Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Fairness Doctrine…

Remember the time when your mom said you couldn’t watch “The Simpson’s?” In our family, my sisters and I didn’t really need to exercise the ask Dad principle, as he was part of the dinner time discussion, but there are indeed certain times when Dad would say, “Ask your Mom,” right after Mom had said, “Ask your Dad.” The point is, even children understand when one parent rejects an idea, the other parent *might* be happy to oblige.

There is very obviously a market for conservative thought, and less of a market for liberal thought. Is this fair?

I will grant the established point that the public “owns” the radio bandwidths. However, for the most part, for profit enterprises rent the bandwidths. When for profit companies decide at one point in time or another to rent or own their office space, they make such a decision with profits in mind. Say a tool and dye maker decides to rent industrial property for his business. He does so with the expectation that the property owner will stay out of his business. If the property owner were to come in and say, “Well, I want you to also make wooden handles for saws and hammers, too.” The tool and dye maker will say, “Well, I would then need to make these additional expenditures to purchase or lease wood working materials and hire employees to work the wood. That would not be profitable for me.” What would the tool and dye maker say when the property owner says, “Well, hammers and saws are tools and they need handles, that’s just tough.”

This is the same principle as dictating what and when opinions can and cannot be expressed on radio airwaves. We, as the public, should not go in and tell an otherwise law abiding company what product they can produce on the radio.

Now, here’s where the fun begins… let’s just say “The Fairness Doctrine” becomes imposed law. We must go back to the first two paragraphs, a child can always find a compliant parent and there is a market for conservative thought and less of one for liberal thought. People can purchase satellite radio, people can broadcast over the internet, people can write blogs, and people can invent new outlets for broadcasting and receiving information there is a demand for.

OK, you say, satellite radio is not free, but what about the internet and blogs? Well, The Wall Street Journal is a subscriber only site. And some blogs have Paypal tip jars.

Several years ago, my little cousin Sam came to my parents house for Easter armed with pictures of bunnies he had drawn. My dad purchased a couple of pictures for a dollar apiece. His mom found out and said, “You cannot sell your pictures.” Sam decided “sell” involves money, but “trade” does not need to involve money. He discovered that older cousins have toys that are no longer in use. He even found a couple of cousins who were willing to bag up large stuffed animals and help him sneak them into his parent’s minivan before his mom could object.
People will engage in behavior they find profitable. Even if “The Fairness Doctrine” is imposed, the market will speak and the innovative will find new ways of filling existing demands.


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