FCC head backs end of fairness rule

June 8, 2011 at 4:29 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 8 (UPI) -- The Federal Communications Commission's chief has told House Republicans the defunct Fairness Doctrine will be struck from the books.

The rule, which the FCC stopped enforcing on free speech grounds in 1987, made broadcasters cover controversial issues in a "fair and balanced" fashion and present both sides. Some Democrats have urged its revival.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a longtime opponent of the doctrine, wrote to House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., Monday, The Hill reports.

"I fully support deleting the Fairness Doctrine and related provisions from the Code of Federal Regulations, so that there can be no mistake that what has been a dead letter is truly dead," he said.

Upton and Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., wrote to Genachowski in May, asking him to abolish the rule, citing a drive to clear up outdated regulations.

In a letter sent Wednesday, Upton and Walden thanked Genachowski and asked for details.

"When precisely will you eliminate the Fairness Doctrine and related regulations? What is involved? Do you have the support of your fellow commissioners? How long will it take?" they wrote.

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