Picture of Mark Levin, most annoying voice in radio, from WMAL
This week, I have listened to right-wing talk radio for probably a total of 20 minutes or so. I often listen to it in the car on the way to and from work, and sometimes when on errands. But I don't ever have to drive very far, and talk radio is notoriously stuffed with commercials, music bumpers, vanity "audio collages," and filler. So the actual programs don't fill much air time.
Still, I managed to suss out a brand new right-wing talking point in those brief minutes. While catching a few minutes of The Mark Levin Show earlier in the week, I heard a caller say that the "Fairness Doctrine" really should be called the "Censorship Doctrine," because "fairness" sounds too nice. He argued that liberals already had a leg up on conservatives using that word. How very Frank Luntz of him.
The Fairness Doctrine was a rule in place years ago that required opposing political viewpoints to be presented on broadcast radio. Ronald Reagan rescinded that rule, which gave birth to all right wing radio, all the time. Thus, you can listen to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Levin in a eight-hour block, with no contrary opinions to clutter your head. While there is some very slight buzz that somebody out there wants to reinstate the doctrine, many liberals have said they aren't interested.
But in right-wing world, the eeeevil liberals are hellbent on restoring the doctrine, in an effort to silence the right. Forget that this would also effect liberal shows like The Stephanie Miller Show, The Rachel Maddow Show, The Randi Rhodes Show and The Thom Hartmann Show. This is however, the new bogeyman from the right.
So, I was not surprised to hear Levin say, a day or so later, the "censorship doctrine." I was even less surprised to hear Hannity use the same phrase today. Expect dittoheads, right-wing blogs, conservative pundits, FOX "News," and Republican politicians to begin using censorship doctrine exclusively from here on out.