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30% of Americans Want "Balanced" Blogging 720

Posted by timothy
from the why-do-you-hate-america's-children? dept.
Cutie Pi writes "In a recent Rasmussen poll looking at the public's attitudes toward a possible revival of the fairness doctrine by the Democrats, a surprisingly large percentage of those polled seek fairness doctrine mandates (originally intended for public airwaves) to cover the Internet as well. It is encouraging that a minority of people feel that way, but Democrats say 'hands-off the Internet ... by a far smaller margin than Republicans and unaffiliated voters. Democrats oppose government-mandated balance on the Internet by a 48% to 37% margin. Sixty-one percent (61%) of Republicans reject government involvement in Internet content along with 67% of unaffiliated voters.'"
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30% of Americans Want "Balanced" Blogging

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  • But most republican politicians seem to like bigger government! I'm so confused...
    • by Poppa (95105) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:07PM (#24605989)

      Conservative politicians want a smaller government. The previous Republican majority was not conservative.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Grishnakh (216268)

        Republicans haven't been for smaller government since the 80s. Bush didn't start the current wave of neoconservatism.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sheldon (2322)

          What exactly was small about massive defense spending, and trying to legislate morality?

          • by Grishnakh (216268) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @06:01PM (#24606927)

            Yep, the part about massive defense spending is part of my point. But that's actually a Democratic thing. Remember, LBJ (who kept us in Vietnam) was a Democrat. Republicans have been anti-defense spending until recent decades.

            • by Zeinfeld (263942) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @06:46PM (#24607665) Homepage
              Yep, the part about massive defense spending is part of my point. But that's actually a Democratic thing. Remember, LBJ (who kept us in Vietnam) was a Democrat. Republicans have been anti-defense spending until recent decades.

              At the start of Vietnam both parties had hawk and dove factions. Nixon was originally elected on his claim to have a secret plan to end the war!

              During the LBJ administration the Hawk faction in the Democrats lost influence and they were routed almost entirely during Nixon. But there is an additional layer of complexity there as Nixon's big idea was detente with Russia and re-opening relations with China.

              The big change came during the Carter administration with the invasion of Afghanistan. Both parties turned considerably more hawkish. Carter began the weapons build-up but as a tactical reaction to the Soviets. For Reagan the increase in military spending was strategic and ideological.

              During the Bush administration the foreign policy has been directed by the neo-imperialist wing of the Republican party. They like wars, the more the better. Their war in Iraq has been a fiasco, which is why they want a new one in Iran, or Georgia.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by bsDaemon (87307)

                Fighting in Georgia would be the first legitimate war we've gotten into since 1812. I seriously doubt that it'd work out, and right now we can't do it anyway. But at least it would be the right thing to do.

                Then again, I also don't care of those "break away" provinces break away -- let them for all I care. I also support Chechnya, the Basques and a slew of other things. Freedom good, Empire dickish.

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by Colonel Korn (1258968)

                  Fighting in Georgia would be the first legitimate war we've gotten into since 1812.

                  I don't know about Georgia being a legitimate war for the US, unless you mean someone invades Atlanta and we defend it.

                  Unless some massive political manipulation went on behind the scenes, it seems like the Georgians attacked their "breakaway region" of South Ossetia, because Ossetia is pro-Moscow. They killed a fair number of people, though according to South Ossetian doctors interviewed today on NPR, the Russian claim of thousands of dead South Ossetian civilians isn't true at all, the reality being hund

              • It should be noted that President Clinton cut the military - manpower, order of battle, the whole show - some 40%.

                Not quite in half, but close enough.

                The results have been on display in Georgia for about a week.

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  by WillAffleckUW (858324)

                  This is a lie.

                  I was serving in the Army from 1980 to 1989 (got married and wanted to settle down then), and the reality is that what got cut were mostly bogus military programs for Star Wars (which I worked on LRCSW), ships and planes we didn't need and couldn't use, and lots of expensive and very impractical mil hardware.

                  Instead of $10,000 laptops with removeable drives built to mil specs, we got $2000 laptops with removeable drives off the shelf under Clinton.

                  Instead of $250,000 fax machines with security

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            What exactly was small about massive defense spending,...

