Fairness Doctrine Confusion

Rory Cooper /

On Wednesday, White House spokesman Ben LaBolt told FoxNews.com: “As the president stated during the campaign, he does not believe the Fairness Doctrine should be reinstated.” However, only three days earlier, President Obama’s Senior Advisor David Axelrod told Fox News Sunday, “I’m going to leave that issue to Julius Genachowski, our new head of the FCC … and the president to discuss. So I don’t have an answer for you now.” Certainly there is some confusion in the current White House. Where else is there confusion? Are former Presidents confused?

Former President Bill Clinton was on liberal radio host Mario Solis Marich’s program this week and said, “”Well, you either ought to have the Fairness Doctrine or we ought to have more balance on the other side, because essentially there’s always been a lot of big money to support the right wing talk shows and let face it, you know, Rush Limbaugh is fairly entertaining even when he is saying things that I think are ridiculous…”

Okay, but meanwhile, Former President Carter told a Phoenix radio station last Friday that “…as a matter of fact, when I was president is when we deregulated radio, television, all the communications and relationships. So I have not been in favor of perpetuating the Fairness Doctrine since I’ve been, you know, in politics.” Certainly there is some confusion among past Presidents. Maybe we can get some clarification from Capitol Hill?

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) who is married to Tom Athans, a liberal talk radio executive, told liberal radio host Bill Press, “I think it’s absolutely time to pass a standard. Now, whether it’s called the Fairness Standard, whether it’s called something else — I absolutely think it’s time to be bringing accountability to the airwaves.” She went on to say that she expected hearings on the subject based on discussions she has been having with her colleagues.