Some in the liberal media establishment have decried discussion of the Fairness Doctrine, claiming the Obama administration's publicly saying it wouldn't pursue it removed the threat.
However, conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh theorized that President Obama may have another method to restrict content over the airwaves in mind. In an interview on Sean Hannity's June 4 Fox News Channel program, Limbaugh explained how Obama could do this - by exercising the influence the government has over the banking sector.
"I want to say one other thing, even if I go over time here," Limbaugh said. "People ask me about the Fairness Doctrine all the time and I've been watching something here - newspapers are losing money. Advertising revenue is down, circulation. But radio companies, too, Sean. Television companies - their advertising revenues are down."
With ad revenues in decline, should broadcasters be forced to seek financial help from banks, loans could come with strings attached.
"Advertising as a whole is down," Limbaugh explained. "Now, what happens if they have to file Chapter 11? What if all these radio companies can't make their debt payments next year or the year after that and have to go Chapter 11? If Obama is controlling the banks and the banks then will or will not lend to the broadcasters and the newspapers to make them solvent, we could reach a point where Obama controls radio and TV, because he will own it by virtue of the banks he controls, owning it. This is a very stealth way - you don't need the Fairness Doctrine. You don't need localism."
While that sounds unlikely, Limbaugh pointed to other places in the private sector where it has happened - the auto industry and Wall Street.
"And people say that will never happen," Limbaugh said. "Well, did you ever think that government and Obama would be dictating the kind of cars GM and Chrysler make? Did you ever think Obama would be dictating what people on Wall Street can earn? Did you ever think that the mortgage business would be controlled by a single man, Barack Obama? Nobody ever thought that. So, if you think that the media in this country cannot also be owned by Barack Obama, think again. Well, that's the path we're headed down."
Limbaugh reiterated that these sorts of tactics are un-American and repeated his claim Obama is destroying the country before al-Qaida has the opportunity to.
"We have to stop and shout, and stop this and oppose it," Limbaugh added. "This is not the America that you and I grew up - I said earlier if al-Qaida wants to demolish the America we know and love, they'd better hurry, because Obama's beating them to it."