Thursday, June 28, 2007

Washington, D.C.: "Fairness Doctrine" sinks faster than the Titanic

Man! That was fast.

There has been a lot of chatter on the net for the past couple of weeks about Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein et al mumbling about bringing back the "Fairness Doctrine" in a blatant attempt to silence conservative talk radio. Specifically, they want to muzzle Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage, the three biggest players in the game.

The attempt by Air America to take on the conservative talkers with a liberal talk radio network ended, ignominiously, as we all know, in bankruptcy court, accompanied by various and sundry financial scandals. So, the big government, nanny-staters represented by San Fransisco's Pelosi and Feinstein have begun to bitch and whine about legislating the highly popular conservative radio hosts out of business.

Not so fast, said Rep. Mike Pence (R - Ind.) as he co-sponsored a bill today in the House, along with Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.) and Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), which forbids the FCC from using public money to re-invoke the thoroughly discredited "Fairness Doctrine". The vote on the measure was a razor thin 309-115. That would be roughly the same margin of victory as the combined Sitting Bull/Crazy Horse and Red Cloud vs Custer and Fetterman ("I'll ride through the entire Sioux nation.") contests.

The event was not without humor, however. House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) said, hilariously,
We ought to let right-wing talk radio go on as they do now,” he said. “Rush and Sean are just about as important in the scheme of things as Paris Hilton, and I would hate to see them gain an ounce of credibility by being forced by a government agency or anybody else to moderate their views enough that they might become modestly influential or respected.
Rush Limbaugh has, weekly, as in every single week of the year, 22-24 million listeners. That's more people listening to the Rush Limbaugh radio show in one week than have listened to Rep. Obey in his entire life or might possibly hear a word or two from Obey if he were to live (and talk) for another thousand years. Hannity has a weekly audience of about 14 million and Savage is enjoyed by about 8 million people each week.

That's just shy of 50 million people per week who listen to the top three talk radio hosts in all the United States of America. Throw in Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly and many, many others and the numbers give the liberals chronic, incurable and, hopefully, terminal heartburn. The fact that these guys are all conservatives is not the point at all, at least to other conservatives as well as free speech advocates as well as Democratic legislators who would like to see (or hear) them stifled but are scared sh*tless (shitless) to publicly vote that way.

This reminds me of a line from that great character actor Chill Wills in a movie whose title I have long ago forgotten. He was engaged in a poker game when the card count seemed a little, er, off:
I don't want to get all picky over the rules or anything, but six aces? Sheeesh! That's a lotta aces.

Chill Wills
50 million listeners a week?
Sheesh! That's a lotta voters.

The spineless, quivering Democrats in the House would have given their eyeteeth to see (or hear) conservative talk radio silenced forever, but, 50 million listeners a week? Sheesh! That's a lotta voters.

Fairness Doctrine Disclosure: I ran into Chill Wills about 30 years ago in the Atlanta Hartsfield airport at a cigarette machine. He had deposited his money and couldn't get a pack of fags out of it. Between the two of us, we began rocking the machine back and forth on its legs until the pack of coffin nails finally fell out. He smoked Winstons, as I recall, and died of cancer (type unspecified) at the age of 75 years in 1978.

Lots more comment:
The Captain live-blogged the sinking.
Boss Hog Cernig, via someone calling themselves Shamanic, whines in a backhanded sort of way. Typical of gutless lefties.
Betsy is far from gutless.
Radio Equalizer says, "It's a blowout.", all things being Equal, of course.
Robbie at Urban Grounds says that Senator Kerry's dream just went down the YouTube.
Michelle Malkin pooh-poohs Obey's and Kucinich's pooh-poohing.
Dan Reihl votes -- SHOCK!! - -American
Jammie Wearing Fool: Be vigilant, forever.
SeeDubya cuts through the bu**shit (bullshit)

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