This week’s Economist (and yes, I love to name-drop the Economist as much as the next guy) has a terrific take on the Fairness Doctrine debate. I agree with most of it, but even if I didn’t I’d still admire it. Within a space of about 1,000 words, this writer (Economist pieces are always unattributed) covers a lot of territory, has a bit of fun and distributes some constructive, non-partisan jabs along the way. It’s lively, forceful and written with, well, economy.
Opinion writing is a tough art form and I salute the craftsmanship on display here. But I’m also intrigued by the thought of applying the Fairness Doctrine to today’s media landscape. It doesn’t look like the idea is gaining any serious traction, even though it does seem to have decent popular support. But if it was tricky for the government to regulate media fairness in 1949, what prospects could it possibly have now?