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FCC officially kills Fairness Doctrine, wiping it from rules

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FCC Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced the elimination of 83 outdated and obsolete agency rules on Monday, including the controversial Fairness Doctrine.

“The elimination of the obsolete Fairness Doctrine regulations will remove an unnecessary distraction. As I have said, striking this from our books ensures there can be no mistake that what has long been a dead letter remains dead," Genachowski said in a statement.

"The Fairness Doctrine holds the potential to chill free speech and the free flow of ideas and was properly abandoned over two decades ago. I am pleased we are removing these and other obsolete rules from our books."

The rule required broadcasters to cover controversial issues in a manner deemed fair and balanced by the FCC. The commission deemed it unconstitutional in 1987 and ceased enforcement.

Some Democrats had suggested reviving the Fairness Doctrine in recent years in reaction to the partisan nature of cable news. Republicans were pushing the FCC to scrap it once and for all.

Genachowski previously pledged to strike the Fairness Doctrine and other antiquated rules as part of the Obama administration's ongoing regulatory review aimed at reducing the burden on businesses. The administration recently expanded the review to include independent agencies.

TVNL Comment:  This forever guarantees corporate control of the flow of information, not the 'free speech' aspect of news dissemination.  This is why TVNL is here.  See if even this story is on your cable 'news' network.


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