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At a June 11 press conference on Capitol Hill, alongside nationally syndicated radio host Laura Ingraham, House Minority Leader John Boehner, House Minority Whip Roy Blunt, Representative Mike Pence, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist and others, Media Research Center President L. Brent Bozell III delivered the following statement:

We are gathered here today to discuss a very serious and very real threat to free speech in America. This menace served for four decades to chill into silence an entire wing of the broadcast industry. When its onerous restrictions were finally lifted, we witnessed an explosion in the number of voices engaged in the discussions that matter, that affect the future of our nation and the world.

The peril in question is the innocuously but ill-named Fairness Doctrine.

The Founding Fathers deemed free speech first among our rights to be listed in the Constitution. What they envisioned and guaranteed with the First Amendment was a national dialogue teeming with as many voices and with as many opinions as could be raised.

The First Amendment granted all an entry into the arena of ideas, and each individual, each voice, was free to compete, and rise or fall based on the merits of what he or she had to say.

For four decades, the Fairness Doctrine shut down free speech in the arena of radio. Thankfully, Ronald Reagan removed the Doctrine in 1987, and we have subsequently been witness to one of the greatest growth spurts in media history. The radio airwaves are now teeming with intellectual life, offering a vibrant alternative to the lethargy of a traditional media that a great many Americans find lacking in truth and objectivity.

Liberals once exercised a virtual monopoly in the media, controlling every major network, news magazine, wire service and major newspaper in America.

But with the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, conservatives finally found a home in the broadcast world. Liberals tried to compete in this arena but have failed, miserably, time and again. Their leftist ideas just don't have a market.

So now they have a new plan: If you can't beat 'em, censor 'em. And that is precisely what the Fairness Doctrine is: A form of government control of ideas only the Soviet Union could love.

But we are not here today to ask liberals to cast a vote for free speech and against the Fairness Doctrine. We are simply asking that a vote be allowed to occur. Give every member of Congress the opportunity to go on the record: either for free speech, or for the Fairness Doctrine.

Make no mistake about this. The radical left wants the Laura Ingrahams, the Rush Limbaughs, the Sean Hannitys and the Mark Levins banished from the airwaves.

We will not stand by and allow this assault on free speech to occur. I am joining with my friends here today in this D.C. heat, to demand permanent radio independence from the chilling effect of the return of the Fairness Doctrine

 

LINKS:
Brent Bozell Declares Radio Independence Day
Press Conference audio here
To contact Congress and tell them to sign the petition for Broadcaster Freedom click here.
CMI Special Report: Unmasking the Myths Behind the Fairness Doctrine


To schedule an interview with MRC President Brent Bozell or another MRC spokesperson, please contact Tim Scheiderer (x. 126) or Colleen O'Boyle (x. 122) at (703) 683-5004.