Tucker Carlson Demolishes NY Congressman's Fairness Doctrine Position

Apparently, MSNBC's Tucker Carlson is getting fed up with hearing Democrats talk about the need for reinstitutiing the Fariness Doctrine.

All those that agree say "aye."

With this in mind, on Thursday evening, Carlson absolutely demolished the absurd positions his guest, Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-New York), was espousing for the need to bring back this archaic doctrine that was thrown out by a court back in 1987.

Unfortunately, Hinchey and his ilk live in the past concerning free speech on the airwaves, and Carlson adroitly exposed his many hypocrisies with this opening question (video available here, h/t Hot Air):

How exactly is Congress' intervention going to make it more fair, open and honest? As I understand it, your idea is, to force television stations to put certain political views on the air. Am I misunderstanding that?

Astoundingly, here was the Congressman's answer (better fasten your seatbelts):

The fact is, that the broadcast spectrum is owned by the general public, it's not owned by any individual or any corporation. And when people turn on their television, not cable, but the broadcast system openly, they should have an opportunity to get all forms of ideas and various opinions. All forms of opinions, so that people can make decisions for themselves, not have those decisions rammed on them by anyone else.

Anybody notice a flaw in the Congressman's position? As Carlson asked about television, not radio, the Congressman was actually suggesting that television viewers - not cable viewers - don't have "an opportunity to get all forms of ideas and various opinions."

In reality, I quite agree with the Congressman, for on the broadcast networks, Americans are only getting ideas from the left. Somehow, this got passed Hinchey.

Yet, the best hypocrisy was still to come when the Congressman actually uttered the following:

If you own a television station or a radio station, you have every right to put your opinion on. But if somebody else has an alternative point of view or alternative opinion, because the broadcast spectrum is owned by the general public, not by you as the owner of a station, then you have the responsibility to put anothers' points of view out there, too.

Carlson smelled blood:

OK. So if I say, the holocaust took place, many people in this country believe that it did not take place. So I'm required to put a holocaust denier on?

Delicious. Absolutely delicious. In fact, one could make the case that any point anyone wants to make, someone with an opposing view has to be allowed on the air regardless of how absurd or repulsive their position.

And, as unbelievable as it might seem, Hinchey actually espoused such a ludicrous idea:

Any particular point of view that you have, if somebody has an alternative point of view, then there is a responsibility to give that point of view an opportunity to be heard.

Unbelievable. Imagine that. A Congressman believes that any view being presented on television and radio should offer those with an alternate opinion the opportunity to be heard regardless of how absurd or baseless.

Do you think the Congressman actually believes this nonsense, or just sees how this would benefit his Party?

Regardless, what follows is a full transcript of this segment.

TUCKER CARLSON, HOST: Conservative talk radio dominates the air waves and that bothers some liberal members of Congress. They are trying to force stations to carry liberal talk as well. They call it the Fairness Doctrine. But is it fair or is it big brother run amok and does it challenge the first amendment? I spoke earlier to Democratic Congressman from New York, Maurice Hinchey, he is among those hoping to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine. I asked, if the federal government really ought to be in the business of controlling what people talk about on radio and TV? Here is what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REP. MAURICE HINCHEY, (D) NEW YORK: They shouldn‘t. Everybody should have the right to say what they want. The federal government should not be controlling it. It is just that we ought to do it in a way that is fair and open and honest.

CARLSON: How exactly is Congress' intervention going to make it more fair, open and honest? As I understand it, your idea is, to force television stations to put certain political views on the air. Am I misunderstanding that?

HINCHEY: Yes, I think you are, not understanding it completely. The fact is, that the broadcast spectrum is owned by the general public, it‘s not owned by any individual or any corporation. And when people turn on their television, not cable, but the broadcast system openly, they should have an opportunity to get all forms of ideas and various opinions. All forms of opinions, so that people can make decisions for themselves, not have those decisions rammed on them by anyone else.

CARLSON: But, wait a second. What if I own a TV station, and I want my opinion out there? You are going to tell me as a member of Congress, I have to include your opinion, too?

HINCHEY: If you own a television station or a radio station, you have every right to put your opinion on. But if somebody else has an alternative point of view or alternative opinion, because the broadcast spectrum is owned by the general public, not by you as the owner of a station, then you have the responsibility to put anothers' points of view out there, too.

