Whenever I Start To Have Doubts…

…about Minnesota’s senior senator, he seems – so far – to find a way to come through.

Via Ed, I see Norm beat Turban Durbin like a baby seal in a debate on the “Fairness” Doctrine.

By way of blocking a Coleman amendment that would have barred the government from regulating content of political broadcasting, Durbin replied:

Mr. Durbin: …But the senator is arguing that the marketplace can provide. What is the senator’s response if the marketplace fails to provide? What is the marketplace does not provide opportunities to hear both points of view? Since the people who are seeking the licenses are using America’s airwaves, does the government, speaking for the people of this country, have any interest at that point to step in and make sure there is a despair balanced approach to the –a fair and balanced approach to the information given to the American people?

The correct answers are:

    1. No
    2. Do you, Senator Durbin, think the American people don’t have access to every possible point of view, right now?  In fact, do you believe that Americans have access to fewer points of view than we had 20 years ago?  Clearly, that is not the case.
    3. Again, no.

 Coleman responds:

Mr. Coleman: …The government does not — does not — have the responsibility to regulate content of speech. That’s what the first amendment is about. It’s exactly what the first amendment is about. Government’s not supposed to be regulating content. And in a time in 1949 when you had three network TV stations, basically, when had you limited channels of communication, I presume there was a legitimate concern on the part of some that, in fact, government needs to step in and ensure balance. But now we’re in 2007. We’re at a time where we’ve got 20,000, you know, opportunities for stations and satellite, where you have cable, you have blogs, you have a whole range of information…John Kennedy stated, “we are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.” Mr. President, I’m not afraid of of — of the people. I’m not afraid of the people having access to the in information, ideas that they want to have access to. But I am afraid of the government stepping in and regulating content…They should be able to tune into whatever they want to tune into and they shouldn’t be thinking that back home someone at the FCC is listening and monitoring and deciding what is fair and what is balanced. Let the people decide. Let the market decide. Let the first amendment flourish.

Kudos to Senator Coleman.  He made a great argument for freedom.

Of course, the Democrats’ push to re-instate the “Fairness” doctrine isn’t about freedom.  It’s not even about making sure people get “fair and balanced” information (since the market has clearly done that in spades). 

It’s about shutting down dissent from the dominant liberal media establishment.

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