Saturday, July 21, 2007

The logical conclusion of the Fairness Doctrine

So, some people want the "Fairness Doctrine" made law (or at least part of FCC regs) because...well, mainly because Air America isn't really dominating the ratings like they assumed. For people new to the scene, the idea is that talk radio stations would have to have equal programming time for conservative and liberal shows.

I don't think it's what they really want. To really be fair, we'd have to have equal time for all broadcast programming, not just AM talk radio.

We'd have to do the regular news too. We wouldn't have just one Fox News channel, almost half of them would be Fox News or nearly identical in coverage. For every story about "yet more" fatalities in Iraq, there would have to be a story about Iraqi lives saved or attacks thwarted. For every story about phantom WMDs, there has to be a story about inspectors prevented from entering suspect facilities and people asking why Bush just didn't have them planted to vindicate himself. For every article about Bush being ineffective, evil, dishonest, and stupid, there would have to be one properly and thoroughly explaining his rationale for vetoing the ESCR bills. For every reference to alleged perpetual abortion clinic bombings, there would be footage of people pitching a fit at pro-lifers unobtrusively praying the rosary across the street and interviews with former mothers who regret what they did and what the complications of the procedure were. For every "Christ's Tomb" caliber expose, whether it's about Christ or about the military-industrial complex, there's one about the historical evidence supporting Christianity or about some hippie politico who abdicates basic human rights to gain some creature comforts. For every story on Abu Ghraib the New York Times has to give everyone a dollar.

Okay, I'm being a little facetious on that last one.

We'd also have to do entertainment television. For every sitcom about charistmatic homosexuals, there would have to be a drama about straight people who turned to homosexuality after growing up in an abusive household and showing how difficult it really is to find happiness in serial monogamy or a totally libertine lifestyle (gay or straight). For every show warning about overpopulation, there's one about destitute senior citizens. For every show about two friends or strangers who sleep together, there's one about a child they have (or maybe an STD that really cuts into their lifestyle, and not just because they're always getting those inconvenient treatments) who is both more inconvenient and more important to the main characters than an occasional plot element. For every show decrying the folly of guns or war, there's a show about the cops not making it to stop a home invasion in time or about large, defenseless populations being under seige by brutal neighbors. For every movie about a sympathetic terrorist, a normal guy who got caught up in unfortunate circumstances with persuasive European psychopaths, there's one about a guy who has a chip on his shoulder for no good reason and leaves his child in a car wired with explosives so no one will think to inspect it.

Sure; sometimes you hear about these things in passing, but they're never the "hot" stories, are they?

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