Hello Warner, Goodbye Limbaugh?

Brent Finnegan -- October 4th, 2008

Following Mark Warner’s recent visit to Harrisonburg, Sen. Mark Obenshain warned Republicans that the former Democratic Governor’s election could put an end to hot air on the airwaves:

Warner’s election will help liberal efforts to restore the “fairness doctrine,” which will decimate talk radio in America. The “fairness doctrine” would require radio stations airing conservative talk shows to also air an equal number of liberal talk shows, even if there is no demand for them and they cannot sell any advertising. Their only legal alternative would be to remove all talk radio from the airwaves. Increasingly, for liberals, the First Amendment is a one-way street. Hello Mark Warner — goodbye Rush Limbaugh!

Besides the absence of any public statement of support for the “fairness doctrine” from Warner (if you can find one, please share it), technically it was never repealed. According to a 2007 report by the Center for American Progress/Free Press:

Although station owners are clearly not balancing their programming as our analysis shows, the Fairness Doctrine argument mischaracterizes the underlying problems in numerous ways and therefore offers inadequate policy solutions.

First, from a regulatory perspective, the Fairness Doctrine was never formally repealed. The FCC did announce in 1987 that it would no longer enforce certain regulations under the umbrella of the Fairness Doctrine, and in 1989 a circuit court upheld the FCC decision. The Supreme Court, however, has never overruled the cases that authorized the FCC’s enforcement of the Fairness Doctrine. Many legal experts argue that the FCC has the authority to enforce it again—thus it technically would not be considered repealed.

Additionally, Obama doesn’t support it:

“Sen. Obama does not support reimposing the Fairness Doctrine on broadcasters,” press secretary Michael Ortiz said in an e-mail to B&C late Wednesday.

“He considers this debate to be a distraction from the conversation we should be having about opening up the airwaves and modern communications to as many diverse viewpoints as possible,” Ortiz added. “That is why Sen. Obama supports media-ownership caps, network neutrality, public broadcasting, as well as increasing minority ownership of broadcasting and print outlets.”

8 Responses to “Hello Warner, Goodbye Limbaugh?”

  1. The Valley Progressive says:

    if we only lived in a perfect world…but then of course if that were true, then when you googled George W. Bush, the only result that you would get would talk about GHWB’s dysfunctional son……not a dysfunctional president.

  2. John Doe says:

    Liberals can’t win the debate, so they have to lie, make up things, twist the facts, and finally, they have to silence dissent. Wake up America. The Senator with the most liberal voting record, and with the most radical background, is running for President, with the 10th most liberal Senator as his V.P. He’s trying to act like a moderate. Don’t buy it.

  3. Chris Graham says:

    Obenshain is pretty much scraping the bottom of the barrel if the only thing he can think of to rally the troops for Gilmore is “Save Rush.”

    Rush might be blowin’ in the wind soon anyway. How relevant is he going to be in a post-neocon America?

  4. seth says:

    don’t you worry about that. he’ll remain relevant. perhaps you didn’t listen to his program during the clinton years (he kept a running count of how many days clinton had left in office and referred to his presidency as ‘america held hostage’).

    simply put, rush is perhaps one of the most brilliant brodacasters of our time. i understand that many people don’t agree with him (i often don’t) but to not realize his significant contribution makes you look either completely incapable of objective assesment or just dumb.

    i would hope that everyone would realize how crazy a fairness doctrine like this is. in terms of political campaigning, equal exposure makes good sense, but not so much when it comes to ideas/beliefs. i’d hope warner would come out strong some time soon and put this to rest.

  5. seth says:

    and john doe,
    in all fairness it looks as if obenshain is more likely the one lying, making things up and twisting facts here.

  6. Bubby says:

    Save Rush Limbaugh? Hey Mark, how about you first “save” the hospital road?

    “We know that we have some projects that are in dire need of making sure there’s funding adequate to complete them,” says Obenshain. “For example, Port Republic Road.”

  7. seth says:

    perhaps if rush were getting his prescriptions at the new rmh…

  8. David Miller says:

    The awesome thing is when you take just one side of the story you wind up sounding like whackette/johndoe. Just the type of problem that the fairness doctrine attempted to reconcile so that the ignorance of the populace would decrease…..hint hint hint w/jd

Reader Tweets

Latest Flickr photos in the hburgnews Flickr pool
Announcements & Press Releases
  • Friendly City Grand Opening Set for July 9

    Friendly City Food Co-Op, Harrisonburg’s consumer-owned grocery, invites the community to come see its new destination for natural, organic and locally-produced products at the store’s grand opening 11 a.m.-5 p.m. July 9 at 150 East Wolfe Street.

  • Friendly City Becomes Member of National Cooperative Grocers Association

    HARRISONBURG, VA — Friendly City Food Co-op, slated to open this month in Harrisonburg, Va., has become the newest member of the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA), a business services cooperative serving 120 consumer-owned food co-ops nationwide.

  • Harrisonburg Recognized as a Bike Friendly Community

    May 2: Harrisonburg was honored when the League of American Bicyclists announced the latest round of Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) designations over the weekend to kick off May as National Bike Month.