By Jan Markell
February 11, 2009
America is changing at break-neck speed and many of the changes are not helpful! While Americans were eager for "change," it is doubtful they anticipated the loss of free speech.
So let me explain the unfair "Fairness Doctrine." My radio program, Understanding the Times, is in the target range.
The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) met last weekend in Memphis and according to President Frank Wright, experienced an ominous shroud cast by the issue of the "Fairness Doctrine." They intend to fight this issue as much as that is possible. However, they may not even be given the opportunity to fight it as they would wish.
In an article posted online by Human Events on February 6, "Christian broadcasters say they will be targeted once President Obama's appointees gain control of the Federal Communications Commission."
Warren Kelley, president of Point of View, the first Christian talk show to go on the air via satellite 37 years ago, states, "The Left Wing will immediately start filing complaints, and it will in short order shut Christian broadcasting down." He concludes, "I think it will so limit what they say that, in essence, they will cease to be Christian broadcasters."
NRB President Wright says that he expects Christian broadcasters to be hit hard because of the doctrine's requirement for so-called "balance."
Human Events has information that the Christian talk giant of Salem Communications may be the first targeted. Please note that I air on many Salem stations including Minneapolis/St. Paul, Seattle, and Portland. Salem's national talk show host Janet Parshall states,
"What we want to do is tell the message of Jesus. What the 'Fairness Doctrine' would have us do is give equal time to Buddha, Allah and (Scientologist) L. Ron Hubbard."
NRB President Wright backs that up by saying,
"If an opposing view must be found for every matter of controversy, Christian broadcasters could find themselves in the unenviable and untenable position of seeking out other religious viewpoints - Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, or atheist - to counter what ministers of the gospel say on air."
The process would work this way: A Muslim group such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) or a homosexual rights group such as the ACLU, would file a complaint with the FCC because Understanding the Times radio failed to provide the proper contrasting view. The FCC would be empowered to force the station to present the other side of the story or lose its license. Many stations would opt to cancel the show to avoid the controversy and legal expense.Christian radio upsets the Left because it opposes same-sex marriage, abortion, teen pregnancy, strict teaching of evolution, and the liberal secular movement. Thus, we are targeted even before Rush Limbaugh who actually sways elections.
One of last Saturday's radio guests on Understanding the Times is Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission. Tune in on my Radio Archives to hear Gary explain this process. It does not require any vote in Congress. It just requires the new head of the FCC to sign a paper and the "Fairness Doctrine" is law again, having been abolished by President Reagan in the early 1980s.
As it looks now, this policy will only apply to Christian and conservative talk radio, not the print media or TV. They already lean left and conservatives will not be given the same opportunity to be a balance in those arenas. Nor would they be given an opportunity to speak on liberal talk radio such as Air America.
While President Obama was vague on this issue during the campaign, he is no longer! The White House Web site on its technology agenda page states that the president plans to
"encourage diversity in the ownership of broadcast media, promote the development of new media outlets for expression of diverse viewpoints, and clarify the public interest obligations of broadcasters who occupy the nation's spectrum."
George Orwell's 1984 may have been 25 years early but the world it envisions has arrived. Welcome to the new America. God has allowed a strong delusion to take over this nation. Hopefully Christians on their knees can lessen the damage.
Other articles by Jan Markell:
A Spreading Sickness
Wait -- the Outrage Isn't Over
Inaugural Prayer to the God of Our Many Understandings!
Wait -- the Outrage Isn't Over
Footprints of a Prophet or Tracks of a Wolf?
Are Evangelical pulpits about to praise Islam?
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