Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) voiced a criticism today of partisan cable TV. “There’s a little bug inside of me which wants to get the FCC to say to FOX and to MSNBC: ‘Out. Off. End. Goodbye.’,” he said. “It would be a big favor to political discourse; our ability to do our work here in Congress, and to the American people, to be able to talk with each other and have some faith in their government and more importantly, in their future.”
This comes, of course, hot on the heels of Jon Stewart’s enormous and successful Rally to Restore Sanity.
Some commentators have voiced frustration at Sen. Rockefeller’s comparison of FOX to MSNBC, as if the two of them are equally guilty of partisan hyperbole. Others have questioned the Senator’s implication that perhaps our elected representatives can’t “do our work here” with commentary in the background.
Is this an attempt to squeeze out free speech, or is it a plea for more rational discourse? Is it time to bring back the Fairness Doctrine? Does the far right’s undeniable dominance of talk radio, coupled with the obsequious toadying of the main stream media during the Bush years, mean that both sides need a muzzle? Is this another example of a spineless Democrat refusing to stand up for Progressive principles, in favor of trying to appear even-handed?
What are your thoughts?