Senate Votes Down Fairness Doctrine

February 26, 2009 - 2:58 PM
The Senate has barred federal regulators from reviving a policy, abandoned two decades ago, that required balanced coverage of issues on public airwaves.
Washington (AP) - The Senate has barred federal regulators from reviving a policy, abandoned two decades ago, that required balanced coverage of issues on public airwaves.
 
The Senate vote on the so-called Fairness Doctrine was in part a response to conservative radio talk show hosts who feared that Democrats would try to revive the policy to ensure liberal opinions got equal time.
 
The Federal Communications Commission implemented the doctrine in 1949, but stopped enforcing it in 1987 after deciding new sources of information and programming made it unnecessary.
 
President Barack Obama says he has no intention of reimposing the doctrine, but Republicans, led by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., say they still need a guarantee the government would not establish new quotas or guidelines on programming.