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Fairness Doctrine Seen As Threat To Christian Radio

NRB President Frank Wright said he sees the Fairness Doctrine as a credible threat under a Democrat-dominated Congress and with President Obama in the White House.

“And we have a personal concern,” Wright told Broadcasting & Cable. “The only radio station that ever lost its license under the fairness doctrine regime was a Christian radio station in Red Lion, Pa. We are only responding now to the statements the Democrats themselves are making.”

Representing 1,400 organizations, including large ministries and TV and radio stations, NRB said it is “girding itself for a major battle over broadcasting freedoms,” and was prepared to go to court, lobby Congress, or take its message to the public.

“We have talked before about many of these issues, but now, with the shift in the political landscape, I think these same things have a much higher probability of being enacted or at least having legislation and hearings and debates, and on the regulation side at the FCC,” said Wright.

He said the new political climate doesn’t just threaten broadcasters, but even churches that have no broadcast outlet.

“The fairness doctrine has a tremendous potential for constraining free speech, but hate crimes (legislation) has the potential of criminalizing it,” he said. “In the short run, the fairness doctrine has the immediate threat of being applied to Christian broadcasters and to the church in a very deleterious way. Hate crimes legislation, if that is enacted, will evolve over time and bleed over into speech and have a negative effect, but not right away. The fairness doctrine will have a negative impact the day it is implemented.”

He said he expects religious broadcasters, largely Christian, to be particularly hard hit because of the doctrine’s requirement for so-called “balance.” If an opposing view must be found for every matter of controversy, Christian broadcasters could find themselves in the unenviable and untenable position of seeking out other religious viewpoints – Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist or atheist – to counter what ministers of the Gospel say on the air.

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1 response to Fairness Doctrine Seen As Threat To Christian Radio

  1. We need to target those who are pushing this “Fairness Doctrine” by running them out of office and supporting those who they run against.

    We also need to get equal time for our free speech. If the Fairness Doctrine is enacted, we want equal time on CNN, PBS, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, in Jewish synagogues, Muslim temples, and anywhere else politically correct or anit-Christian / Conservative free speech is stifled.

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