Big Brother Has Arrived.
Are you as sick as I am of the negative political ads on TV and radio? It didn’t used to be like this. For almost 40 years, the Federal Communications Commission had implemented and then enforced something called The Fairness Doctrine. It meant if a person or an issue were attacked on the public airwaves, that station or network would be required to provide free air time to that individual for a response.
But under Ronald Reagan, the Fairness Doctrine was repealed. The predictable result has been the emergence of people like Rush Limbaugh who can now go on the air and say almost anything about anybody with no realistic chance of any consequences and with no requirement that would allow the person being attacked to respond.
That’s bad, but this is worse:
Sinclair Broadcasting owns some 200 television stations in this country, including one in all of the major markets. Statistically, Sinclair stations can reach something like 70% of all the TV homes in the United States.
The ownership of Sinclair is politically conservative and periodically, the company’s corporate headquarters sends out scripts dealing with a current political issue to all their stations along with the notation that the local news anchors “must air” that script on a specific date. So in 200 cities around the country, all on the very same day, your own local TV newscaster, the person you believe to be a knowledgable and credible source of the truth, is actually reading a script approved by the conservative leadership of Sinclair Broadcasting.
Whatever our individual political beliefs—left, right or center—as a matter of principle, that should scare the living crap out of every one of us.