|For Immediate Release
January 20, 2011
Manassas, VA – The messages from Washington, D.C., are mixed. President Obama’s speech in Tucson, Arizona, was dignified and Presidential. Yet NRB expects the battle to define “civil discourse” to ramp up in coming months, bringing with it a renewed effort to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.
“The so-called ‘Fairness Doctrine’ was anything but fair,” said Dr. Frank Wright, NRB President & CEO. “It was a misguided FCC regulation on speech that even Dan Rather called an affront to the First Amendment, in which ‘an invaluable element of freedom has been lost’. Yet in the wake of the tragic shooting in Tucson, Capitol Hill liberals have practically tripped over themselves to see who would be first to call for reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine.”
“It appears that Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) claimed that dubious honor on January 10th, the very first business day following the Tucson tragedy, when he told the Charleston Post & Courier that ‘vitriol in public discourse’ led to the shooting and announced his plans to introduce legislation to reinstate the obsolete and nefarious Fairness Doctrine,” added Craig Parshall, NRB Sr. Vice President and General Counsel. “That policy did devastating damage to the free speech rights of broadcasters for decades, before being wisely abandoned in the 1980’s. It is sad to see some lawmakers using a human tragedy to promote a constitutional outrage like the Fairness Doctrine.”
“Should FCC Chairman Genachowski decide to support the Fairness Doctrine in the wake of recent events, NRB would expect the FCC to reinstate this dangerous regulation,” concluded Dr. Wright. “Only three votes and it’s back.”
Click here to read Mr. Parshall’s open letter to President Obama, outlining the President’s need to publicly oppose proposals to censor free speech, reprinted from the January 19, 2011, issue of NRB Today. Click here to sign up to receive future press statements from NRB.
The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is a non-partisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers. Our mission is to keep the doors of electronic media open for the spread of the Gospel. In addition to promoting standards of excellence, integrity, and accountability, NRB provides networking, educational, ministry, and fellowship opportunities for its members. Learn more at www.nrb.org.
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