Schumer Compares Talk Radio to 'Pornography'

Tuesday, 04 Nov 2008 01:27 PM

By Jim Meyers

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Democratic Campaign Committee Chairman Charles Schumer defended the so-called Fairness Doctrine regarding talk radio, telling Fox News: “I think we should all be fair and balanced, don’t you?”

The Fairness Doctrine, repealed during the Ronald Reagan administration, would require radio stations to balance conservative talk hosts with liberal ones.

In a Fox interview Tuesday morning, the senator from New York was asked if he supported telling radio stations what their content should be.

“The very same people who don’t want the Fairness Doctrine want the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] to limit pornography on the air,” Schumer said.

“I am for that . . . But you can’t say government hands off in one area to a commercial enterprise but you are allowed to intervene in another. That’s not consistent.”

In 2007, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., a close ally of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, told The Hill newspaper: “It’s time to reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine. I have this old-fashioned attitude that when Americans hear both sides of the story, they’re in a better position to make a decision.”

Conservatives fear that forcing stations to give liberal hosts equal time on the air would cut into profits so significantly that radio executives would scale back on conservative radio programming to avoid escalating costs and interference from the FCC, according to The Hill.

They also note that conservative radio shows have been far more successful than liberal ones, making them easy targets for such legislation.

A recent Zogby poll disclosed that those who said they would vote for Barack Obama support reinstating the Fairness Doctrine by a margin of 53 percent to 37 percent, with 10 percent not sure.

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