The Instigator
lalasavannah3218
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
will2543
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

What is with the fairness act Obama tried passing in 2005?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/7/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,100 times Debate No: 5904
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

lalasavannah3218

Con

So, I heard of this plan he's tried to pass, where radio stations all the public things like that would have to be liberal. I'm not a "republican" and i'm definately not a "democrat" i'm undecided i'm just wondering if you disagree or think this is a little too dramatic that he's trying to do a socialist action by controlling radio stations etc.
Thankyou.
will2543

Pro

Hello!

This is my first debate on here, so this is kind of exciting!

I am not aware of a fairness doctrine law that was sponsored by Pres.-elect Obama in 2005, nor could I find one through quick research, although H.R. 3302 was introduced by Rep. Maurice Hinchey, an Albany-area Democrat from New York. Section 3 of this bill would have revived the Fairness Doctrine, and it had 16 co-sponsors in the House.

http://www.govtrack.us...

I assume that we will debating the merits of "Fairness Doctrine" legislation, with I arguing for it, and you arguing against. I look forward to your next round response, and I thank you for bringing up this important topic.
Debate Round No. 1
lalasavannah3218

Con

Yes, this is my first debate as well and I thankyou for debating.

I heard that he was trying to pass this fairness act maybe I got confused with the wrong act. I was trying figure out what it was. I heard from many people he was for this. They call it a "fairness doctrine" and it got repealed in the 1980's because they wanted freedom of speech.

For example, he wants to "shut-down" all other radio stations like republican and others, besides liberal stations. This sounds alot like communism to me. I'm just concerned and i'd like to know if these things that Obama has brought up will come to pass or rather be brought up in the near future.
will2543

Pro

The Fairness Doctrine (1949-1987) simply required that broadcasters give time to an opposing viewpoint on a controversial issue. It also mandated that time be set aside for discussion of said controversial issues of the public interest. The individual broadcasters could choose how they wanted to do this; some did on-air editorials, as others did news segments or public affairs programming.

The Fairness Doctrine never applied to shutting down radio stations simply because they were conservative or liberal. It only meant that radio stations were never fully liberal or fully conservative; they had to give time (not equal time, simply time in general) to an opposing side. Obama does not support the return of the Fairness Doctrine, rather he supports network neutrality, media-ownership caps, etc.

However, the Fairness Doctrine is, I believe, a good idea. According to bodies of research performed by Donald Green and Jane Mutz, Americans only associate with like-minded people, and we have less and less conversation with people who think differently. The Fairness Doctrine would go a long way towards fixing this because:

1. No matter how conservative or liberal you are, you would always have to listen to other points of view, therefore challenging your cognitive dissonance and giving you more than one side of an argument, whether you can see the other side of an issue or not.
2. Seeing as it is human nature for people to bring up new things that they have heard at school, on the radio, etc., this allows for people to have an informed conversation about certain issues with people that they may not have had those conversations with before. This allows for higher levels of bridging social capital, which in turn raises social trust, and strengthens our society.
3. Having strengthened social capital extends to other areas of our society, such as the increase of civic engagement and awareness, voting, etc. The Fairness Doctrine can also work to produce a nation of independent thinkers, seeing as you are most likely to simply follow the political beliefs of your parents (Zuckerman 2007) and the fact that the American people don't really know much about politics or civic institutions in general (Della Carpini and Keeter 1996). It would allow for more people to be more informed about the central issues regarding this country. A nation of PBS, rather than Air America or Rush Limbaugh.

I look forward to the next round.
Debate Round No. 2
lalasavannah3218

Con

I do believe that everyone should have their own freedom of speech and I know that some things on the radio do get out of hand. Just taking that away would upset alot of people. I think having some restrictions would effect alot things like comedy central etc. Yea it's weird, but they usually make fun of politics, but they never really choose a side thery're for which is fine. That's not the biggest issue I have. I don't really watch that myself. It would take away certain websites and things down. People would have to really be careful in what they say or the they'll get in trouble. I mean I don't say bad things about the Presidents or Congress. I think their actions are stupid sometimes, but not themselves in general. I see what you're getting to though. I appreciate what you have to say.
I look forward to what you say next. :)
will2543

Pro

I don't think that your argument addresses any of the points that I made.

