- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 27, 2007

‘I’m prepared to vote no’

The suggestion, in Monday’s editorial “Sen. Lott’s foot-in-the-mouth problem,” that I raise “the specter of reviving the Fairness Doctrine” has no basis in fact. In the Fox News Sunday interview cited in your editorial, I said: “I’ve been defended by talk radio many times, and I will support their rights to tell their side of the story, right, left or the middle, forever. I don’t think this Fairness Doctrine that would try to require there be X amount on both sides is fair.”

I point out this quote because in Monday’s editorial you failed to mention the very quote that undermines the premise of your entire assertion that I, along with liberal special interests and Clinton White House staffers, support reviving this failed doctrine.

Last week, I used even harsher words when talking with Sean Hannity. I told him, “I never meant that we should have the Fairness Doctrine imposed to stifle people like you or anyone on talk radio.”

The Fairness Doctrine is a non-starter. I believe the market will drive radio content, and it has driven liberal attempts at talk radio right out of business.

I also believe that the Senate has a responsibility to deal with big problems facing our nation, and immigration is one. The bill before the Senate has flaws, but it also contains key conservative provisions like ending chain migration, increasing border security, workforce enforcement, merit-based immigration and ending the lottery system that legally allowed a terrorist into our country because his name was drawn from a hat.

Those are all good reforms.

Now, the wheels may fall off by the week’s end, but America deserves a Senate that is willing to debate and improve the status quo. I’m going to judge the bill in its entirety prior to my vote for final passage. And I’m prepared to vote no.

SEN. TRENT LOTT

Washington

‘Dealing with’ talk radio

Sen. Trent Lott recently said, “Talk radio is running America. We have to deal with that problem” (“Conservatives rule talk radio,” Page 1, Friday).

The last time I looked, we still had freedom of speech. The American public can read newspapers, and we have organizations that keep us posted on what is going on in the Senate and House. It is not just talk radio that keeps us informed. If we are always kept in the dark on the actions of our legislators, there is no telling what bills would be passed without the voters knowing.

The immigration bill currently on the table creates dozens of questions for the public: If there are 20 amendments to S.1348, why can’t we hear what they are? Why not enforce the laws we already have? Will Border Patrol officers be able to do their jobs without being arrested? Will a fence be built? What will be the procedure for letting the 12 million illegal aliens become citizens?

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