            First off conservatism isn't defined by GW Bush. He's no exemplar of conservative thought or policy and has been consistently criticized from the right. Most people aren't terribly consistent in their political ideology, ESPECIALLY politicians since they must appeal to a broad coalition of support and most people have only the fuzziest political ideals. He no more defines conservatism than Clinton defined liberalism. You could make a decent case tha

        • Republicans haven't been for smaller government since the 80s.

          Republicans haven't wanted smaller government since at least Nixon. Heck even Republican President Eisenhower, who talked about the Military-industrial Complex [wikipedia.org], made government bigger. Before him, Republican President Teddy Roosevelt expanded government.

          Falcon

      • by rolfwind (528248) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:20PM (#24606187)

        Go by the term Classical Liberal then:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_liberalism [wikipedia.org]

        Those want a limited government (which itself is a more correct term, a smaller government is the natural effect byproduct of a limited government but a smaller government isn't always more limited - i.e. outsourcing everything)

        "Conservative" means nothing anymore, it's been so diluted. The biggest "conservatives" are nothing more but against taxes (passing staggering debt onto future generations while still paying for massive entitlements/porkbarrel is not more conservative than tax and spend), embrace war against drugs/crime/poverty/nations (war is the health of the state, thus anti-conservative) and lastly, wear their religion on their sleeve yet none of it in their hearts except when convenient.

        Plus the term liberal drives many of the unreasonable ones on edge. People like Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh types that want to pidgeonhole everyone in their arguments.

        • by Moridineas (213502) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @06:31PM (#24607393) Journal

          "Conservative" means nothing anymore ... . ... "conservatives" are nothing more but against taxes ... embrace war against drugs/crime/poverty/nations ... and lastly, wear their religion on their sleeve yet none of it in their hearts except when convenient.

          Not to (borrowing your term) pidgeonhole anyone or anything...

          wear their religion on their sleeve yet none of it in their hearts except when convenient.

          You know, that's how I feel whenever I see people with bumper stickers slathered all over their cars (who are, imho, 99% of the time liberal). Why is it so important that other people know that you're a vegan, are pro-abortion, etc, or, my personal favorite, are mad that the US was "One pretzel away from getting rid of Bush." ~shrug~

          • by SMS_Design (879582) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @09:14PM (#24609319)

            (who are, imho, 99% of the time liberal)

            Back it up. If you give statistics, I want references. If you wish to avoid scrutiny, use the weak vague language made for such bullshitting occasions.

            "..you're a vegan, are pro-abortion, etc.."

            I think you'd be hard-pressed to find many people who are "pro-abortion." Not wanting the government to be in charge of such a personal matter is a far cry from jumping for joy each time a poor girl in a terrible situation walks into a clinic.

            • by Moridineas (213502) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @10:55PM (#24610185) Journal

              You know have noticed the internet acronym "IMHO" in my post. Not exactly a common internet acronym i guess, though you see it fairly often on slashdot etc. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/imho [wiktionary.org] (in short, in my humble opinion). Emphasis on the opinion. I'd be fascinated by any statistics, but I don't have any. I'll google around a little bit, but it's hard to track this kind of thing.

              Anecdotally, a friend of mine works for the Democratic Party in NC, and a number of years ago they briefly stopped selling bumper stickers, only to face a lot of popular discontent from people who were big fans of the bumper stickers (and reversed their decision). ~shrug~

              I think you'd be hard-pressed to find many people who are "pro-abortion." Not wanting the government to be in charge of such a personal matter is a far cry from jumping for joy each time a poor girl in a terrible situation walks into a clinic.

              That's true to a degree, but ultimately, whether you consider yourself "pro-choice," "pro-life," whatever, you're arguing over one action--aborting a fetus. And those on one side want that to be legal, and the other want it to be illegal. The rest is just semantics.

              "Not wanting the government to be in charge of such a personal matter" seems to me a bit disingenuous. I don't see many (and I'll bow to your preferences and use the term "pro-choice") pro-choice people arguing against the government's vital role in funding Planned Parenthood for instance. If you're really taking a libertarian view, one should probably argue against planned parenthood's dependent relationship. Not trying to put words in your mouth here, maybe you're consistent in your position, but most people I've met haven't made that argument.

    • by lgw (121541) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:10PM (#24606031) Journal

      But most republican politicians seem to like bigger government! I'm so confused...

