Don't think free speech is safe simply because the Fairness Doctrine was blocked from reinstitution last week in Congress. This morning, Heritage Foundation's all over our own U.S. Senator Dick Durbin's under-reported ongoing assault on free speech:
During the debate over the unconstitutional bill that would give the District of Columbia a vote in the House of Representatives, Sens. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) each sponsored amendments with major implications for the First Amendment. DeMint’s amendment banned the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from reinstituting the Fairness Doctrine which, prior to 1987, was used by the government to stifle free speech on our nation’s airwaves. DeMint’s amendment passed 87-11. Score one for free speech.
However, Durbin’s amendment also passed, although by a much narrower 57-41 margin. And what does Durbin’s amendment do? It forces the FCC to “take actions to encourage and promote diversity in communication media ownership and to ensure that broadcast station licenses are used in the public interest.” In other words, Durbin wants to bring the wonders of government enforced affirmative action to our nation’s airwaves. Sen. James Inhofe warns: “The revocation of broadcaster licenses [under the Durbin Doctrine] is a real possibility, which at the very least will threaten the willingness of broadcasters to appeal to conservative listeners.”