Senate Adopts Durbin FCC Diversity Amendment to D.C. Voting Rights Bill

Senators have adopted an amendment offered by Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) to the D.C. House Voting Rights Act (S. 160) by a vote of 57 to 41.

The amendment would direct that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) “shall take action to encourage and promote diversity in communication media ownership.”  Republicans argue that this broad language could pave the way for aspects of the Fairness Doctrine to be implemented at some point.

Democrats argue that the amendment makes no mention of the Fairness Doctrine at all and that it would simply make sure that those entities holding a broadcast license (TV, radio, etc.) promote views that are in the “public interest.”

As you can see, a lot of the language is likely open to interpretation by the reader.

Through a spokesperson earlier this month, President Obama indicated that he did not support a return of the doctrine.

3 Comments

Filed under D.C., Fairness Doctrine

3 responses to “Senate Adopts Durbin FCC Diversity Amendment to D.C. Voting Rights Bill

  1. stas peterson

    Dick Durbin as now revealed to be a Totalitarian socialist, not a liberal democrat-socialist. He has passed a censorship law that bypasses the First Amendment to muzzle the only effective voices criticizing the incumbent government as it makes the State supreme.

    With the NY Times assuming the position of Pravda; and the Washington Post assuming the position of Izvestia, the Leninist control of the media is now complete.

    This is reminiscent of October 1917.

  2. And besides, the District of Columbia is not a state, so it can’t have “House voting rights”.

    The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

    Nothing other than a State can have Representatives, and the District of Columbia is explicitly not a state:

    …such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States

    There is no provision in the Constitution to convert this Seat of Government into a State, for very good reason: The Framers were well aware of the historical tendency of national capitals to grab power at the expense of the provinces; the over-centralized British government in London was merely the example with which they were most familiar.

    If they try to grant statehood to the District via legislative action, (even if Maryland, as the original donor of the land in question, grants explicit permission as the Constitution demands for any state formed from territory belonging to any other state) a suit will certainly be filed to have it nullified as a violation of the Constitution. To my eye, the intent that the Seat of Government be separate and apart from all of the states is fundamental to the Constitution, and Congress has no power to make the seat of the national government be inside any state once the original grants by MD and VA were made.

  3. There has been an FCC “diversity officer” since the 1970s. And the last “diversity officer” was Lisa M. Fowlkes, appointed in 2006 by George W. Bush.

    http://www.benton.org/node/4245

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