      Don't worry, so are they! How I long for the days when the Repulicans were for a government that took less of your money, and the Democrats were for a government that took less of your freedoms. Now both are pro-censorship, and both are for more government spending, and both are for more government power to combat scary things.

      How would a "balanced internet" work in the first place? Can you not find a blog aready to cater to any political belief no matter how bizzare? Now I'm the one confused.

    • The internet today is an off balance representation of the population as a whole. I believe it will balance out and insane sites like huffington will lose popularity. With smaller news rooms, dominated by boomers at the TV networks and likely similar environments at papers. The internet, TV, radio (mostly opinion and no news research) and papers all have one thing in mind. Eyeball hits for selling advertising. Best way to get hits? Troll. But it is better than having the government edit "balance" the
    • Don't worry... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PortHaven (242123)

      So are us Republicans. We vote for these guys, and then they act like Democrats.

      Then we go vote for a staunch small government man like Ron Paul and find our votes (at least in New Hampshire) did not get recorded for whatever reason.

    • by Wister285 (185087)

      But most republican politicians seem to like bigger government! I'm so confused...

      On what grounds? If you mean in terms of defense, sure. But what about Welfare, Social Security, Medicare, and simplification of the tax code? I am not arguing one way or the other, but if you eliminated Social Security and Medicare alone, you would decrease Federal spending by at least 42%!

      Source:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_budget [wikipedia.org]

  • by lecithin (745575) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:03PM (#24605927)

    If /. were fair and balanced would each posting as an AC be treated as +1 subscriber?????

    • by BeanThere (28381) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:28PM (#24606357)

      Yes, the moderation system is clearly yet another manifestation of the oppression of the underclass by the elite bourgeois ruling classes. Who gets to say what is "good" and "bad" anyway? The suppression of alternate points of view is nothing less than the suppression of alternate non-mainstream modes of knowledge. All points of view are equally valid, therefore all posts should automatically be +5, always (including this one, *cough cough*).

  • by Qzukk (229616) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:04PM (#24605933) Journal

    Aren't complete blithering idiots.

    Hey, I'm just being "balanced"... if we're talking about 30% we have to talk about the other 70% too in order to be fair, right?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:05PM (#24605957)

    Editorials are opinion, not legitimate reporting of facts.

    • So? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp@NOsPam.Gmail.com> on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:57PM (#24606861) Homepage Journal

      Editorials are opinion, not legitimate reporting of facts.

      So? Opinion isn't exempt in the Fairness Doctrine. In fact most of the application of the doctrine on the airwaves has traditionally been against editorial content. The argument goes that there's only so much broadcast bandwidth out there, and so since the government licenses the airwaves, they have a responsibility to see that all viewpoints get a fair shot.

      Never mind that with the huge selection of opinion avenues... radio, TV, satellite, print, the Internet... the idea of bandwidth scarcity is essentially obsolete, especially for the Internet. But that hasn't stopped the doctrine's backers from trying to bring it back from the dead anyway, and worse, they want to apply it to non-broadcast media.

      The Fairness Doctrine isn't. All throughout it's history, it's been used by whoever was in power at the time to silence their enemies, or at least quiet them down some. The doctrine is nothing but government nannyism, and its death was too long in coming. For those of you that are so eager to bring it back, think long and hard about that. Sooner or later, someone you don't like is going to get elected, and use it against you.

  • In other news... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:05PM (#24605961)
    31% of Americans have no idea how the Internet works.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Darkness404 (1287218)
      31? Last time I did any type of computer help it was more like 95%
      • by Narpak (961733)
        To be fair if you are working with "computer help" you mostly get contact with people asking for help. Those that help themselves are thus not represented.
  • by StreetStealth (980200) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:06PM (#24605979) Journal

    Because with only three blogs in the blog-o-sphere, the millions of Americans these blogs serve really deserve government-mandated balance.

    Oh, what's that, there's more than three? How many, then? Five?

  • Quick someone get a patent on a technology whereby an official campaigning for election creates an electronic advertisement for posting on the internet to promote them in an upcoming election.
  • by Kingrames (858416) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:08PM (#24606007)

    Balanced is not equal to fair.

    "Balanced" in this case means that only the democratic party and the republican party will have their voices heard.

    • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:11PM (#24606039)
      Exactly, we need to stop thinking that there are only 2 of everything, 2 political ideologies, 2 OSes, 2 news stations, etc. There are more than 2 sides to everything, think of the RIAA debates, the RIAA has one side, the general public has another and the musicians have another side too.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jmorris42 (1458) *

      > "Balanced" in this case means that only the democratic party and the republican
      > party will have their voices heard.

      If only. In practice the "Fairness Doctrine" meant overt political programs were off limits period. Except for the newscasts which were all (90%+ with the rest deep in the closet) Democrats and the not so hidden political plotlines in most 'entertainment that always promoted the Democratic talking points of the moment. So in effect it meant Republicans had Firing Line on PBS and the

  • I would say... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by XanC (644172) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:09PM (#24606015)

    ...that there's no way something this asinine could possibly pass 1st Amendment muster. Especially since political speech is exactly the epicenter of that amendment. I would say that, but I also witnessed all three branches of the federal government fail us spectacularly on McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform.

    • by xzvf (924443) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:20PM (#24606193)
      If I remember right the fairness doctrine was the law from 1949 until sometime into Reagan's second term. Its repeal lead to the rise of talk radio and helped cable news. Probably indirectly led to the lack of regulation by the FCC of the internet.
    • All it takes... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp@NOsPam.Gmail.com> on Thursday August 14, 2008 @06:06PM (#24607011) Homepage Journal

      ...that there's no way something this asinine could possibly pass 1st Amendment muster. Especially since political speech is exactly the epicenter of that amendment. I would say that, but I also witnessed all three branches of the federal government fail us spectacularly on McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform.

      All it takes is enough sympathetic judges, and viola, it's Constitutional... even if it isn't Constitutional.

      One thing both political sides seem to increasingly agree on these days is that the judicial branch may be the weak link in the design of our Constitutional guarantee of rights. If a judge says so, it's so, even the the Constitution directly contridicts it. All you need is a majority of SCOTUS opinions, and what's done is done. Once SCOTUS rules, unlike a Congressional Bill or an Executive Order, there's no way to appeal it. It's done. Final. You'd have to get a Constitutional Amendment passed to change that ruling, and if the issue came back before SCOTUS, they could simply void the meaning and spirt of the amendment with a stroke of their pens.

      Increasingly, the written opinions of the Supreme Court is our real constitution, not the 200+ year old document itself.

      • Well, the President appoints those judges. And I think that Congress can impeach Supreme Court judges (somebody please correct me if I'm wrong), although it's rarely if ever done.
  • by rolfwind (528248) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:09PM (#24606017)

    Holocaust denial? Must both sides be given a equal voice by mandate? How about flat-earth theory? Or moon hoax hypothesis? Or is this where the government suddenly decides what is "mainstream" and what is kooky. If they decide that, where will the boundary be for other, much more legitimate ideas that Government may not like. Will it be that they suddenly decide what the bounds of fair discourse is by controlling the parameters?

    Why is it that so many people think that the government, a large force with its own agenda, will do a much better job than many individuals not geared around a singular goal/entity? The Patriot Act was not patriotic, and the Fairness doctrine will not be fair.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by corsec67 (627446)

      Must both sides be given a equal voice by mandate?

      I think you make a false assumption there:

      Why does the number of sides to an issue have to be 2?

      "Which party is the best?" Are you saying that you have to take a Democrat and a Republican? What about the other parties?

      You mention the Earth's shape. You would talk to the flat-earth people, and then whom? The people who believe that the Earth is a sphere? What about the scientists who think it is an oblate spheroid [wikipedia.org]. What about people who think it is a more com

  • Oh goody... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PieSquared (867490) <isosceles2006 AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:10PM (#24606033)

    This is why education is a prerequisite for democracy. Or at least for democracy to work.

    Crap like this combined with the evidence from the republicans that people have finally realized they can vote themselves infinite money either has to end now (hey, lets lower taxes and not increase spending, that's a *great* idea, just like a credit card! What could possibly go wrong!), or things are going to get really bad really quick.

