Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is fighting to ensure the government won’t get to tell your local radio and television stations what type of political content to air.
“Legislation is brewing on Capitol Hill that would take away free speech from broadcasters by reinstating a law that would require talk shows to provide equal time coverage of opposing viewpoints on any issues they discuss. I don’t know a single broadcaster who wants to be told by the federal government what can be aired on their station. The so called “Fairness Doctrine” was abolished in the past for good reason and should not be re-enacted. That is why I signed onto this legislation, to keep free speech on the airwaves,” said Enzi.
Enzi co-sponsored the Broadcaster Freedom Act of 2009, S. 34, this week. The bill would prevent the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from re-instituting the Fairness Doctrine, a regulation mandating specific types of programming content over public airwaves.
“Do we want the federal government telling broadcasters and specifically talk radio hosts what is fair and what is not? I don’t think the five people who make up the FCC should have that kind of power. I don’t care what party they are from. The ‘fairness doctrine’ is a violation of free speech,” said Enzi.
The Federal Communications Commission is in charge of regulating broadcast airwaves for the “public interest” and in 1949 the “Fairness Doctrine” was enacted to ensure that different viewpoints would be relayed to viewers and listeners. In 1985, the doctrine was repealed after it began to limit coverage of issues important to the public. There has been talk on Capitol Hill of reinstating the doctrine. Enzi believes that in order to keep broadcast airwaves free from government the doctrine should not be re-instated.