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Is the Fairness Doctrine inconsistent with the First amendment right to free speech?

  • The fairness doctrine violates the first amendment

    The fairness doctrine clearly violates the first amendment by telling broadcasters that they must allow certain individuals to speak on their show. This is like forcing every one to be a member of every religion. Broadcasters should be FREE to show and talk about what ever they want on their broadcasts, because it's protected by the first amendment.

  • I believe that, although the Fairness Doctrine was created with good intentions, it is inconsistent with the First Amendment.

    The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees our freedom of speech. The Fairness Doctrine seeks to mitigate that by requiring broadcast networks to air opposing viewpoints. Although this, in no way, is harmful to free speech of individuals, it does tend to hamstring broadcasters by requiring them to air viewpoints that they may or may not agree with.

    Posted by: BrownDustin82
  • The Fairness Doctrine is incompatible with the First Amendment, as it allows the government to determine what is "fair" coverage.

    The First Amendment was designed to protect Americans' views, without interference from the government. The Fairness Doctrine, however, lets government councils decide what is "fair" or not. This makes it difficult for radio and television broadcasters to air controversial or political shows, as they would be afraid of being punished.

    Posted by: EminentBennett93
  • Yes, because how does the government decide what is fair?

    The First Amendment gives everyone the right to free speech. In the Fairness Doctrine, the government mandates equal time to different views. This is without consideration to the percentage of the population that holds the views, or on the significance of the issue. This left 2 majority parties with over 40% of the population's support having "equal" time with minority parties that have less than 2% of the view, and taking time away from the candidates that most people wanted to hear more of. Minor issues on bus routes received equal debate time as major issues, like tax increases and corruption measures, taking time away from critical debates. To interfere with the availability of speech over the airwaves is to interfere with the First Amendment. The irony is that the Fairness Doctrine did nothing to address liberal bias in news reporting or any reporting in newspapers, while limiting talk radio and television.

    Posted by: Pir4And
  • Yes, the fairness doctrine is unconstitutional in my opinion.

    I think the marketplace should be the judge of what programs are on our airwaves. When the government gets involved in trying to balance out the opinions of tv or radio the result would be to limit the freedom of speech. Stations would just not have any programs that had hosts with strong feeling so that they wouldn't have to balance them out with someone who felt the opposite. The result would be very dull programming.

    Posted by: GaudyTory37
  • Fairness is not implied in free speech, so if someone wants to say something, it should be allowed to be said, whether or not their opposition wants to talk back.

    The Fairness Doctrine is taking the issue of free speech from the First Amendment and saying that it has to be enforced. There is nothing about free speech that was intended to be a forced thing. The founding of our nation saw people who believed that you should speak your mind, without fear of reprisal from the government. The Fairness Doctrine says you better not speak your mind, unless someone who doesn't agree with you speaks their mind also. This is government intervention in free speech. This issue is exactly what the founders wanted to avoid for our country.

    Posted by: MariaR
  • It does not uphold free speech.

    The Fairness Doctrine does not uphold free speech. The Fairness Doctrine would actually decrease free speech. By implementing the Fairness Doctrine, you would be eliminating the forces of a free market. If you do this, certain radio hosts can not speak out as often as they like due to government restraints over the airwaves, even though the people demand freedom for all to speak.

    Posted by: SlipArnal
  • The Fairness Doctrine is consistent with the First Amendment Right to free speech because it provides for a multitude of voices, not just the one voice bought and paid for by large multi-media corporations which only provide one viewpoint.

    The Fairness Doctrine basically stated that broadcast license-holders have a duty to present important issues to the public and and to give multiple perspectives while doing so. At present, when the broadcast license holders see nothing wrong with labeling their personal opinions as news, and when large multi-media corporations which are owned by out-of-country business interests have a vested interest in only providing one viewpoint and in trying to get people upset in order to get them to hold on until the next commercial, there is a considerable need for fairness. We have in this country a Democratic Republic... We say that we have a democracy yet without adequate representation in the media of all voices, the average voter has no chance of making an informed decision. The Fairness Doctrine provides for the first amendment rights of even minority candidates, unpopular candidates, and others, and gives all an equal voice. This is perfectly in line with the first amendment as well as fostering the democratic process.

    Posted by: SportyHart
  • Yes, the Fairness Doctrine, in which both sides must be presented, does have some inconsistencies with the freedom of speech.

    Although this thought is new to me, I see that requiring that both sides be presented is a violation of free speech. Broadcasters are certainly able to get around this though, so it isn't that significant a violation. It is a good and fair idea to make both sides be presented but probably isn't really possible in the real world. Some news station calls itself balanced, but it is as far from balanced as possible and rarely presents both sides of the issues. So, although in essence this may be inconsistent with the right to free speech, in practice, it seems to not violate this right.

