FCC Chief Agrees to Delete Fairness Doctrine From Federal Rules

Wednesday, 08 Jun 2011 03:09 PM

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Calling the Fairness Doctrine a “dead letter,” the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has agreed to excise all references to it from federal regulations.

Julius Genachowski’s move came in response to a request from House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.

The congressmen noted in their letter last month that President Barack Obama had issued an executive order to federal agencies to remove outdated and unnecessary regulations and that the Fairness Doctrine “would seem like an easy place to start since the FCC has already abandoned them.”

Julius Genachowski, FCC, Fairness Doctrine
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski: Fairness Doctrine discourages free speech. (Getty Images Photo)
In response, Genachowski said he has long opposed the Fairness Doctrine and said it “holds the potential to chill free speech and the free flow of ideas.”

“I fully support deleting the Fairness Doctrine and related provisions from the Code of Federal Regulations, so that there can be no mistake that what has been a dead letter is truly dead,” he wrote. “I look forward to effectuating this change when acting on the staff’s recommendations and anticipate that the process can be completed in the near future.”

The Fairness Doctrine’s origins date to the late 1940s. The measure, which required broadcasters to present a balanced view of both sides of controversial issues, was repealed by the FCC in 1987. Its repeal is often credited with the rise of talk radio. Fears of its revival as a means of stifling conservative talk have sprung up periodically, most recently after the Tucson shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, R-Ariz.

Although Upton said he is “heartened” by Genachowski’s opposition to the Fairness Doctrine and his vow to remove it from the books, the Michigan Republican is taking no chances.

“When precisely will you eliminate the Fairness Doctrine and related regulations? What is involved? Do you have the support of your fellow commissioners? How long will it take?” he fired back in a response that Walden joined.

Genachowski’s letter agreeing to eliminate Fairness Doctrine references also said the FCC is making progress in identifying and eliminating antiquated and outmoded rules that “unnecessarily burden business, stifle investment and innovation, or confuse consumers and licenses.” He said 49 regulations have already been cut and 25 sets of unnecessary data collections are also set for elimination.

“We are . . . pleased by our commitment in the letter to abide by President Obama’s executive order . . . even though it does not bind independent agencies such as the FCC,” Upton and Walden wrote.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Hamas Spokesman: We Are Targeting Ben Gurion Airport

Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 19:44 PM

After dodging the question a day earlier, Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan told CNN on Wednesday that the group is indeed ta . . .

Reports: Texas National Guard Won't Have Power to Arrest

Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 19:40 PM

Texas National Guard troops headed for the Rio Grande Valley to help stem the surge of children and adults pouring acros . . .

Defiant Bloomberg Scolds CNN's Blitzer in Israel: 'Don't be Ridiculous'

Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 18:33 PM

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg flew to Israel on Tuesday night to prove it is safe to do so and to urge th . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved