Bozell Calls for Vote on Broadcaster Freedom Act

Member Group : News Releases

For Immediate Release CONTACT: Colleen O’Boyle
May 18, 2009 or Tim Scheiderer at (703) 683-5004


Alexandria, VA – Acting Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Michael Copps offered his view last Thursday that the anti-free speech Censorship Doctrine, also mis-known as the "Fairness" Doctrine is "long gone" and that "it’s not coming back."

But for the second time in a week, Chairman Copps called those who are concerned about its return "conspiracy theorists" who are engaged in "issue mongering" by "resurrecting the straw man of a bye-gone Fairness Doctrine."

Media Research Center (MRC) President Brent Bozell today reminded Chairman Copps of just some of the many members of Congress who have recently called for a return of the so-called "Fairness" Doctrine:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer Former President Bill Clinton
Senator Chuck Schumer Senator Dianne Feinstein
Senator Dick Durbin Senator Debbie Stabenow
Senator John Kerry Senator Tom Harkin
Senator Jeff Bingaman Senator Bernie Sanders
Congressman Dennis Kucinich Congressman Maurice Hinchey
Congressman John Dingell Congressman Louise Slaughter
Congressman Anna Eshoo

Mr. Bozell reminded Chairman Copps that last summer Speaker Pelosi would not allow a full, fair up or down vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act (BFA) – which will prevent the FCC from reinstating the alleged "Fairness" Doctrine – and instead left it languishing in committee. Not a single Democrat – including two who were BFA co-sponsors – would sign the bill’s discharge petition to get it out onto the floor for a vote.

And Mr. Bozell reminded Chairman Copps that he will soon be joined on the FCC by up to four new Commissioners (out of a total of five) who may not share his affinity for free speech and may vote to reinstate the so-called "Fairness" Doctrine.

So Mr. Bozell today challenged Chairman Copps to demand that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid allow a stand-alone vote of the full House and Senate on the Broadcaster Freedom Act.

Media Research Center President Brent Bozell:

"I am most appreciative that my friend – FCC Chairman Michael Copps – has no intention of reinstating the anti-First Amendment so-called ‘Fairness’ Doctrine. But his statement that those of us concerned about its reimposition are ‘issue mongering’ ‘conspiracy theorists’ is off-base given the stated desires of so many members of Congress.

"When this many high-powered elected officials are calling for a return of the mis-named ‘Fairness’ Doctrine, and are actively opposing a vote on the bill to prevent the FCC from reinstating it, it isn’t a conspiracy theory. It’s a determination to shut down free speech on talk radio.

"The solution is simple: Chairman Copps should call on Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid to allow a full, fair stand alone vote on the Broadcaster Freedom Act. That way we will know once and for all how each member of Congress thinks – are they for free speech, or are they for the ‘Fairness’ Doctrine?"

To schedule an interview with MRC President Brent Bozell or another MRC spokesperson,
please contact Tim Scheiderer (x. 126) or Colleen O’Boyle (x. 122) at (703) 683-5004.

(The MRC heads up the Free Speech Alliance, made up of sixty-six organizations dedicated to preserving the First Amendment and protecting talk radio from governmental regulatory abuse. The FSA petition for free speech can be found at