Friday, April 29, 2005

Of Doctrines And Options

Daniel Henninger of the WSJ takes an interesting look at how Ronald Reagan's "tearing down the wall" of the Fairness Doctrine led to the rise of conservative media, and ultimately how this has led to the siege mentality of the Democrats.

The Fairness Doctrine was a federal regulation, dating to 1949, which mandated "contrasting viewpoints" from broadcasters. In reality, the Fairness Doctrine ensured that incumbents got "free" TV coverage across their terms while challengers got crumbs. The Fairness Doctrine was also an early nuclear option: If a local broadcaster's news operation made the local congressman or his party look bad, Washington could threaten to blow up his broadcast license.

Ronald Reagan tore down this wall in 1987 (maybe as spring training for Berlin) and Rush Limbaugh was the first man to proclaim himself liberated from the East Germany of liberal media domination.


Liberals now marvel at the energy and output of the conservative "movement"--the talk shows, the think tanks, the blogosphere. No need to wonder; they compressed the rocket fuel for the inevitable explosion.


For Democrats, judicial philosophy is a cultural Armageddon. Harry Reid and Ted Kennedy have turned the Senate into a Branch Davidian compound. No one in the liberal cult is allowed to leave, including the hostage nominees--unless they recant their conservatism. How many Senate Democrats plan to be in this bunker when Bill Frist's ATF squad detonates the "nuclear option"?

Time was, "choice" for conservatives mainly meant accepting one's lot in life. Now they have options, lots of them.

No comments: