Some on the Left are using the tragedy in Tucson to call for reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine. Since we’re reaching into the dark recesses of Ayn Rand’s prophetic vision, Atlas Shrugged, to reintroduce the Equalization of Opportunity Act (aka the Fairness Doctrine), I say we keep going. Let’s pass the Anti-dog-eat-Dog Rule.
In 1969, the US Supreme Court upheld the Fairness Doctrine (later abolished as unconstitutional by Executive Order of Ronald Reagan) with the following statement:
“A license permits broadcasting, but the licensee has no constitutional right to be the one who holds the license or to monopolize a radio frequency to the exclusion of his fellow citizens. There is nothing in the First Amendment which prevents the Government from requiring a licensee to share his frequency with others … It is the right of the viewers and listeners, not the right of the broadcasters, which is paramount.”
In the pages of Atlas Shrugged, the Equal Opportunity Act declared it unfair for one person or corporation to own more than one business; in order to give the little guy a chance. In both laws, the principle is the same: the good of society is paramount over the rights of the individual. This is especially attractive if you get to decide what’s good for society.
The fictional Dr. Pritchett, in Atlas Shrugged, defended it like this:
“But I believe I made it clear that I am in favor of it, because I am in favor of a free economy. A free economy cannot exist without competition. Therefore, men must be forced to compete. Therefore, we must control men in order to force them to be free.”
Prichett’s defense of the Equalization of Opportunity Act is more honest than the US Supreme Court’s defense of the Fairness Doctrine.
Now for the Anti-dog-eat-Dog Rule; Rand writes:
“The Anti-dog-eat-dog Rule was described as a measure of ‘voluntary self-regulation’ intended ‘the better to enforce’ the laws long since passed by the country’s Legislature. The Rule provided that the members of the National Alliance of Railroads were forbidden to engage in practices defined as ‘constructive competition’; that in regions declared to be restricted, no more than one railroad would be permitted to operate; that in such regions, seniority belonged to the oldest railroad now operating there, and that the newcomers, who had encroached unfairly upon its territory, would suspend operations within nine months after being so ordered; that the Executive Board of the National Alliance of Railroads was empowered to decided, at its sole discretion, which regions were to be restricted.”
If we simply replace “National Alliance of Railroads” with “Media”, “railroad” with “broadcaster”, and “Executive Board of the National Alliance of Railroads” with “Sinclair Broadcast Group”, we’re good to go.
Ed Schutlz, a host on MSNBC, at an April event organized by Al Sharpton, said that 90% of the media is controlled by conservatives. Bill Davis, a professor of Media Communications (I’m not making this up) at Webster University, says conservatives control programming in 9 out of 10 radio stations. The Washington Times agrees with the 90% figure. Some believe that Jews own 96% of the media.
Applying the Anti-dog-eat-Dog Rule, by liberal consensus, without anti-Semitism, liberals shall, henceforth, be forbidden to control more than 10% of the media.
Fair is Fair.
Now, you might ask “Aren’t these two rules contradictory?”. Silly you! There are no absolutes. The trick is to define Fairness based upon the outcome you’re seeking. Then, you can apply each law as selectively as you wish.
If I’ve lost you with all of this you might want to brush up on Atlas Shrugged. If you haven’t read it, you might want to do nothing else until you have. Todd Watson presents a well-done and chilling commentary on the contemporary relevance of Rand’s magnum opus at Newwaveslave.com. Stephen Moore, in The WSJ, offers a similar piece.
Atlas Shrugged is not just coming soon to a theatre near you – it’s here.