    Posted by: 54IInferno
  • The Fairness Doctrine should be reinstated. Everyone has the right to give their opinion - not just one-sided

    I believe the Fairness Doctrine upholds Free Speech in the First Amendment. Radio stations should be able to broadcast both sides. For example, Rush Limbaugh is very vocal in his opinions and that is fine. Other people should be able to debate that.

    Posted by: jointofview
  • The fairness doctrine allowed controversial topics to be spoken about, so no.

    The fairness doctrine forced TV broadcasters to show open topic debates about topics, which would be consistent to free speech opportunity. Freedom of speech is willing to speak openly about topics, in a controlled manner so long as it is peaceful. No one is forced to watch it, and people can learn from it.

    Posted by: Bear
  • No the Fairness Doctrine does NOT violate the freedom of speech!

    As said in many of the other comments above me. The Fairness Doctrine only states that a broadcaster must allow for equal opportunity, so to say. It just requires them to have opposing viewpoints speak on their show and not have some biased show. No the fairness Doctrine does not violate the freedom of free speech.

  • Let's be truthful.

    I find it amusing that many feel that the Fairness Doctrine gives the government a hand in the reporting of the press... news flash, without the doctrine in place it is allowing the government to push whatever it wants and it doesn't need proof to do so. The news you are handed everyday is based upon what gets the ratings up. This isn't about freedom of speech, but the truthfulness in what is reported to the public.

  • I disagree with the principles of the Fairness Doctrine, because government should not be involved with journalism.

    I think that the Fairness Doctrine is nothing more than a nicely worded bill set to put government influence onto journalists. It deprives journalistic honesty, while claiming to do the opposite. It also contradicts the basic principles of journalism. Journalists are supposed to be free to provide criticism via facts, and that applies to criticism of the government. What the Fairness Doctrine does is allow the government to impede on journalist reporting, preventing them from objective and factual representation of what they are reporting on.

    Posted by: RavidbardeI
  • I do not believe the Fairness Doctrine to be inconsistent, because each person can still state their own opinion.

    Simply because both view points need to be represented, it does not mean that a broadcaster needs to change his opinion. He can say whatever he wants, so long as he gives opportunity for the opposing side to say what they want to say also. This may actually enhance what he wants to say, by giving it validity, as the listeners become aware of the opposition.

    Posted by: DizzyCasey
  • No, because the narrow scope of the Fairness Doctrine preserves First Amendment rights.

    The Fairness Doctrine doesn't impinge on First Amendment rights, because the doctrine applies only to broadcasts over the public spectrum. The spectrum is a public property, and the government is correct to issue licenses in a manner that serves the public. If restrictions like the Fairness Doctrine are not placed on those who successfully bid for licenses to use the spectrum, we could allow a situation where wealthy corporations use the spectrum for their benefit alone.

    Posted by: LuciaL
  • No, because the Fairness Doctrine does not limit free speech in any way.

    The Fairness Doctrine was not meant to stifle any beliefs from being broadcast, but only to present a diverse array of perspectives. Free speech is not affected by the Doctrine. Allowing multiple people to speak on an issue from differing sides of the issue instead promotes free speech by encouraging the representation of multiple perspectives, rather than whatever the dominant perspective is.

    Posted by: enygmatical
  • The Fairness Doctrine is inconsistent with the First amendment right to free speech because people will be less likely to speak their opinions if doing so requires them to also air the opposing side's view.

    In theory, the Fairness Doctrine is supposedly going to ensure that all views get an equal chance of being heard. I feel that we already have that now. We have freedom of speech already. If you don't want to hear someone's view, turn it off!

    Posted by: JeffP4ri5
  • It is important that the media be required to show issues without bias, otherwise the media can become propaganda.

    Freedom of speech does not, in my opinion, include the right to indoctrinate people with lies and propaganda in order to sway them to your side. Without the Fairness Doctrine, it would have been much more likely that broadcasters, especially in the years after it was instated (particularly with Korea and Vietnam and the Red Scare), would have presented a biased view toward major issues of the day. It is always important that a news source, in order to be credible, try to present the truth or at least present both sides in order to guide people to what they believe the truth to be.

    Posted by: H4n5Freex
  • No, the fairness doctrine does not uphold free speech in the 1st amendment.

    The fairness doctrine would actually decrease free speech. By using the fairness doctrine, you are eliminating the forces of the free market. If you do this, certain talk radio hosts can not speak out as much as they like due to government restraints over the airwaves, even though the people highly demand that person be able to speak. The free market is the only way to promote free speech, while the fairness doctrine would only diminish free thought and free speech.

    Posted by: D Callahan

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