The FCC (Part One).
On the death of the fairness doctrine.
This week we finally heed the call to Unf*ck the Federal Communications Commission (FCC.) We don’t get all the way there (it’s been around since 1934) but we manage to tackle the fairness doctrine, which was intended to provide balance and equal time in broadcasting and was repealed in 1987. Many credit this Reagan-era move as the beginning of the end of civility, leading to the divide in the nation today. But, of course, the story behind the doctrine is far more nuanced. We review a history of the FCC, its limitations and whether or not the fairness doctrine ever really had a place in America given the natural tension with the First Amendment.
Episode Timestamp + Link | Clip Link
- 00:00:05 | Computer History Archives Project: RCA Laboratories 1942: Radio, Television, Vacuum Tube Research, Manufacture, CRT, Original Film
- 00:05:24 | The Simpsons: Boring
- 00:07:11 | Spring Awakening: Totally Fucked
- 00:08:11 | Fight Club: How's That Working Out for You?
- 00:09:16 | Private Parts: Match Game
- 00:10:04 | Computer History Archives Project: Vintage 1963 FCC film (Federal Communications Commission) Radio, HAM, Hammarlund
- 00:13:40 | Family Guy: The FCC Song
- 00:15:46 | Eminem: Without Me
- 00:24:45 | Team Four Star: I Have So Many Questions
- 00:25:29 | Ezra Taft Benson comments on the "Fairness Doctrine"
- 00:26:27 | NBC Warns Against Removing Fairness Doctrine (March 18th, 1987)
- 00:28:06 | Kucinich Discusses Fairness Doctrine on Lou Dobbs
- 00:29:32 | Bill O’Reilly: End of Fairness Doctrine Gives Way to Rise of Conservative Talk Radio
- 00:49:35 | Blink 182: Family Reunion
UNFTR Episode Resources
Steven J. Simmons: The Fairness Doctrine and the Media
Ken Auletta: Backstory: Inside the Business of News
Bernard Harcourt: The Illusion of Free Markets: Punishment and the Myth of Natural Order