Not written by me but it really got me thinking. Take a look.
If you've been listening to the radio lately... and it is a station that doesn't play a lot of music, you have probably heard of the "Fairness Doctrine". And, since talk radio is basically owned by the conservative side of the spectrum, you have probably heard the Fairness Doctrine railed against...
In a nutshell, the Fairness Doctrine would mean that if a talk show host with an opinion on one side of an issue were to talk about his side, the station broadcasting it would have to allow equal time for a complaining person on the other side of the issue.
Those in favor of the doctrine often cite arguments about "the public airwaves" and state the First Amendment - Freedom of the Press arguments don't apply to broadcasters.
But, I have a question...
When our Constitution was written, there were two ways to communicate information. Speech and Press. Both are covered by the Constitution. Those were the only ways to get a message out, to communicate, and the Framers of the Constitution saw fit to cover both means of communicating. In 1776-1789, they could not have imagined that there would be a means to allow a person to speak in New York and have people hear his words live from ocean to ocean... or even around the world. They certainly could not have forseen a time when everyone in the country would have been able to watch the inner workings of Congress LIVE on television... when the doors aren't closed and the cameras turned off by Congressional Leadership.
How would the Framers of our Constitution altered the Fist Amendment if they were writing it with current technologies?
Would they still allow the government to limit speech on the radio and television? Would the allow the government to institute limits on internet comunications? Would they treat each of those different from the press, or would they see all of those mass communications options as being the same as the press?
It isn't just talk radio... There are people in Washington that think that blogs need to present opposing viewpoints on controversial topics... How would you feel if you had to host a dissenting argument because you wrote a post about the value of real estate agents?