In 1949 the FFC introduced the Fairness Doctrine that required those with broadcast licenses to present controversial issues of public importance in a way that was fair and balanced. This doctrine came to an end during the presidency of Ronald Reagen. Not surprisingly, there have been attempts to revive it.
As mentioned in the previous blog, conservatives dominate talk radio and this has lead some folks to think that the government should step in using something like the Fairness Doctrine to force more balance on the airwaves.
If there was evidence that the conservative dominance was the result of questionable means, then it would make sense for the government to get involved. However, it seems likely that existing laws would serve this purpose well enough. Liberal paranoia aside, the mere fact that talk radio is dominated by conservatives is no evidence of misdeeds-no more than the liberal dominance of other media is a clear sign of misdeeds. Rather, much of it seems to be a matter of consumer choice and this is not something that the state should interfere with, unless this choice is somehow being tampered with in illegal ways.
To use an analogy, if the iPod is outselling its competitors, the government has no obligation or right to step in and try to balance things out-as long as Apple is playing fair. However, if a company is coercing customers or abusing a near monopoly, then intervention would be appropriate.
So, if conservatives dominate the airwaves because that is what people want to hear, then the government should do nothing about that. Of course, if there are some sort of shady or illegal reasons behind this dominance, then action would be appropriate.
My guess is that much of the conservative dominance is due to the hosts giving people what they want and they are doing this in a legitimate way-by outdoing their almost nonexistent competition. But, people should not be punished for winning-just for cheating.