Is free speech really free, or controlled driving the present political divisions in the USA??
The FCC grants licenses for news media to monitor use of limited free airway news or entertainment sources in the USA.
To obtain a ten-year license from the FCC when there are only limited airwave spaces available in essence if limited, is not free or available.
To address the airwave limitation, private cable and satellite news networks came into existence which require fees users must pay for their services.
The result is cable new stations are presenting opposing political views in competition with each other to profit from viewership. This allows players to choose what stations they trust to present various political diffusive viewpoints on current news issue, all protected under the First Amendment Rights of Free Speech.
However, the Chicago Tribune- Yahoo News article today contains an article titled: Direct TV to drop Ona news, reported:
“The company, owned by AT&T and TPG, provided no reason. But critics have repeatedly demanded that the company drop OAN because of the false information it promotes, most notably the baseless claim that the 2020 president election was somehow rigged against Trump but also several conspiracy theories and dangerous misinformation about COVID-19.”
The Purpose of This Post
Is to relate an ancient wisdom verse to the conundrum on this issue.
No 1. Is Direct TV censoring the Free Speech Amendment Rights by not providing a reason to OAN why they are dropping them?
No 2. Should Congress return to the issue of the Fairness Doctrine be “reconsidered” for all news broadcasters which the Supreme Court ruled was constitutional for this reason.
“The Court “ruled unanimously in 1969 that the Fairness Doctrine was not only constitutional but essential to democracy. The public airwaves should not just express the opinions of those who can pay for air time; they must allow the electorate to be informed about all sides of controversial issues.” The Court also warned that if the doctrine ever restrained speech, then its constitutionality should be reconsidered.”
“In 1987, the FCC panel repealed the Fairness Doctrine altogether with a 4-0 vote.”
The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him. (Proverb 18:17)
What’s My Point?
Cable news was not in existence in 1987.
My point is if, “The first purpose of Journalism is to provide people with the information they need to be free and self-governing, “and if free speech is a First Amendment Right that is no longer free, and is obviously creating divisiveness in our Nation, and the Supreme Court ruled the Fairness Doctrine to be constitutional, if ever we needed a better time to “reconsider” reinstating” now is the time.
In My Opinion
The decision by ATT to end the contract without explanation, is similar to google and twitter to control content of political views, or to control free speech, which in turn is not allowing opposing viewpoints to be presented, which in essence is no longer providing “ people with the information they need to be free and self-governing,”
Sadly, this same problem was recognized by King Solomon 3000 years ago when he wrote the above proverb.
In other words, now is the right time to “reconsider” because the reasons of the past are no longer the same because of the advent of cable TV, Teitter, Google, etc. for people (voters who vote for Congress to represent them)) to end news from being controlled by cable news owners’ interests “who first seems right, until the other comes and examines him “
Read the Source Links below
If after discerning this issue, is now the right time for Congress to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine to help voters obtain information to help the self-govern instead of being controlled by special interests of owners of news media in the USA and possibly foreign Nation stock holders.
Regards and goodwill blogging.
Chicago Tribune January 18, 2022
Fairness Doctrine Links