MRC/NB's Bozell: It's Time for a Vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act

Acting Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Michael Copps insists that the so-called Fairness Doctrine is "long gone" and "not coming back." But liberal legislators such as socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former Democratic presidential aspirants Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) have recently called for a return of the anti-free speech.

That's why Media Research Center (MRC) President and NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell is calling on FCC Chairman Copps to call for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to bring the Broadcaster Freedom Act to the floor for an up-or-down vote:

When this many high-powered elected officials are calling for a return of the mis-named ‘Fairness’ Doctrine, and are actively opposing a vote on the bill to prevent the FCC from reinstating it, it isn’t a conspiracy theory. It’s a determination to shut down free speech on talk radio.

The solution is simple: Chairman Copps should call on Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid to allow a full, fair stand alone vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act. That way we will know once and for all how each member of Congress thinks – are they for free speech, or are they for the ‘Fairness’ Doctrine?

The May 19 press release is available at MRC.org and is excerpted in full below:

Alexandria, VA – Acting Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Michael Copps offered his view last Thursday that the anti-free speech Censorship Doctrine, also mis-known as the “Fairness” Doctrine is “long gone” and that “it’s not coming back.”

But for the second time in a week, Chairman Copps called those who are concerned about its return “conspiracy theorists” who are engaged in “issue mongering” by “resurrecting the straw man of a bye-gone Fairness Doctrine.”

Media Research Center (MRC) President Brent Bozell today reminded Chairman Copps of just some of the many members of Congress who have recently called for a return of the so-called “Fairness” Doctrine:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer
Senator Chuck Schumer
Senator Dick Durbin
Senator John Kerry
Senator Jeff Bingaman
Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Congressman John Dingell
Congressman Anna Eshoo

 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
Former President Bill Clinton
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Senator Debbie Stabenow
Senator Tom Harkin
Senator Bernie Sanders
Congressman Maurice Hinchey
Congressman Louise Slaughter

Mr. Bozell reminded Chairman Copps that last summer Speaker Pelosi would not allow a full, fair up or down vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act (BFA) - which will prevent the FCC from reinstating the alleged “Fairness” Doctrine – and instead left it languishing in committee.  Not a single Democrat – including two who were BFA co-sponsors – would sign the bill’s discharge petition to get it out onto the floor for a vote.

And Mr. Bozell reminded Chairman Copps that he will soon be joined on the FCC by up to four new Commissioners (out of a total of five) who may not share his affinity for free speech and may vote to reinstate the so-called “Fairness” Doctrine.   

So Mr. Bozell today challenged Chairman Copps to demand that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid allow a stand-alone vote of the full House and Senate on the Broadcaster Freedom Act. 

Media Research Center President Brent Bozell:

“I am most appreciative that my friend – FCC Chairman Michael Copps – has no intention of reinstating the anti-First Amendment so-called ‘Fairness’ Doctrine.  But his statement that those of us concerned about its reimposition are ‘issue mongering’ ‘conspiracy theorists’ is off-base given the stated desires of so many members of Congress.

 “When this many high-powered elected officials are calling for a return of the mis-named ‘Fairness’ Doctrine, and are actively opposing a vote on the bill to prevent the FCC from reinstating it, it isn’t a conspiracy theory. It’s a determination to shut down free speech on talk radio.

“The solution is simple: Chairman Copps should call on Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid to allow a full, fair stand alone vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act. That way we will know once and for all how each member of Congress thinks – are they for free speech, or are they for the ‘Fairness’ Doctrine?”

NB Staff
NB Staff