By Denny Freidenrich, First Strategies LLC - 11/05/08 06:52 PM EST
Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) election as president is a watershed event in American history. His victory is as significant as George Washington becoming our nation’s first president, Abraham Lincoln holding the country together during the Civil War or Franklin D. Roosevelt taking office during the depths of the Great Depression. The lasting legacy of Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt is that they governed wisely. I have every expectation that President-elect Barack Obama will too.
Laguna Beach, Calif.
From Sean Parnell, president, Center for Competitive Politics
(Regarding article “Schumer on Fox: Fairness Doctrine ‘fair and balanced,’” Nov. 4.) Sen. Charles Schumer’s comments on reviving the so-called “Fairness Doctrine,” which would give politicians the power to control political speech on the radio, is a chilling reminder that some elected officials regard the First Amendment as little more than a minor inconvenience in their efforts to silence their critics.
Past presidents have used the Fairness Doctrine to intimidate and silence those who dared to challenge them and their agenda. It’s clear that the efforts of Sens. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and others pushing for the return of government censorship is little more than an attempt to stifle dissent and remove an effective platform for those who disagree with their policies.
Americans who value free, robust and unhindered political debate should be concerned.
The left gets a pass
From Greg Corrigan
I find it interesting that the Fairness Doctrine does not seem to apply to the favorite public airwaves and other media of the left — for example, “Saturday Night Live,” NBC/ABC/CBS/CNN news, Jay Leno, David Letterman, The New York Times, Washington Post and the myriad of other left-leaning media outlets that have given rise to the need for conservative talk radio.
While we’re talking about the need for a fair and balanced debate, Mr. Schumer, I think the above entities with their 70-30 ratio of positive liberal messages to positive conservative messages need to be heavily regulated. But then again, this is really more about suppressing the voice of the opposition, not fairness, and represents the first necessary step toward socialism.
Ellicott City, Md.
Schumer’s argument is garbage. The people have already voted by their listening choices that they prefer conservative talk radio. They are our airwaves, not the government’s. There is nothing in the First Amendment about fairness. Of course, to these neo-fascists, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are of no importance.
Chapel Hill, N.C.
Murtha’s district woe
From Marsha Gervasi
(Regarding article “Murtha pleads for $1 million after racism comments,” Oct. 30.) Yes, Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) is the earmark king, but the revitalization in Johnstown is not evident. On a recent Monday, I saw three people on the streets of Johnstown, maybe three stores that were not boarded over, and ample street parking. There are no jobs, the population is aging and the youth are leaving in droves. Go see for yourself. I did and what I saw saddened me.
From Richard E. Marsh Jr.
(Regarding article “Hagan sues Dole over atheist ad,” Oct. 30, and related coverage.) Dole’s (R-N.C.) ad states, accurately, that Sen.-elect Kay Hagan attended a fundraiser at the Massachusetts home of a founder of a group called “Godless Americans,” and that Hagan (D) accepted contributions from a number of that group’s board members.
The Dole ad correctly identifies this group as desiring to remove the word “God” from the pledge, the currency, and the public square. This issue has come up before the Supreme Court and Congress several times in recent years. Hagan has refused to state her position on this issue, which is a popular cause of the bi-coastal left but not so popular here in North Carolina.