The Corner

The Franken Doctrine

House and Senate Republicans who are fighting reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine hope to enlist the support of Al Franken (D.) should he become the next junior senator from Minnesota. “If he comes in, I’m sure we’d get him on board right away,” Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.) told NRO today.

The Fairness doctrine, which was enacted in 1949 but repealed in 1987, would require broadcast media to present both sides of any controversial issue. Such a restriction would definitely kill both conservative and liberal talk radio by putting the broadcasting licenses at risk of stations that carry opinion programming. The two-page bill they have proposed, which is carried by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R., Okla.) in the Senate, would prevent this or any future administration from reinstating the Fairness Doctrine without an act of Congress.

Several key Democrats, including Senators Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) and Hillary Clinton (N.Y.), have expressed interest in reinstating the Fairness Doctrine. Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated her own support and went so far as to say of efforts to preserve broadcasters’ freedom that “the interest in my caucus is the reverse.” 

But Republicans hope that Franken, formerly a broadcaster for Air America and currently in litigation over his victory in November, will join their cause. A Franken spokesman confirms that he opposes reinstatement of the Fairness doctrine — his radio show could not have existed in a world where the Fairness Doctrine was in effect. Air America’s founder wrote a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed in opposition to the Fairness Doctrine.

When Rep. Mike Pence (R., Ind.) presented a House amendment to block any enforcement of the Fairness doctrine in June 2007, it received broad bipartisan support and 309 votes.

Most Popular

Elections

Hell, No

Welcome to “The Tuesday,” a weekly newsletter about language, culture, politics, and other things you can fight with your family about at Thanksgiving. To subscribe to “The Tuesday” and receive it in your inbox, follow this link. The Case against Trump In 2016, my friend Roger Kimball of Encounter ... Read More
Elections

Hell, No

Welcome to “The Tuesday,” a weekly newsletter about language, culture, politics, and other things you can fight with your family about at Thanksgiving. To subscribe to “The Tuesday” and receive it in your inbox, follow this link. The Case against Trump In 2016, my friend Roger Kimball of Encounter ... Read More

Another Pollster Sees a Trump Win

The Trafalgar Group’s Robert Cahaly is an outlier among pollsters in that he thinks President Trump will carry Michigan, Pennsylvania, or both, and hence be reelected with roughly 280 electoral votes. (I explained his thinking here.) Last week another pollster, Jim Lee of Susquehanna Polling and Research, ... Read More

Another Pollster Sees a Trump Win

The Trafalgar Group’s Robert Cahaly is an outlier among pollsters in that he thinks President Trump will carry Michigan, Pennsylvania, or both, and hence be reelected with roughly 280 electoral votes. (I explained his thinking here.) Last week another pollster, Jim Lee of Susquehanna Polling and Research, ... Read More
Elections

The Only Middle Finger Available

If Donald Trump wins a second term, it will be an unmistakable countercultural statement in a year when progressives have otherwise worked their will across the culture. After months and months of statues toppling and riots in American cities and a crime wave and woke virtue-signaling from professional sports ... Read More
Elections

The Only Middle Finger Available

If Donald Trump wins a second term, it will be an unmistakable countercultural statement in a year when progressives have otherwise worked their will across the culture. After months and months of statues toppling and riots in American cities and a crime wave and woke virtue-signaling from professional sports ... Read More

Trump vs. Biden: A Rundown

One week out, the contrasts are worth assessing. Foreign policy Biden so far has issued no substantive critique of Trump’s foreign policy other than banalities that Trump’s comportment and unpredictability have offended allies and tarnished America’s reputation. But who exactly, according to Biden, is ... Read More

Trump vs. Biden: A Rundown

One week out, the contrasts are worth assessing. Foreign policy Biden so far has issued no substantive critique of Trump’s foreign policy other than banalities that Trump’s comportment and unpredictability have offended allies and tarnished America’s reputation. But who exactly, according to Biden, is ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The Kavanaugh Court

If Justice Barrett votes as her mentor Justice Scalia did, she will be part of an ascendant conservative majority on the Supreme Court. What kinds of decisions can we expect from this majority? Short answer: Ask Brett Kavanaugh. Contrary to how journalists frame each seat change on the Court, comparing the new ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The Kavanaugh Court

If Justice Barrett votes as her mentor Justice Scalia did, she will be part of an ascendant conservative majority on the Supreme Court. What kinds of decisions can we expect from this majority? Short answer: Ask Brett Kavanaugh. Contrary to how journalists frame each seat change on the Court, comparing the new ... Read More