In an effort to kill it forever, Representative Mike Pence (R-Ind.) is attempting to force a vote on the floor of the House today over the future of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine." Yesterday, Pence secured House passage of the "Free Flow of Information Act" to protect the press and is now launching an effort to nix the ability of the executive branch from re-instituting the woefully unfair "Fairness Doctrine," a relic from the 1980s that deserves to remain dead and buried.
Using a somewhat arcane House rule called a "discharge Petition," Pence and Rep. Greg Walden (R- Ore.) are attempting to defy the House majority and force a vote on the measure. A "discharge petition" would need the support of 218 members of the House to force a vote and Pence already has 201 names pledged to support him. He needs only 17 Democrats to join the effort and Pence can defeat the efforts of Nancy Pelosi to block the attempt.
If Pence is successful, we can at least stop this newest attempt by the left to secure left leaning media bias and quash conservative voices in the media. As Robert Bluey of the Heritage Foundation wrote on his blog today:
"The return of the Fairness Doctrine would be dreadful for broadcasters, many of whom have conservative viewpoints, Pence told a group of conservative bloggers at the Heritage Foundation yesterday. He said many political commentators would quit rather than keep talking because of the paperwork and legal issues that are likely to result."
Not only that but what station owner would go to all the Herculean efforts to include all voices in the political spectrum every single broadcast? Surely station owners would just assume not have any political commentary at all rather than bend over backwards, lose money, and give their hosts short shrift to satisfy this backwards and oppressive FCC rule? Bluey continues:
"Pence, himself a former radio-show host, was confident yet realistic about his chances of finding the votes. “I don’t think freedom is a partisan issue in the House of Representatives,” he said. He noted that 113 Democrats voted for a similar measure this summer that prevented the FCC from restoring the Fairness Doctrine for one year. Making that ban permanent won’t be as easy."
This may be a chance to kill this abomination against free speech. But, Democrat Representatives will have to be convinced to join the Pence efforts.