    It's a horrible, horrible idea and would certainly end up being racist as well, but you really have to wonder if voting shouldn't be a little more... restricted. Like, requiring that you have a history of not failing personal economics in order to have any influence on national economics? Or basic understanding of science to be able to influence science policy? Maybe it's not possible to do this, but you have to wonder if anything else can work in the long run.

    • Just so long as you don't confuse education with the crap they serve at schools.

      What hope does a kid have of thinking critically and rationally about US military/foreign policy when (s)he's been quoting the pledge of allegiance since his diaper-years?

    • An educated moral and armed society.

    • by moderatorrater (1095745) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:23PM (#24606263)

      hey, lets lower taxes and not increase spending, that's a *great* idea,

      That's one of the best fucking ideas I've ever heard. However, from your criticism, I'm guessing the word "not" wasn't supposed to be in there.

  • by Sfing_ter (99478) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:12PM (#24606063) Homepage Journal

    That same 30% then asked...
    wtf is a blog?

  • Telling business owners they don't have the choice to allow smoking, telling consumers what video games we should be able to play, and now telling Internet users what they can and can't say.

    Democrats are upset that most political talk and political blogs lean conservative. They still have the drive-by media locked up, they should be happy.
  • Easy to circumvent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rayeth (1335201) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:15PM (#24606123)
    Given the multi-national congregation that is the net, I can't really see how this could be enforced anyhow. It could be easily circumvented by simply hosting your blog in Britain, or Congo, or anywhere else in the world without this rule. There's no law saying you can't blog about American politcs from abroad (and many people already do).
  • .. is not conducive to social evolution.

    We need new ideas, new ways of thinking about issues, each other, and ourselves in order to evolve as a society and as a species.

    ... in my opinion - which I would surely demand the continuing freedom to express.

    Now, for any organization that claims to be journalistic in nature *of course* balance is essential. That includes online news sites, which should not be trying to swaying opinion but rather about conveying facts in the most objective way possible in or
  • Typical (Score:3, Interesting)

    by EdIII (1114411) * on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:20PM (#24606183)

    I don't mean typical of Democrats or Republicans either. Typical of people that want to tell you what you think, act, feel, and say through government policy. The Fairness Doctrine was essentially bullshit from the beginning. Regardless of what the proponents of the Fairness Doctrine were trying to accomplish a half century ago, it cannot apply to the Internet.

    This policy was originally meant to control content on the PUBLIC airwaves. It required broadcasters to act as "mediators" and notify all parties when an "attack" was made and offer equal time for a response. It was 100% political.

    The Internet is not owned by the public. It is a privately owned infrastructure, that interestingly enough, has only a portion of it residing in the US. Any arguments that are based on the fundamental premise of a public owned medium to communicate fall flat.

    "Blogging" is an incredibly vague term. It can represent entities from the average citizen with something to say, to corporate sponsored journalists. Some entities could own their own domain and pay for hosting services, while others could merely obtain free hosting through other companies. It is not possible to make the owners of the websites police all of their own content, track down any affected parties, and then donate web space and bandwidth for an opposing view. Attempting to create an infrastructure of control over the medium is laughable at best.

    Government controlling content on the Internet is a slippery slope to be sure and is not even practical. In every instance the US government has attempted to exert control, the offending content has merely moved outside of the US.

    This is about politically motivated people that want to control speech offensive to them and their position. Hiding their true motivations in an idealogical appeal for fair representation of all viewpoints is just covering the desire for censorship.

    If there is an honest desire for fairness here, it should not be accomplished through controlling content on the Internet, but rather by the creation of public resources on the Internet. The government can have it's own resources and policies that govern those resources. Let all the political people go there and demand their 15 minutes each to slam each other.

  • This is an idiotic desire. Anything I write on the internet can be called a "blog", and the idea that I should try to be fair toward the stupid, the evil, or even the opposing political party or football team is insipid.

    Foxnews has apparently brainwashed a lot of people into thinking that "fair and balanced" is even a desireable thing. How about objectivity and truth, instead? Giving airtime to insane/wicked opposing viewpoints does no one any good. And the idea that this should be f
  • Balanced? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by flajann (658201) <flajann@lEULERin ... m minus math_god> on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:22PM (#24606247) Homepage Journal
    Until I see other political parties other than the Democrats and Republicans get "balanced" coverage on the airwaves, I consider both party's plea for any kind of balance to be disingenuous.

