefore- I encourage everyone to do the same and make sure this bill does not pass.

Thank You.
brian_eggleston

Con

With many thanks to my opponent for continuing this fascinating debate, I should like to respond to his points as follows:

He wrote: "CONSERVATIVE radio stations ARE the only place that the conservative audience can get the news"

I'm not sure this statement is wholly accurate. Even if all radio news broadcasts were shamelessly pro-liberal, I would hardly consider Fox News to be a cog in the socialist propaganda machine and American newspapers are overwhelmingly pro-Republican.

http://www.howardsmead.com...

My opponent continued: "…talk show hosts ARE allowed to spin this because that is what they do…. conservative TALK SHOW HOSTS don't have to pay attention to the other point of view because they are ENTERTAINERS."

I can see the rationale behind this. After all, you get political commentary in newspapers. They say "you shouldn't believe everything you read in the newspapers" and that's generally understood, yet some people do. You may say to them that just because someone is a foreigner it doesn't follow that they are a thief and they will reply that it does because they read it in the Daily Mail.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who have trouble disseminating the news – the type of person that cannot distinguish between a documentary and a soap opera – the type of person that doesn't understand the difference between a newsreader and a conservative talk show host. This might not be such an issue if they weren't allowed to vote but they are.

I agree with my opponent that in an ideal world, people would get their news from impartial sources such as CNN and then contrast that with the right wing propaganda that Fox News spews out before forming an opinion, but people are not generally that interested. All too often they allow political commentators to shape their opinion and the ones that shout loudest are the conservative talk show hosts. However, the ones that shout the loudest are not always correct, which is why the Fairness Doctrine should be reintroduced.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
Jamesothy

Pro

Newspapers are NOT overwhelmingly pro-Republican! How could you say that????

"because someone is a foreigner it doesn't follow that they are a thief and they will reply that it does because they read it in the Daily Mail."

We are not talking about Xenophobia here. What does this have to do with anything???

"the type of person that doesn't understand the difference between a newsreader and a conservative talk show host."

In this case, they should be able to figure it out and if they listen to WABC or WOR, and then watch CNN, that they are 2 different opinions.

"All too often they allow political commentators to shape their opinion and the ones that shout loudest are the conservative talk show hosts. However, the ones that shout the loudest are not always correct, which is why the Fairness Doctrine should be reintroduced."

If you want to listen to a Liberal talk show, then go ahead, make one. But I, like many Republicans out there, want to listen to WABC and the countless other stations out there that have a Conservative bias- it's entertaining and WE want to listen to it and not some brainwashing Liberal crap. FREE SPEECH!!!

Thank you.
brian_eggleston

Con

I would like to reply to my opponent's comments as follows:

"Newspapers are NOT overwhelmingly pro-Republican! How could you say that?"

The reason I said it was because it is true, and I gave a source to back up my statement. The media is big business and big businessmen, such as media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, are not noted for their left wing politics.

"In this case, they (people with lower than average intelligence) should be able to figure it out and if they listen to WABC or WOR, and then watch CNN, that they are 2 different opinions."

They should, but they can't and don't. That's the point. You and I and most of the debaters on this site would question the validity of a conservative talk show host's claim that Barak Obama is a Muslim extremist that intends to divert spending from homeland security to publicly-funded pagan sex workshops for unemployed gays, but some people will accept it as fact and vote Republican to stop it.

"If you want to listen to a Liberal talk show, then go ahead, make one. But I, like many Republicans out there, want to listen to WABC and the countless other stations out there that have a Conservative bias- it's entertaining and WE want to listen to it and not some brainwashing Liberal crap. FREE SPEECH!!!"

Free speech is exactly what the Fairness Doctrine would ensure. You will still be able to listen to your hate-filled Republican-biased commentators but their opinions will be balanced by their liberal counterparts who would tell the listeners about the facts as well.

The people who oppose the Fairness Doctrine and the people who don't want the truth to come out. They are people like Robert Mugabe and Ehud Olmert who ban international journalists from entering their countries and reporting the facts because that news would expose them to be the crooks that they are.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
A wretched debate. Neither side got to the issues. The number of pro-Republican newspapers is greater than the number of pro-Democrat papers because there are a lot of small town newspapers with tiny circulations on the Republican side. A poll of working journalists reveals they are 90% liberal Democrats. The large circulation papers like the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, etc. etc. are disgustingly pro-left biased. The only notable exception is the Wall Street Journal. The only purpose of the Fairness Doctrine is to shut down the one media that offers a right-leaning view. There is no concern for "fairness" in any other media.
Posted by Maya9 8 years ago
Maya9
I actually agree with Jamesothy. Unfortunately, he fails to create a single solid argument.
Posted by JBlake 8 years ago
JBlake
Good debate, Mr. Eggleston. As usual, good use of sources to back up your claims.
Posted by brian_eggleston 8 years ago
brian_eggleston
They don't have a Fairness Doctrine in Israel.

Here is an excerpt from an article entitled Expel the Media - Israel has no obligation to them by Jack Engelhard.

"The major news organizations, all across the firmament of newspapers, radio and TV, are complaining that Israel won't let them into Gaza. Ain't that a shame.

Today, Mr. Smith accuses Israel of trying to "control the message." Too bad.

Time magazine betrays its wishful thinking with a front-page cover story that screams, "Israel Can't Win."

History proves otherwise; throughout the generations, King David's Army fights and wins.