On top of the arguments that I made in the last round:

The Fairness Doctrine would not mean a curtailment of freedom of speech. The Fairness Doctrine would not mean that Rush Limbaugh couldn't be on the air. However, it would mean that the stations that carry him would have to provide some time for meaningful debate over a controversial public issue (again, not equal time, just time in general).

I fail to see how the Fairness Doctrine would affect The Daily Show or The Colbert Report at all. As a matter of fact, literally speaking, since they are both parodies of a liberal bias in the media and the craziness of Fox News on the right, they would meet Fairness Doctrine standards by showing both sides of an issue.

The Fairness Doctrine could not apply to the Internet, as the Internet is not regulated by the FCC, which would be the agency by which the jurisdiction for enforcement of the Fairness Doctrine would fall. So you would not see banning of websites and the like, because in addition to the fact that the Internet is regulated by a different agency, the nebulous nature of the Internet would make enforcement impossible.

Also, the Fairness Doctrine wasn't preventing people from dissenting from their elected officials before, and it wouldn't do it now. In fact, no such law has been in place since the repeal of the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1802.

I look forward to your response.
Debate Round No. 3
lalasavannah3218

Con

lalasavannah3218 forfeited this round.
will2543

Pro

Pull through all of my arguments.

I hope that she is not quitting on me.

I look forward to the next round.
Debate Round No. 4
lalasavannah3218

Con

lalasavannah3218 forfeited this round.
will2543

Pro

Pull through all arguments.

Furthermore, vote Pro because the Fairness Doctrine wouldn't throw America into a nightmare of thought control, as my opponent says. Nor would it seek to silence the voices on the left or the right. It would simply allow for Americans to hear more of both sides in any public policy dispute. In an era where people lose friends over politics, where the discourse has become so toxic that it has led to constant gridlock not just with our elected officials, but with intelligent discourse in our society, wouldn't we want a more balanced, thoughtful, and communitarian society? That is what the Fairness Doctrine will bring to the table.

I thank my opponent for bringing up this topic, and I urge a Pro vote on this resolution. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Leftymorgan 8 years ago
Leftymorgan
Where the fairness doctrine falls short from the liberal stance is that it will only apply to "Talk Radio". Then in lies the problem with the fairness doctrine. If it would apply to all media I probably wouldn't have much a problem with it, but as it is put forward currently, I believe that would make things too one sided. Because they have tried to launch an all liberal radio network and it has gone bust. All I ask is give us the news and/or information without filters and let us make up our own minds. If TV and the Newspapers would do their jobs as they once did, then talk radio wouldn't have such a following.
Posted by fo-shizzle0855 8 years ago
fo-shizzle0855
those are all matters of opinions by those authors. You can't say that most america is uninterested in politics, and those who are base their opinions of their parents. It is not a proven fact. assuming someone is not openminded is unfair and unjust without proper knowledge of majority.
Posted by fo-shizzle0855 8 years ago
fo-shizzle0855
ok i see what you mean(pro) that every one should be strengthened in the same opinion, therefore alot less arguement/violence, but saying one is right rather than the other doesn't mean it is right therefore our goverment would be biased and soon communist just like the con said. there should always be two sides represented, or lots of people will be mislead into communism by only agreeing to one side.
Posted by fo-shizzle0855 8 years ago
fo-shizzle0855
wow good debate. I am going to have to agree with the con on this side. there should always be two sides being represented. there in fact are liberal talk shows, but in fact are not listened to nearly as oft as consersvitive talk show hosts are. which in my opinion is really saying something.
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