The Shareness Doctrine: Because Fair is Fair

Some liberals are on a desperate search for a talk radio fairy — a magical winged partner to the tooth fairy whose job is to knock the teeth out of the First Amendment and then “level the playing field” of talk radio. “Level” isn’t exactly the word — it’s more like strip mining.

A recent report by “The Center for American Progress” (pretend “center” and “progress” aren’t mutually exclusive for the purposes of this article) found that 91% of talk radio is conservative, with the liberal view taking up just 9%. Does this simply mean that most talk radio listeners are demanding or at least more intrigued by conservative content and hosts? It must not.

Many Democrats are again seeking reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, because you’re too stupid to know that other viewpoints exist. Yes, it is also assumed that talk radio listeners don’t have access to PBS, NPR, the USA Today, New York Times, CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, Time, Newsweek, LA Times and the news pages of The Wall Street Journal, 90% of squawking Hollywood actors and the vast majority of college professors. Gee, as a listener of right wing talk radio, I’m being oppressed and I didn’t even know it.

The Fairness Doctrine was repealed in 1987 because it violated the First Amendment. Constitution schmonstitution. The Fairness Doctrine will return, because intrusive and bad ideas from DC liberals are like courtrooms and Marion Barry: You rarely see one without the other, and even when you do, you know they’ll be back together soon.

The government (read: you and I) already finances NPR and PBS, and these entities are hardly right-wing. Where’s the reciprocal “fairness” of the government giving money to a notoriously conservative television and radio network? If there’s one thing we’re shown at a young age, it’s that “fair” is a one-way street, and thanks to a looming Fairness Doctrine, that one-way street could be about to be repaved, extended, and will somehow probably end up being named after Robert Byrd.

All this talk of “fairness” is strategically limited to talk radio, where, on a national level, liberal voices are about as popular as Trent Lott in Watts.

Up to this point, the left’s foray into syndicated talk radio has been a directionless disaster, the likes of which haven’t been seen since Fred Noonan turned to Amelia Earhart and said, “I thought you brought the map.”

Back when Air America was beginning and in its pre-bankruptcy days, I read and heard many people, from columnists to radio talk hosts, saying that if we wished to avoid another Fairness Doctrine, everybody should do their best to support Air America to ensure its success. We didn’t, and I don’t believe that doing something I don’t want to do just so an entity won’t remove some of our freedoms is the proper way to go about it.

Calling for the artificial support of a particular entity just to keep the government from implementing another unconstitutional law is, in a manner of speaking, appeasing despotism. In other words, it’s way too Jimmy Carter-ish for my taste and is like burning yourself at the stake to avoid being tried as a witch.

That said, here’s a modest proposal. I’ll go ahead and support a “Fairness Doctrine” — as long as it’s across-the-board. Let’s call it a “Shareness Doctrine.” After all, “fair” isn’t fair unless everybody’s forced to participate. What do I mean? Well, a recent study found that around 90% of journalists give to Democrats and left-of-center causes.

In the name of fairness, we should demand our news emanate from equal sources or at least politically balanced. If half of all reporters are Republicans, and half are Democrats, the odds that we’ll have more “fairness” in reporting are greatly increased.

And while we’re at it, what about university faculty? We need a “shareness doctrine” for those who teach on our college campuses as well. On many campuses, liberal professors outnumber conservative professors to a percentage not seen since the battle of Thermopylae. Is this “fair”? I didn’t think so.

Then it’s on to Hollywood films and network television shows. What percentage of these have a liberal slant or message? I’m guessing the majority. This is an area definitely in need of the Shareness Doctrine as well.

The fact that those areas of life completely dominated by liberals are never mentioned as being in need of a “fairness” bulldozer tells us something about the political makeup of those consumed by targeted fairness — and they all just happen to be on one side of the aisle. What’s fair about that?

Author: Doug Powers

Doug Powers is a writer, editor and commentator covering news of the day from a conservative viewpoint with an occasional shot of irreverence and a chaser of snark. Townhall Media writer/editor. alum. Bowling novice. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan. Contact: