Since When Did Censorship Become “Fair”?

Bigger news than the election results is what’s coming next: Specifically, the so-called Fairness Doctrine. On Election Day, a Fox News host interviewed Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. Schumer made it plainly clear that the strengthened Democratic congressional majority plans to reinstate the Doctrine next year. This would require radio stations to take conservative radio hosts off the air unless they do the impossible: Find liberal radio hosts with comparable numbers of viewers. It’s censorship without having to call it censorship. The Fox host asked Senator Schumer how he can justify doing this to a private, for-profit radio station operating without any government funds. Schumer’s response was chilling. He said: “The very same people who don’t want the Fairness Doctrine want the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] to limit pornography on the air. 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.”
Schumer wants to extend censorship beyond the marginal area of pornography to the much more serious area of ideas and political speech. Will opponents of the Orwellian-Randian sounding “Fairness Doctrine” rise to call it what it is? Will there be the equivalent of a Boston Tea Party in defense of free speech? Or will freedom of speech die in the United States of America without a wimper?
Here’s what this is really about: Dissension. The new face of modern-day liberalism is one of intolerance — specifically, intolerance of all dissension. For decades now, we have seen this attitude among liberal intellectuals on college campuses who use federal funds and federal regulations to keep out any opinion which departs from left-wing orthodoxy. Now, that mentality has at last arrived in Congress and at the White House.
This very column you are reading — though not as high-profile as Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity — is just one example of dissension. Dissension is all over the Internet, cable and broadcast media, and all throughout the land. Where will dissension be after 4-8 years of the new regime now moving into Washington DC?
Stay tuned — while you still can.