Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Senators pushing for return of equal-time rules

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – The Fairness Doctrine, which forced broadcasters to offer equal time to both sides of controversial issues, was abolished in 1987, paving the way for talk radio to take the opinionated -- and popular -- form it has today.

Now, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and such influential Democratic senators as Barbara Boxer and Chuck Schumer are pushing for its return, or something like it. Could the equal-time provisions pull a Don Imus and make a radio comeback?

It could, industry insiders say. And the government-mandated programing restrictions that come with it could hobble an already struggling industry. Talk-radio hosts are unlikely to accept a new Fairness Doctrine without a fight, though. Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are among those already railing against it daily.

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