If you are a cable or satellite TV subscriber you contribute financially to Fox News, whether you like the station or not. Unplug or unbundle stations, if you wish to remove inadvertent support for the right-wing propaganda channel. Information warfare is a threat with power to destroy reason and reality, every bit a threat to our democracy as any military threat imaginable. If we, the people, push back, Rupert Murdoch, cable and satellite companies will miss support. Help reduce the divisiveness which led to the events of Jan 6.
The FCC’s Fairness Doctrine policy (1949) required broadcasters to expose viewers to diverse viewpoints. Ronald Reagan’s FCC abolished the doctrine in 1987 and Reagan vetoed an attempt to codify the doctrine into federal law. Free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment on this topic have been debated repeatedly. Simple restoration of the rule of the Fairness Doctrine would not be enough today.
The Fairness Doctrine applied only to public broadcast licensing. Cable, satellite and internet do not apply; they are all services for which consumers pay. Programs like Fox News would not have been bound by the rules of the doctrine.
We unplugged, use the airwaves, enjoy PBS News Hour and choose to donate to reasonable, even-handed PBS and NPR.