Saturday, November 29, 2008

God Forbid

Stephen Calabresi explains it all to you. In a discussion of Mark Halperin's assertion that pro-Obama bias cost McCain his rightful presidency Calabresi keeps his eyes on the prize, or returns to the new GOP vomit like an obedient dog, and begins babbling about the Fairness Doctrine. My favorite line is in italics.

Steven G. Calabresi, Professor of law, Northwestern University:

The important question is what do we do in the future to protect against media bias, and I think the answer is not to get government into the business of regulating and burdening the content of core political speech on talk radio as the grossly misnamed Fairness Doctrine would do. Under that law, every time Rush Limbaugh or Al Franken says something stupid on the air, the radio network that is broadcasting them would have to make equal radio time available for an alternative point of view. Reduce...

The effect of such a rule would be to penalize and burden by law controversial speech, which is a blatant violation of the First Amendment. Senator Charles Schumer says this is OK because after all we regulate pornographic communications on the airwaves. That is true, but it obviously does not follow that we should regulate folks like Limbaugh or Franken who are engaged in core political speech. The internet has opened up vast new resources to those who want to speak and respond to the Limbaugh’s (sic) and Franken’s (sic) of the world. American citizens have taken advantage of those resources and will continue to do so in the future in even greater numbers. Instead of worrying about media bias in the presidential election, which is over and done with, let’s not add to it by censoring talk radio.


Bonus points: can anyone tell me what is the difference between Franken's speech and Limbaugh's speech at this point? What rules apply to politicians and their speech during campaigns that don't apply to Limbaugh's speech?