WASHINGTON, DC – By a vote of 309-115, the U.S. House of Representatives today adopted an amendment offered by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) to the Financial Services and General Government Bill. The amendment bars the FCC from using federal funds to reinstate the so-called "Fairness Doctrine."
This regulation stemmed from the 1940s, and required broadcasters to air contrasting viewpoints on controversial issues of public importance. It was eliminated in 1987 after the FCC found it had a "chilling effect" on free speech.
In a letter sent to every House office this morning, NAB Executive Vice President of Government Relations Doug Wiley urged lawmakers to oppose reinstatement of the so-called Fairness Doctrine. "Bringing back the Fairness Doctrine is unnecessary, unwarranted, and unconstitutional," wrote Wiley.
Commenting on today's House action, NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton said, "Complementing the absolute explosion in alternative media outlets since the Fairness Doctrine was eliminated, broadcast viewers and listeners today enjoy a rich diversity of viewpoints from all sides of the political spectrum. We salute House members who today stood with our nation's Founding Fathers and embraced a robust press that is free and unfettered from government interference."
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at www.nab.org.