The Free Speech Alliance Declares War on the 'Censorship Doctrine'
Editor's Note: You too can join the Free Speech Alliance. Click here and sign the petition, and stand at the ready for whenever any liberal again threatens the First Amendment with talk of reinstating the Censorship Doctrine.
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The Free Speech Alliance member organizations are themselves engaged in a wide array of issues, but they all recognize the preeminent importance of defending the First Amendment and protecting free speech from government censorship, a fundamental Constitutional safeguard.
The Free Speech Alliance member organizations thus far:
American Civil Rights Union
American Conservative Union
American Family Business Institute
American Service Council
American Shareholders Alliance
Americans for Prosperity
Americans for Tax Reform
Ax the Tax
Capitol Hill Prayer Alert
Capitol Research Center
Center for Competitive Politics
Center for Freedom and Prosperity
Center for Individual Freedom
Center for Military Readiness
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Concerned Women for America
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste
Defenders of Liberty International
Institute for Liberty
International Right to Life Federation
Let Freedom Ring
Life Issues Institute
Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely and Stand Up America USA
Media Freedom Project
National Religious Broadcasters
National Taxpayers Union
Property Rights Alliance
Salem Communications Corporation
Sam Adams Alliance
Star Parker and Urban CURE
The innocuously named "Fairness" Doctrine was a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulation enacted in 1949. Promising "equal time" on broadcast radio, it instead resulted in zero time and silenced political speech. Stations avoided political discussion so as to stay clear of the Censorship Doctrine's onerous regulations. President Ronald Reagan rescinded the Doctrine in 1987; since then, conservative talk radio has flourished, and liberals have hated every minute of it.
Over the last two years, many left-wing elected officials have expressed their desire to see the Censorship Doctrine reinstated, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senators Chuck Schumer, Jeff Bingaman, John Kerry and Dick Durbin and Congressman Dennis Kucinich. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter has drafted legislation (the MEDIA Act) that would codify the Fairness Doctrine in law.
Media Research Center Founder and President L. Brent Bozell, III:
"Liberals in Washington are gearing up to silence the opposition and reinstate the Censorship Doctrine, a.k.a. the ‘Fairness' Doctrine. Owning all the rest of the news media isn't enough for the Left; it appears they will insist on censoring the lone voices of dissent. That's why the Free Speech Alliance is so important; organizations and individual citizens dedicated to defending the First Amendment and protecting free speech."
Americans for Tax Reform President Grover G. Norquist:
"Nothing should worry people more than the government toying with the idea of limiting free speech. Talk radio is the megaphone through which the people can communicate with large numbers of their fellow Americans. The fact that any elected official could feel comfortable calling for that megaphone to be silenced is a frightening display of the arrogance of power. ‘Speaking truth to power,' as liberals like to say, is just as valid when they are the power and the American people should not have their rights infringed upon simply because some politicians don't like what they have to say."
Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips:
"We're ready and willing to fight it out with the left over the proper size, scope, and intrusiveness of government, and we cannot allow advocates of big government to shut down political speech they disagree with. That's what's at stake with reintroduction of the Fairness Doctrine, and it's un-American and unacceptable."