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Could 'Fairness Doctrine' Be Used to Police the Internet?
A report in The American Spectator says Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., is looking into ways to exert more oversight on the Internet. His office denies the report.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
First radio, now the Web?
Media analysts and bloggers are warning that fresh efforts to bring back the so-called Fairness Doctrine could go too far, following a report that one prominent Democrat is looking into ways to apply the media control standards to the Internet.
The Fairness Doctrine is a policy created decades ago but abolished in the late 1980s that required broadcasters to provide opposing views on controversial issues.
While some Democrats have talked about reviving the policy, The American Spectator reported Monday that Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., is taking the call to a new level. The article said aides to the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee met last week with Federal Communications Commission staff to discuss ways to not only enact those policies but give Waxman's panel greater oversight over the Internet.
"It's all about diversity in media," the Spectator quoted a House energy committee staff member as saying. "Does one radio station or one station group control four of the five most powerful outlets in one community? ... Does one heavily trafficked Internet site present one side of an issue and not link to sites that present alternative views?" ...