Earlier this week, our post about Senator Feinstein's interest in bringing back the "fairness doctrine" stirred up quite a bit of controversy. It appears that other Senators are continuing that push, with Senator Dick Durbin now saying flat out that "it's time to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine." Of course, this whole push seems to be based on a very, very confused understanding of the past. Durbin claims: "I have this old-fashioned attitude that when Americans hear both sides of the story, they're in a better position to make a decision." There are so many problems with this statement, it's hard to know where to start. First of all, most stories have a lot more than two sides -- and if you really think there are only two sides, then you're probably missing an important part of the story. Second, it's amazing that anyone would suggest that with the huge number of media options out there today compared to any time in the past, that there are somehow fewer ways to hear various opinions on any particular story. Putting restrictions on single media providers, forcing them to spew some particular political position is pointless and unconstitutional. At this point in time, we have more ability to get all sides of a story out to the public than at any time in our past. Forcing certain properties to put on opinions they don't agree with doesn't seem "fair." It just seems like a dangerous infringement of the First Amendment.
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