Tags: obama | oppose | fairness

White House Says Obama Opposes Fairness Doctrine

Wednesday, 18 Feb 2009 09:51 PM

President Barack Obama is against any move to bring back the so-called Fairness Doctrine, a White House spokesman told Fox News.com Wednesday.

"As the president stated during the campaign, he does not believe the Fairness Doctrine should be reinstated," White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said.

The statement comes after recent comments by former President Bill Clinton and other leading Democrats that suggested a move to bring back the doctrine -- a long-abolished policy that would require broadcasters to provide opposing viewpoints on controversial issues.

Conservatives see the doctrine as an attempt to impose liberal viewpoints on their shows and largely oppose any move to bring it back.

It is the first definitive stance the administration has taken since an aide told an industry publication last summer that Obama opposes the doctrine. In recent days, both senior adviser David Axelrod and White House press secretary Robert Gibbs left open the possibility that Obama would support the doctrine.

"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," Axelrod told Fox News Sunday over the weekend when asked about the president's position.

The Fairness Doctrine was adopted in 1949 and held that broadcasters were obligated to provide opposing points of views on controversial issues of national importance. It was halted under the Reagan administration.

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