Internet Talk Radio: JimGreenfieldShow.comTalk radio is the lifeblood of democracy. Political talk radio is the only media that consistently deals in ideas and the exchange of ideas. The mainstream press mainly reports news events. But only political talk radio analyzes the issues in depth nad engages citizens in debate about the important political, economic, social, and cultural issues. For democracy to succeed, the citizens must be educated about the issues being decided by the political system. There is no other institution in America which educates more citizens about politics, economics, and public policy than talk radio or even internet talk radio.

In public schools, and most colleges and universities, students are exposed to a narrow range of opinion, mostly from the liberal side of the ideological spectrum. This is more akin to brainwashing than education. No wonder young people vote overwhelmingly democratic. Their teachers and professors indoctrinate them to be liberals. On the other hand, political talk radio, though dominated by conservatives, opens the airways to a free exchange of ideas. Any liberal individual or group can start a talk radio show, and will succeed if they make it commercially viable. Talk radio provides continuing political and public policy education for millions of adults in a manner which is compelling and entertaining.

But beware. Now that the Democrats have taken control of the White House and both houses of Congress, they may use their power to try to destroy conservative talk radio. Under the guise of the misnamed “Fairness Doctrine,” the Democratically controlled Congress is widely expected to launch an all out assault against conservative talk radio talk hosts. Many Democratic members of Congress are talking openly about re-instituting the anacrhronistic fairness doctrine. The fairness doctrine was an old law which required broadcasters to present opposing points of view whenever a controversial subject or matter of public interest was discussed on the air. This sounds innocent enough. But the fairness doctrine would require that any time a talk radio host expresses an opinion on any subject he must give equal time to someone with an opposite opinion. How would this be administered?

Who would decide when a controversial opinion requiring a response had been uttered – government bureaucrats? Suppose the bureaucratic agency charged with enforcing this law had a political agenda, or was beholden to some interest group loyal to one party or powerful politician?

The reality is that the fairness doctrine is naked power grab intended for one purpose only – to silence opposition and suppress dissent by making it impossible for conservative talk radio hosts to express their ideas on the air. This is a direct assault on first amendment free speech rights and is unconstitutional. Talk radio is successful because it allows the free expression of ideas in the free market place of ideas. The worst thing that could happen is for the heavy hand of government to regulate the market place of ideas. Anyone who values freedom must be appalled at the notion that Big Brother should regulate political debate or political talk radio.