Pasty Yellow Journalism
The Fairness Doctrine was started in 1949 by the FCC ended in 1987, because that was the year that morality died and there was enough cocaine to go around to keep everyone satisfied. In 1984, the liberal Supreme Court Justice Brennan, said that regulation is no longer needed, because he said ‘What is the worst that could happen? People are adults and media will never get out of control!’.
We are not prepared, however, to reconsider our longstanding approach without some signal from Congress or the FCC that technological developments have advanced so far that some revision of the system of broadcast regulation may be required. (footnote 11) — William J. Brennan, Jr. — FCC v. League of Women Voters of California, 468 U.S. 364 1984
Luckily, since 1987 the media has increasingly become a more balanced. The myriad of websites and social media blurbs with headlines in ALL CAPS or exclamation points have been properly vetted and referenced. There are entire comment sections full of information for a person to cross reference information in order to form an opinion. There isn’t anyone completely making up stories. No one questions fact checkers, or fact checker fact checkers or the facts, if there were any. Facts that is.
Also, history has shown that we have done this before and that was just a phase. Take Yellow Journalism for example. Some people will say that is consists of ‘scare’ headlines, use of lavish, incendiary images and/or misleading headlines. Some people will say that Yellow Journalism consists of pseudoscience and so-called experts. They might even say that this type of news comes with an angle, like an underdog story or big-boss story. Cartoon-like stories if you will. Something that sells more papers and puts more money in that fatcat’s wallet. That however, is in the past, history as we like to say. Spanish civil war, blah, blah. We took that test in middle school, got an 85% we did.
History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes — Mark Twain.
Today’s media landscape is more complex, we are better informed citizens. People have taken time to understand details to complex problems. Or taken their responsibility of being a citizen in United States seriously enough to seek out differing sources in search of the truth. People read page long articles like this one and share them constantly. Because we are so well informed, we focus on the issues at hand and look for ideas to solve them. We often combine these ideas from disparate sources in order to maximize our gains. This is how we solve problems, maturely and orderly as always.
Bring back the Fairness Doctrine? Not a chance. It infringes on the First Amendment of course, which if you didn’t know is free speech. (Got an 87% on that test in high school government class, of course.) We have entered into a new phase: an anemic yellow, a bland yellow, a chartreuse yellow journalism. Like that color you were going to paint the bathroom before your spouse told you it was a horrible idea. We’re all little journalists, editors really, our newspapers are social media. The Fairness Doctrine wouldn’t even know where to begin. We’ll be fine, I’m sure. It’s not like information actually does anything.