PHOENIX -- February 13, 2009: Former President Jimmy Carter weighed in on the potential return of the Fairness Doctrine today on Bonneville News/Talker KTAR/Phoenix's Mac & Gaydos.
Co-host Mac Watson asked Carter, "Do you think the Fairness Doctrine is something that should be brought back in the 21st century? This is something that came out in the '30s -- should there be a place for the Fairness Doctrine?"
Carter responded, "Well, I liked it when it first came out, because I was just a child listening to programs, and I liked to hear some limits on some of the programs. But no. As a matter of fact, when I was president is when we deregulated radio, television, all the communications and relationships, so I have not been in favor of perpetuating the Fairness Doctrine since I've been in politics."
Former President Bill Clinton has come out on the other side of the issue, telling KTLK/Los Angeles that he'd like to see the Fairness Doctrine return, "or we ought to have more balance on the other side."
Lamakers who are on record as supporting the return of the doctrine in some form include Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). No legislation to bring it back has been introduced, however.
'A Little State Control Wouldn't Hurt Anybody'
In other news, in a conversation Friday evening, Talk Radio Networks host Michael Savage asked California Attorney General and former California Governor Jerry Brown if he'd support the return of the Fairness Doctrine. Savage said the doctrine is aimed strictly at conservative Talk Radio, which is "in the minority in the media."
Brown said that characterization of the doctrine has "a tinge of paranoia connected to it," but later said, "I think we need a robust range of opinions on the air" and that he would like to investigate whether the doctrine would indeed take Savage off the air. To which Savage said, "Of course, it wouldn't take me off the air. It would take my opinions off the air."
Savage stated that NPR, which he characterized as "all liberal, all the time" would not be forced to air opposing opinions under a revived Fairness Doctrine and said the doctrine "is aimed only at Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and in other words, the top five." He said to Brown, "You're starting to sound as though you want a little state control over the media."
Brown responded, "A little state control wouldn't hurt anybody."
Listen to audio of the exchange HERE
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