Fidel Castro has endorsed Obama.
But liberal lawmakers want to curtail the ability of American citizens to endorse or criticize candidates on the radio. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is advocating a return to the so-called “Fairness Doctrine,” which the Kennedy and Johnson administrations used to squelch their critics on talk radio. Schumer likens conservative talk radio to pornography. Other influential liberal Senators, like Dick Durbin (D-IL) are also calling for the reimposition of the “Fairness Doctrine.”
Under the Fairness Doctrine, a radio station that carries a conservative broadcaster like Rush Limbaugh is ordered by the government to give equal time to those who disagree with him, even if they are so boring that no listener wishes to listen to them. The effect is to discourage the radio station from permitting any discussion of controversial issues that might draw government scrutiny.
(Rush Limbaugh has often criticized associates of Obama. Recently, for example, he criticized a member of Obama’s “inner circle” who blames America for 9/11 and believes America is a racist country. Limbaugh has also carried news that liberal newspapers like the Washington Post and New York Times have concealed, like Obama’s statement to the San Francisco Chronicle that his proposed regulations would cause electric bills in the U.S. to “skyrocket” and bankrupt coal power plants).
Under the Fairness Doctrine, the person a radio station is forced to give equal time to could be a liberal talk radio host (even though there is little demand for liberal talk radio, as the failure of Air America shows). But there is no guarantee that such a competing talk show host would exist, much less attract viewers. As a result, the station could end up being forced to give free air time to a boring amateur blowhard who likes to hear himself talk (the sort of people who write letter after letter to their local paper, full of cliches and ad hominems), if it airs an entertaining (albeit ideological) broadcaster like Limbaugh.