Don't let them in, these propagandists posing as journalists. Keep them out "

Here are some of the readers' comments:

"The liberal media are like kadima and the left . They should all be put on trial for being traitors and imprisoned for a very long time."
Billh, LeecoFl

"I agree, keep the media out of Gaza. I'd go one step further, I'd consider them an ally to Hamas and their presence in Israel as a spy mission and I'd lock them all up until Israel is victorious."
Tamara Knebel, Hoquiam USA

"While I do think the main stream anti-Israel media should be banned form the battle zone, I think Israel-friendly news stations like Fox News should be allowed in so that Hamas does not have a monopoly of coverage coming out of Gaza."
Adam, Long Island, NY

http://www.israelnationalnews.com...

So much for unbiased reoprting in Israel, but I suppose if you are going to commit a war crime, you don't want the world watching while you do it.
Posted by fo-shizzle 8 years ago
fo-shizzle
they do have liberal talk shows, no one just chooses to listen to them. Can they say we are not fair for that?
Posted by Jamesothy 8 years ago
Jamesothy
"By the way, if you simply google "Cheney Al Quaeda Hussein" you will find far more (and far scarier) instances where our VP and other members of the administration intentionally spread this same misinformation."

Unfortunately, FairTaxCritic, if you google "Obama Truth" you will find FAR more (and far scarier) instances of why Barack Obama should not be the President- stuff you've never even dreamed of.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
The reference states that Cheney said that al Queda was operating in Iraq. That is true. The nature and extent of the al Qaeda operations was and remains controversial. The big deal was whether or not Saddam was linked to 9/11. That is what I was talking about. Neither Bush nor Cheney claimed that there was such a link, but Liberals universally believe that it was asserted many times.

You did not respond to my challenge to back up your statements. You claimed to know that the data I gave about media bias was garbage, and you claimed to know that I got the information from talk radio. Why exactly, did you not defend your channeling with the spirit world? In all future debates you should proclaim at the outset that obtain truth from the spirit world and therefore have no need to support any claim with facts. Moreover, the very fact that anyone disagrees with you, you claim, is proof positive that your channeling is always correct. No problem if you state that all up front, so your debate opponent can use their channels equally.
Posted by FairTaxCritic 8 years ago
FairTaxCritic
Roy -- Thanks once again for proving my point about how easy it is for unchalleged statements to get passed around as truth. And as to your claim that Chenen NEVER linked Al Quaeda to Hussein, here's a link to where he did on the RUSH LIMBAUGH SHOW! LOL!!!!!!

http://www.washingtonpost.com...

By the way, if you simply google "Cheney Al Quaeda Hussein" you will find far more (and far scarier) instances where our VP and other members of the administration intentionally spread this same misinformation.

Now, had Cheney spread his lies on CNN (or, perhaps, even C-Span), CNN would have had one or more intelligence analysts on to discuss whether what Cheney said was really true, or whether there was reason to doubt it. They are a NEWS STATION after all. But the Rush Limbaugh show is ENTERTAINMENT, so he had not obligation or inclination to discuss any competing view.

The Cheney interview on the Rush Limbaugh show proves my point (with your kind assistance, of course) that talk radio pretends to provide news (e.g., the Cheney interview) but at the same time claims it does not need to provide any balance because it is merely entertainment.

In any event, you and I will never agree, so there's no point in continuing this discussion. However, it looks like the debate is starting to get a bit more interesting, so we can read that instead.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
FairTaxCritic, Let's me understand, you have no knowledge whatsoever that anything I said was incorrect, but you claimed to know it was garbage based on the fact that you think I got it from talk radio, which, of course, you also don't know. Did I get that right? Let me guess, you gain certainty about things of which you know nothing by channeling the spirit world, right? I did not get anything I said from talk radio. My absolute favorite media source is C-SPAN. You are apparently unfamiliar with the studies done by schools of journalism and other independent sources that measure media bias by objective techniques like counting positive and negative adjectives.

All of your accusations were baseless fantasies, but because they are such *good* fantasies, you feel no need to support them with any factual evidence whatsoever. You could have said, "I doubt it, but I don't know." Instead, you claimed to know. I used your logic and assumptions to ask if you wanted the government to make everything "fair" like you think radio should be, and all of a sudden you have no idea and no response.

The "Al Gore invented the Internet" thing was a joke, making fun of Gore's claiming way too much credit for what he did. On the other hand, try to find a quotation where either George Bush or Dick Cheney said that Saddam Hussein was linked to Al Qaeda. There was a suspicion raised by Cheney with respect to some meeting in Hungary, but Cheney specifically stated that it did not constitute proof. But every liberal on earth "knows" that Bush said it at least a thousand times. Liberals know that waterboarding was used promiscuously at every level of government, but in fact it was used only by the CIA and exactly three times. It worked two of the three times, saving many lives. Where do the liberal pseudo-facts come from?
Posted by FairTaxCritic 8 years ago
FairTaxCritic
Roy -- Again, you are simply proving my point. Something gets repeated over and over again by right-wing radio, and it becomes "accepted wisdom" in conservative circles, even when its' wrong. Remember the claim that Al Gore said he "invented the internet." He never said that, but it became accepted knowledge in conservative circles (even the mainstream public) who never bothered to look up his actual interview with Wolf Blitzer in which he mentioned his legislative initiatives to create the regulatory framework in order for the internet to exist.

You are asking me to disprove statements you made about the NYT and Fox News, when you have provided absolutely no basis for the statements. Other than, as Al Franken would say, that they came from Rush Limbaugh's butt. Even if you could find a study somewhere that supported your statements, one would need to actually READ the study and the assumptions behind it in order to determine whether it had any validity or not. That's too much trouble for most people, a fact that talk-radio hosts take full advantage of.

I don't know whether reinstating the Fairness Doctrine would be a good thing or not, and, if so, whether it should apply to cable TV and the internet. That's one reason I was looking forward to the debate. But I do know that the amount of misinformation that is intentionally pumped out by right-wing radio is truly scary to anyone who values accuracy and an honest debate on controversial issues.
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