The Fairness Doctrine, which was enacted in 1949 by the FCC and ended during the Reagan administration, required broadcasters to give equal time to dissenting opinions. Its abolition is credited with the explosion of conservative talk radio in the 1980s, says the article.
Some of you may have seen this before, but whenever this subject comes up, I have to post the comments about this subject by Frank Zappa, back in 1988. Note his use of the words "fair" and "balance" before there was a Fox News. Seems that Zappa was the only person who saw this coming. By allowing the filthy rich right-wing fanatics to take over the US media, we set ourselves up for a president having the ability to lie our country into a disasterous war.
The people who are fed up with the polls are the people who are already smart enough to see through the bullshit to begin with. The people who are bamboozled by the polls are the ones that are most likely to vote for Bush. It's the whole idea that Americans think a winner is so terrific, and if you put the little winner's crown on one guy before the election, the day after the election, you want to make sure you voted for the guy who won. Because when you talk to your buddies when they slap each other on the back drinking Miller Lite in the bar after the election, you want to have been on the team. And that's part of the peer pressure to move the votes around.
But there always seems to be candidates for that level of humanity. Do you expect your criticism could wake one of them up?
The criticism won't, but in order to motivate the people who are already susceptible to that sort of bamboozlement, you have to provide them with data through another way. You have to either do it through a metaphor or you really have to draw them a picture. They have to be persuaded. They can't work on the logical level. You can't just say, "Look, here are facts". Because those people have gone beyond the medium of fact retention or fact processing. They're "feelies". Everything that motivates them must be wearing warm and fuzzy clothing. They want to have that warm, fuzzy sensation that whatever it is that you're selling to them makes them even warmer and fuzzier. But it can be done. In order to do it, you need to have access to media so that the message can be presented properly. The problem is that the whole myth of the liberal media bias is preposterous because nobody who owns a broadcast license, or a newspaper, is a Democrat. They're all screaming on the right. And the flap about liberal media bias was manufactured by the right wing. The right wing goes to some of their friends in another part of the right wing and says, "You attack my network. You say that CBS is too liberal, and that gives us the license to behave more conservatively in order to appear to be fair". Thereby pushing any liberal idea completely out of their broadcast, and doing it in a way that's saying, "We're doing this to provide balance". Perfect fakeout. Because that's exactly what the people always wanted to do to begin with. The demise of the Red Lion Decision guaranteeing equal time for opposing points of view in a political situation - they got rid of that last year, or the year before. Most people don't even know that regulation doesn't exist anymore. It is no longer required of a broadcaster to give equal time to the opposition. And so the removal of that regulation, combined with the desire to have only one point of view presented to the American public, has given them this great opportunity in this election.
http://www.science.uva.nl/~robbert/zapp ... art04.html