FCC warns “fairness doctrine” could spread to Web

FCC commissioner Robert McDowell warned that a return of the so-called “fairness doctrine” could see the long-dead law revised for the age of blogs, and extend government censorship to blogs and other Web sites. Jeff Poor, writing for BusinessAndMedia.org, wrote this:

The commissioner … told the Business & Media Institute the Fairness Doctrine could be intertwined with the net neutrality battle. The result might end with the government regulating content on the Web, he warned. McDowell, who was against reprimanding Comcast, said the net neutrality effort could win the support of “a few isolated conservatives” who may not fully realize the long-term effects of government regulation.

“I think the fear is that somehow large corporations will censor their content, their points of view, right,” McDowell said. “I think the bigger concern for them should be if you have government dictating content policy, which by the way would have a big First Amendment problem.”

“Then, whoever is in charge of government is going to determine what is fair, under a so-called ‘Fairness Doctrine,’ which won’t be called that – it’ll be called something else,” McDowell said. “So, will Web sites, will bloggers have to give equal time or equal space on their Web site to opposing views rather than letting the marketplace of ideas determine that?”

This ought to be considered scary stuff, folks, whether you’re liberal or conservative. Time for some budgeting and planning to get out the vote and support candidate who don’t support government censorship of new media!

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