CARLSON: OK. So if I say, the holocaust took place, many people in this country believe that it did not take place. So I‘m required to put a holocaust denier on?

HINCHEY: Any particular point of view that you have, if somebody has an alternative point of view, then there is a responsibility to give that point of view an opportunity to be heard.

CARLSON: Who is going to make these decisions?

HINCHEY: Well, these decisions are made by the agency that was set up in 1934 to make sure that we have a fair and open an honest broadcast system and that is the Federal Communications Commission.

CARLSON: So you can imagine a scenario under which the FCC would force a holocaust denier on a station. Would say you have to give this guy airtime. No, seriously. That seems to be what you are proposing.

HINCHEY: No, you are just trying to appeal to a situation that is really not at issue here.

CARLSON: Why wouldn‘t it be an issue? There are people who feel very strongly about the fact that the holocaust doesn't exist. So you as an officer of the federal government would force a station to put that person on?

HINCHEY: Anyone who feels that the holocaust doesn‘t exist, if they express that opinion, everyone is going to know that all the evidence points in the opposite direction. We all know that the holocaust did exist.

CARLSON: OK. But the point is, you would force a station to put that person on the air. I think that‘s demented, I guess, that‘s what I‘m saying..

HINCHEY: No, you I don‘t think you believe it's demented. I think that you are a fair person. You want fairness and openness and you want the people to have opportunities to hear other points of view.

CARLSON: Right, but I guess, it makes me very uncomfortable when government, when Congress decides what television stations ought to put on the air and what they can‘t put on the air. That does seem kind of a violation of our basic first amendment right, doesn‘t it?

HINCHEY: No, no, no. Quite the contrary. We all have a first amendment right. We all have the opportunity to express that right. But we don't want that opportunity to be limited just to the six corporations that own 85 to 90 percent of all the television and radio broadcast companies all across the country. There is no reason they should be the ones who have the right to express that opinion.

CARLSON: Well, but very-well for one thing, there is almost an endless number of other media through which people can express their opinions now, essentially for free online. But this may be an irrelevant conversation. But let's just get to the principal of it. Why exactly does Congress have the right, and doesn't it make you nervous to determine which opinions need to be counterbalanced by other opinions?

HINCHEY: No, I think that all opinions need to be counterbalanced by other opinions. Take for example, the way in which this administration fabricated the intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq. That was done in a way that didn‘t allow opportunities for other points of view and other perspectives to be out there and to begin given to the American people.

The consequences of that illicit, illegal invasion of Iraq and the subsequent disastrous occupation is just one example of what can happen if you have a government, such as this administration, which completely dominated the media on that particular subject.

CARLSON: But wait a second, Congressman. As you know, most people don't get their news from broadcast television. The majority of Americans don't.

HINCHEY: Ah, but many ...

CARLSON: They get it front print, the internet, radio, from cable television.

HINCHEY: No.

CARLSON: And there were many opinions expressed, as you know, in the run up to war.

HINCHEY: No, no, no. Most people get their information over the general news. Most people, you know, out in the country, get their information over radio and television, normal broadcast systems. News programs, things of that nature.

CARLSON: So you don't like the news that is broadcast, so you want to use federal power to control it. Why not just become my assignment editor, what do you think of my show? Do you think I should have booked different guests? You see how this is ripe for abuse.

HINCHEY: Tucker, you are mistaken. You are mistaken.

CARLSON: I don't think I am.

HINCHEY: Well, I think you are. I think anybody listening to this will see that you are. It's not that we are trying to dominate what people say. It's the just opposite. We want a domination of information. We want a broad array of information.

CARLSON: But who is to decide?

HINCHEY: We want all of the information out there. Well, the decision is made by the broadcasters, but they have to justify those decisions by going back to the Federal Communications Commission, which is supposed to be operating on behalf of the general public, the American people.

CARLSON: Boy, it's an idea I couldn‘t disagree with more, but I appreciate your coming on to express it, Congressman. Thank you.

HINCHEY: Oh, I can‘t believe that you disagree with that.

CARLSON: Well, see we have all sides on this show. You don‘t need to regulate it.

HINCHEY: OK. That‘s good. That‘s good.

CARLSON: Thanks, Congressman.

HINCHEY: Thank you, Tucker.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.