Laura Ingraham Locked out of Talk Radio for 3 Weeks
Laura Ingraham Locked out of Talk Radio for 3 Weeks and The Fairness Doctrine tries to rise from the Dead.
By Albert N. Milliron, OP-ED
Last week, Politisite wrote a story to NowPublic about the most popular woman in political talk radio, Talk Radio Networks (TRN), Laura Ingraham. We reported that we picked up a satellite feed of Laura going through copy for her new show on Fox News, "Just In". What we failed to mention is that Ingraham had been shut out of her radio program and replaced following contract issues.
Fox News thought they would capitalize on Laura's popularity by bringing her on air to keep her listener's in a position to hear what Laura has to say. Meanwhile Fox gains a share of Laura's Audience. Concurrently, there have been protests all over the country. Even some of the larger conservative blogs have come out in her defense and have hounded TRN to get Ingraham back on the air. The Left is rolling on the floor giggling believing they are systematically taking down conservative talk radio.
This week, Senator Diane Feinstein, said that she wants to bring back the fairness doctrine, almost saying something from Brown v. Board of Education, That talk radio is unequal, and there should be some force pushed on national radio to get equal access to their views. So she favors something comparative to the seventies cross busing by bringing Air America and EIB Networks together or to make radio talk show hosts provide each side of an issue. The Speak of the House Pelosi shares similar views.
Speaker Pelosi has reportedly promised to “aggressively pursue” revival of the poorly-titled “Fairness Doctrine,” whose regulations would mandate that radio stations featuring the views of conservatives like Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, or Bill O’Reilly “balance” those views (in the name of diversity) with an “equal” dose of, say, Al Franken, Randi Rhodes, or Thom Hartmann – all proven failures in a free radio market.
Remember the fairness doctrine? from the 1940s to 1987 Media in America would not take on the tough issues because one had to give equal time the other side, no matter how ridiculous or in the fringe the other side was.
The bottom line here, censorship, How? Let me explain in this way, look at the date when Rush Limbaugh rose to a national level? Now look at the date the fairness doctrine's end, both occurred in 1987. So what do you think would happen to talk radio if the fairness doctrine returns? You guessed it, format changes to elevator music.
Laura Ingraham, the most popular woman on political talk radio, has been off the air for two weeks, and not by choice.
Ingraham's syndicator, Talk Radio Network, barred her from her Washington studio after talks about a new contract hit a snag, and some of her fans are mounting a campaign to get her back.
"The fact is, they took her off the air," says Eric Bernthal, her lawyer. "There's no doubt in my mind they did it as a tactic in contract negotiations."
Ingraham said on her Web site: "Rest assured, this absence is not of my choosing, nor is it health or family related. I am ready, willing and eager to continue the conversation we started seven years ago about politics and the culture. (Heck, if cancer couldn't keep me off the airwaves for long, nothing will.) . . . I would never voluntarily abandon you during such a critical time for our country." She declined a request for comment because of a confidentiality clause in her contract.
Neither Mark Masters, chief executive of Talk Radio Network, nor a lawyer for the company responded to requests for comment. Ingraham's five-year contract -- she previously worked for another radio company -- expires in September, and she is contractually barred from negotiating with other syndicators until later this summer.