Push ’em all out the nest
That’s from Colorado Republican Doug Lamborn, who is leading the push in the Republican House to defund public broadcasting once and for all.
Interesting tactic from the GOP: trying to talk up how the public can’t afford and doesn’t need public broadcasting in today’s media environment, buttressing their long-standing argument that public broadcasting tilts to the left.
So it’s economics, which I can identify with. I’m an economics guy. But more than an economics guy, I’m a fairness guy, and what’s fair with government policy toward broadcasting is, well, fair.
As much as those tax dollars that go to public broadcasting are tangible, so are the public airwaves that when it comes to political matters are dominated by conservative talk-show hosts, whose predominance has been facilitated by the loosening of the Fairness Doctrine.
To me, and I doubt that I’m alone on this, it would be a sensible quid pro quo to couple defunding public broadcasting with a return of the Fairness Doctrine mandating that stations using the public airwaves give equal time to all viewpoints.
Basically, push Rush Lumbaugh out of his one-man studio and into a marketplace of ideas that I’d hope would not just give equal representation on the airwaves to the right and left but also to the center.
The blowhards on the two extremes draw ratings and ad dollars (and public support) with their blather, at the expense of the bulk of the country in the middle – center-right and center-left – who don’t yell and scream and get bug-eyed over the latest breathless bit of BS coming out of Capitol Hill.
So Rush gets his three hours, then Howard Dean gets three, a Mark Warner-Chuck Hagel type gets three, et cetera. Sean Hannity wants his time? Wonderful. He has to find stations that can also give time to Rachel Maddow and Rick Sanchez.
Push ’em all out the nest, basically. Our dollars, our airwaves.
Don’t expect Republicans to buy into this, of course, because what they’re trying to do with defunding has nothing to do with dollars and sense.