The Senate voted overwhelmingly today to adopt an amendment by Sen. Jim DeMint banning the reinstatement of the so-called Fairness Doctrine.
The amendment, approved on a 87-11 vote, would prevent the draconian speech control last in effect in 1987 from returning. It still must be approved with a vote on the final Senate bill, which must then be reconciled with the House bill with the provision intact.
Even if the amendment survives final legislative wrangling, the fight over government control of speech on the airwaves is far from over. Although, the most high profile battle, the Fairness Doctrine — better called the Censorship Doctrine — is a flash point in an overall legislative and bureaucratic struggle that includes more obscure measures such as local control, diversity boards and other hurdles to license renewal.