Monday, October 13, 2008

Why we need the Fairness Doctrine, pt. ii

Last week I invited readers to take part in the Fairness Challenge: Select a random half-hour segment of GOP talk radio and see if you can find a period where the host or station does not endorse John McCain and/or slam Barack Obama.

Today's example comes from the Mike Gallagher show. At around 10:15 AM Mr. Gallagher was bemoaning the latest Bill Kristol column (the one where he urges McCain to fire his campaign; otherwise known as the column coming immediately after the one where he urged the campaign to take off its gloves) while urging his listeners "not to give up" on the McCain campaign. Mr. Gallagher regaled his audience with a story about Obama field organizers in New York who are busy calling friends and independent voters before telling the world that (and I'm paraphrasing here) "This is what I do here every day. We can do this!!"

I'm not sure if you can find a more naked example of how GOP talk radio is little more than an advanced form of campaign volunteerism, and is in no way, shape, or form worthy of the unbalanced post-Fairness Doctrine preference it receives on the public airwaves. The man literally admitted to being a de facto field organizer for the McCain campaign. Normally, campaigns have to pay for this sort of thing.

I quickly turned the channel back to the old war horse of KFAN (a local affiliate here in Southern MN) just in time to find a Fox News update that was unrestrained in its exuberance for the good day on Wall Street. Before the field reporter kicked it back to the host of the short segment, she could be heard to say "Someone needs to tell Obama about [the 1-day market upswing], huh?" The host immediately launched into a report on the dastardly deeds of Acorn.

Let us know how the Fairness Challenge works for you.

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