Thomas Hazlett, writing in the Weekly Standard, is praising Dan Rather–for helping sink the FCC’s Fairness Doctrine in 1987:
Today, talk radio, cable TV networks, and Internet websites all benefit from the First Amendment’s protection of electronic media. No single regulatory action advanced that constitutional shield further than the deregulation of broadcast content in August 1987.
Conservatives have been rejoicing over Rather’s departure. A
glance at their own ranks, however, reveals a number of prominent organizations–the Eagle Forum, Accuracy in Media, and the National Rifle Association–that supported the Fairness Doctrine and petitioned the government to extend it. These conservatives got perfectly wrong what Rather got exactly right. Americans ought to clink their glasses one extra time, without irony, for an anchor who helped new networks take sail.
Wonder if Rather would do it again, now knowing what it helped to create?