- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 5, 2007

Listen up, Congress

Whenever you hear words like “fair” and “fairness” coming out of the mouths of Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, you know your wallet or one of your constitutionally guaranteed freedoms is up for give-and-take negotiations: You give, they take. This latest Democratic move to resurrect the Fairness Doctrine is an underhanded attempt to silence the opposition (“Bid to hush Rush,” Inside Politics, June 28).

With advancement in communications technology, the Fairness Doctrine is an anachronism. It makes me wonder why the hard sell to put it back in place. The liberals don’t lack for opportunities across the spectrum of American media outlets. They dominate the print media, the mainstream broadcast news, most of the cable news stations and the taxpayer-funded National Public Radio. How many conservative stations are supported by taxpayers?

Clearly, the Democrats’ real goal is to reduce the influence of the conservative voices on the AM band. The conservative radio talk shows have been so effective in providing fair debate to the left’s ideas that Mrs. Feinstein has blamed them for the defeat of the immigration bill. Does she believe all the rest of the comfortably liberal media is insufficient to loudly provide alternate views to those of a few radio shows? The immigration bill failed because the liberals and their media lap dogs didn’t have a leg to stand on, and thanks to conservative radio shows, the American public found that out. Without conservative radio to balance the rest of the media universe, the American public will remain vulnerable to half-truths and flat-out-harmful liberal ideas.


The Democrats’ sudden interest in fairness begs the obvious question: Will the slew of liberal television stations and the editorial page of the New York Times be required to give equal time to opposing viewpoints? Hardly. The problem is that the left’s 1960s nihilistic social and political ideology has been and will continue to be rejected summarily by a majority of the American people, who, having suffered decades from the fruit of their policies, demand common sense and rightness in governance. Because the left’s ideas cannot compete, the left wing of the Democratic Party is seeking to use the power of Congress to shut down the competition. If the so-called Fairness Doctrine comes back to life, what is to stop the left from regulating the Internet?

Thank goodness Rep. Mike Pence, Indiana Republican, is on his toes. On June 29, he introduced, along with 100 sponsors, the Broadcaster Freedom Act, a bill that would prevent the reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine. Mr. Pence’s legislation is critical to ensuring fair and balanced debate of controversial issues. To squelch conservative talk radio is to set up the country for extremely bad and even dangerous governance, and it is un-American to boot.

LISA MOUNT

Williamsburg

Dereliction of duty

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is dead wrong, and what’s more, he knows it (“Chertoff rebukes Congress over bill,” Page 1, Monday). His position, which must have been approved by the White House, is but another example of coercion by blackmail holding border security hostage to the abomination he insists is “immigration reform.”

The two basic functions of the federal government are defense of the currency and defense of the border. In both instances, the federal government has failed miserably. Congress approved funds to build a fence, but it tried to skirt the $4.4 billion price tag by clouding the fact that this money was to come not from our taxes, but from fines paid by illegal aliens. However, the whole concept is a red herring because many of these illegal aliens don’t care about citizenship; all they care about is the de facto legalization of their status and access to social-safety-net programs via the absurd and failed Z-Visa program. It’s simply dereliction of duty, especially during a time of war with terrorism, to skirt the issue, pass it off to the illegal aliens, complain about the Senate, lie to the American people and abdicate the sworn responsibility of the president.

The two-time defeat of the immigration bill, which should have prompted Mr. Chertoff and President Bush to stand up and be counted, instead has caused them to dig in their heels and insult their most loyal supporters, whom they have lost forever.

J.H. COHEN

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