Christian broadcasters nervous about talk of reviving Fairness Doctrine

Most say doctrine unlikely to be reinstated
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been making Christian broadcasters nervous.

Pelosi (D., Calif.) said this summer that she supports resurrecting the Fairness Doctrine, a 1949 Federal Communications Commission policy that required broadcasters that communicated specific opinions to set aside time for opposing views.

Such a move would “really make it impossible to preach the whole counsel of God,” said Rich Bott, the owner of Kansas-based Bott Radio Network, which broadcasts Christian programming across ten states. It would also, he said, likely put him out of business.

Put in place nearly 50 years ago, the doctrine was an FCC regulation that policed the airwaves at a time when there were few other sources of information. It never carried the full weight of the law. By the 1980s, with the advent of cable television and multiple opportunities to air differing opinions, the policy fell out of favor and was finally ditched by the FCC in 1987.

 

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