    Or perhaps the word I am looking for is "hypocritical".

  • OTOH (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ProteusQ (665382) <dontbother@n o w here.com> on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:24PM (#24606305) Journal

    a) Less than 1/3 of all Americans support the censorship of political blogs.

    b) 70% of Americans do not support regulation of political blogging.

    Same data, different spin.

  • Illiberal liberals (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rumblin'rabbit (711865) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @05:27PM (#24606337) Journal

    but Democrats say 'hands-off the Internet ... by a far smaller margin than Republicans and unaffiliated voters.

    Why are so many supposedly liberal-minded people so ... illiberal? Is it because they think a fairness doctrine would only be used against Republicans?

    It's like they want to attack their enemies by removing the oxygen out of the air, without considering how they themselves will breath.

    • Much as we see "neoconservatives" people who despite touting the conservative label are all about big government, there seems to be "neoliberals". Basically their idea is "You have the freedom of speech to say something that I agree with." If you say things they don't like, they want to silence you. The funny thing is they'll do this while claiming to be supporting free speech. See the problem is you are "bigoted" or "close minded" and thus what you want to say shouldn't be said.

  • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @06:01PM (#24606929)

    The only reason that the fairness doctrine was needed was because media outlets were owned by a few rich and powerful people. Opposing points of view couldn't get to the public otherwise.

    Literally anyone can start their own blog for free and talk about anything they want. If a blogger is saying something that you disagree with, there is no need to force him to display your opinions on his blog. Just start your own.

  • Subject (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Legion303 (97901) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @07:28PM (#24608205) Homepage

    When tax money funds my server and connection, I'll let people who disagree with me guest-post in my Slashdot trolling.

    Until then, fuck those guys.

  • by Morty (32057) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @07:46PM (#24608401) Journal

    The Fairness Doctrine cannot be applied to Internet blogs because it violates the basic tests that the Supreme Court has come up with for regulating speech:

    * TV and radio can be regulated because they are "pervasive" (the signal comes into your house whether you want it or not) and "scarce" (there is only so much useful spectrum in any given area, so only so many voices can be heard.) Internet blogs are not pervasive (you have to seek them out) and they certainly aren't scarce (anyone who wants to can build a blog using free tools.)

    * Commercial speech can be regulated. Not applicable here.

    * Dangerous/inciting/traitorous speech ("fire in a crowded theater", "clear and present danger") can be regulated. Not applicable here.

    * Obscenity. Not applicable here.

    Note that, unlike the Internet taxation issue, this is a basic Constitutional problem. Unless one of the rules above is violated, the Supreme Court will knock down any attempt to regulate speech on the Internet. So I don't think this much matters. Even if this were a majority of people rather than just 30%, they're not going to get any kind of law passed to regulate Internet blog speech.

  • What this means (Score:3, Insightful)

    by YetAnotherBob (988800) on Thursday August 14, 2008 @09:29PM (#24609439)

    What this means in practice is that you have freedom of speech, as long as you agree with whoever is currently in power. (Both parties agree that it's only fair when it agrees with their current platforms.)

  • Fairness (Score:3, Funny)

    by jandersen (462034) on Friday August 15, 2008 @03:40AM (#24611881)

    I think it is basically a good idea; the only problem being how to define and enforce fairness. Several countries in Europe have something similar, which is why European news seem so much more varied than American news. The broadcasting services in Europe seem to have originated mostly as public services, and building in some sort of 'fairness-doctrine' only seemed natural, since the state is supposed to be the servant of the whole of the population, not just the party that happens to be in power.

    The sad fact is that American news services are anything but balanced, which at the end of the day harms democracy. How can the electorate make an informed choice about anything when the news are all distorted? People aren't stupid - they can see that each broadcaster has its own agenda, so they give up trying to find out what really goes on and only tune in on the channels that don't challenge their chosen belief; and in effect politics, political news and political ideologies have become irrelevant backgroud noise, replaced by indifferent gossip about the politicians - like "Obama sounds like Osama, hur hur".

    How can we repair America? That what I'd like to know. I know from experience that Americans are good and decent people; so why is the American nation such a vile bastard in many ways? Whatever else the explanation is, it is clear that the government of America is not a true representation of its people.

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