Last weekend, Clarence Page brought up the Left’s call for re-imposition of the Fairness Doctrine.
Spurred on by Rush Limbuagh’s death and commentators’ observation that his rise to prominence was allowed by Reagan’s abolition of the Fairness Doctrine, liberals think requiring opposing opinions on radio and TV would help balance out talk radio’s current conservative slant.
Of course, there was (and may still be) a liberal talk show channel in Chicago which cannot be described as successful.
But, back to 1974 when the the Regional Transportation Authority referendum was put on the ballot because prime-mover House Speaker W. Robert Blair agreed to allow voters a say (to quell opposition, thinking passage would be a slam dunk with mainly freshmen State Reps. in opposition), the Fairness Doctrine got in the way.
EVERY television and radio station that made an endorsement said the RTA Citizens Committee for Better Transportation-supported referendum should be passed.
I was so opposed, I asked for rebuttal time at each station.
I tried to get other mainly freshman Republican State Representatives to appear, but got no takers.
Adamantly opposed to passage, I cut all of the rebuttals.
There were debates on WIND, WGN and a small FM station whose call letters escape me.
After one, on WGN-AM by Milt Rosenberg, State Rep. Gene Schlickman and I stopped for a drink near O’Hare on the way home.
“Has this campaign made you more conservative?” I asked.
The moderate Republican observed that it had.
I do remember appearing with prominent supporter George Raney, recording the Sunday show the Saturday before the 1974 Primary Election Day.
As we were entering the elevator after the show, he told me, “If we had known you people would have been so opposed, we would have left you out.”
“Now you tell me,” I replied.
In addition to the radio and TV editorials, there were press conferences, again which I could not convince anyone else to conduct.
They would go on and on until I said something that the reporters thought was outrageous…which became the topic of their stories.
We lost the referendum by less than 12,000 votes with obvious vote fraud.
Enough to tip the results, I don’t know.
The newly-created State Board of Elections refused a recount.