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January 12th, 2011
W&J Saw This One Coming

Rep. Clyburn: Bring back Fairness Doctrine

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C), one of the most outspoken voices in the wake of the Tucson shooting, tells the Charleston Post and Courier that he wants to bring back the controversial Fairness Doctrine.

The shooting is cause for the country to rethink parameters on free speech, Clyburn said from his office, just blocks from the South Carolina Statehouse. He wants standards put in place to guarantee balanced media coverage with a reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, in addition to calling on elected officials and media pundits to use 'better judgment.'
'Free speech is as free speech does,' he said. 'You cannot yell ‘fire' in a crowded theater and call it free speech and some of what I hear, and is being called free speech, is worse than that.'
The Fairness Doctrine has been a controversial subject during the Obama administration. The Federal Communications Commission in 1987 stopped enforcing the policy that required the media to present both sides of an issue. Now, with the popularity of partisan cable news, some want the FCC to use the policy to inject balance into heated media discussions.
Clyburn's daughter Mignon Clyburn is an FCC commissioner. She took a stand on the matter during her confirmation hearings, saying she opposed such a policy in 'any way shape or form.'




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