Senator Debbie Stabenow & the Fairness Doctrine: Stalking the First Amendment

quilandinkIn recent weeks Republican legislators received their listening orders from headquarters when Obama told them to stop listening to Rush Limbaugh if they wanted to get along with Obama and his administration.  Rush Limbaugh, conservative talk radio host, already in the thick of it for commenting that he hoped Obama’s socialist policies failed, seemed simultaneously to be respected in the eyes of the people, and targeted by the Oval Office as an adversary.

The mere fact that Rush’s comments over Obama’s policies  created such a malicious backlash should be enough to raise the eyebrows of any American with even an eighth grade History class under their belt.  But creating a hateful backlash nationwide is precisely what Rush’s statements did. 

From petitions opposing Rush, to mainstream media touting his statements out of context, Rush came under fire for disagreeing with Obama. 

When it is all said and done, when the petitions posted online get delivered and the news media stops reporting on a hot topic, that is the essence of what Rush did: He disagreed with Obama. Period. Thats it, nothing more. Except this: The subject matter that Rush disagreed with. It’s important. 

What exactly did Rush Limbaugh say? Did he say he hoped our country failed? Did he say he hoped America would fall under the watch of the Obama administration? 

Such comments might indeed, justifiably generate the outrage with the bullseye leveled at Rush Limbaugh, if they were indeed the context or actual verbage of his comments. But they were not: What Rush stated was that he hoped Obama’s socialist policies failed.

The fact that such a belief or concept should be so unpopular in the land of the free is a dire warning to the land of the free.  Why any American should take umbrage with such a statement is a total mystery to many.

America is in serious jeopardy when opposing socialism brands one of our public or private citizens on the street, or on paper, or on the airways, as a target for government opposition. But Obama’s statement did just that: It branded an American who disagrees with Obama as a target – and made of Rush Limbaugh, a public figure, a target of shunning and malicious character assassinations for nothing more than opposing socialism.

One particular American agreed so much with Obama, that she intends to do all within her legislative power to silence such voices of dissent as Limbaugh specifically and Conservative talk radio in general.  Were this a housewife in Topeka Kansas, the 1st Amendment might be deemed a little more secure in the face of her efforts. But this is not a housewife in Topeka Kansas; This is Senator Debbie Stabenow, Democrat-Michigan. 

Few Americans beyond the borders of Michigan who are not involved in special interest groups are likely to be familiar with Debbie Stabenow – apart from a scandal in which her husband was arrested when he paid a prostitute $150.00 for oral sex in a hotel room. 

Tom Athans, Debbie Stabenow’s straying husband, is also widely known as a Liberal Left radio mogul.   

Former founder of the now defunct “Democracy Radio”, former executive vice president of the liberal broadcasting “Air America”, and current co-founder of liberal “TalkUSA Radio”, Tom Athans has been giving it all he’s got to make a mark in far left liberal broadcasting for a number of years. His failing efforts have led both his wife, Senator Debbie Stabenow, and Tom Athans himself, to be vicious advocates of the Fairness Doctrine.

After all, money is on the line here and Tom is having trouble finding a significant audience to help him make it – on the air and financially. 

Tom Athans is perhaps best known outside the media for his escapades with a Michigan prostitute he claims to have met online and subsequently paid for oral sex – leading to his very embarrassing bust by Michigan law enforcement in a prostitution sting in April of 2008. 

This incident was covered nationally by the media and many may well recall it.  It was perhaps Debbie’s first less-than-flattering coverage in the left leaning news media. 

Beloved as only far left liberals in power can be by certain special interest groups, Debbie Stabenow’s voting record indicates she is a champion of abortion rights, an advocate for illegal aliens, an adversary to small business owners, and she opposes a strong national defense.  

Debbie has voted against a ban on partial birth abortions, thereby upholding a woman’s right to abort even late term babies and even when the woman’s life is not in danger.  She also voted for the right of minors to cross state lines and obtain an abortion without their parents consent, and for funding and/or grants, for abortions.  

She also voted to limit farming subsidies for American farmers,  and voted against significant tax cuts for aid to small businesses who supply over 80% of American jobs – though she voted for securing federal funding for “Sanctuary Cities” for illegal aliens; voted to allow illegal aliens the right to participate in Social Security; and voted “no” on requiring that English be the official language of the United States Government. 

She has also voted to loosen restrictions on cell phone tapping and voted in favor of lawsuits against gun manufacturers. For an in-depth analysis of Debbie Stabenow’s personal and legislative views as well as her voting record, click here.

Following in the footsteps of Obama’s personal attack against Rush Limbaugh – and Limbaugh’s on air remarks that he hoped socialism failed in America – Debbie Stabenow stated in an interview last week with Politico that the need was definitely there for a return of the Fairness Doctrine and, in keeping with her view, she stated she had taken steps to the beat of Nancy Pelosi’s drum to insure that it was revived as some sort of “Fairness Standard”  in the upcoming legislative sessions. 

In that interview, she stated she had already taken steps with her colleagues toward this end.  Immediately following this revelation to a Fairness Doctrine leery public, the news followed suit that Debbie’s interest in this issue is not only political, it is personal.

With husband Tom Athan’s repeated failures in liberal radio begging for protection and in need of life support, Debbie has taken it upon herself to instigate the resurrection of the Fairness Doctrine – not as a mere policy on the part of the F.C.C., but on the floor of the Senate as federal law – which will insure that her husband’s, and liberal talk radio’s record of failure, will morph into government mandated success. 

The reality is, the market for liberal radio has failed miserably as repeated efforts to voice their minority opinions to an uninterested and anti-left national audience have proved unsuccessful. 

Even so, Senator Stabenow’s efforts are close to her heart and her political agenda:  Both her husband and her liberal politics are served a vital helping of triumph with the implementation of the Fairness Doctrine. And listeners to talk radio are served an involuntary helping of government mandated far left liberal broadcasting.

In the past the Fairness Doctrine was never law, it was an F.C.C standard which was deemed by the United States Supreme Court to be opposed to the interest of the public, and by the F.C.C. itself to be contrary to the First Amendment.  Thus, it was subsequently removed from F.C.C. policy. 

Since that time liberals have made repeated efforts to revive it, recognizing that it is the only significant ally of their intent to broadcast far left liberal views on the airways.  The vast majority of Americans have demonstrated they have no interest in far left radio, and not only has it not been financially lucrative for its owners, it has been a dismal failure throughout. So the effort to revive the obsolete and constitutionally defiant Fairness Doctrine has repeatedly failed at the same rate that it’s beneficiary, liberal talk radio, has repeatedly failed. 

This time however, it may well succeed in passing.  With strong ally’s at the helm of our country who support the Fairness Doctrine such as Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Madam Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, Debbie Stabenow has already informed us that she has taken steps to insure that it will become a legislative action in the near future, and we have no reason to doubt her statements. 

She may be pro-abortion, pro-illegal alien, and anti-small business, but we have seen no evidence to date to indicate she is a liar. Therefore, we can safely assume she is telling the truth when she states this effort is officially on, and will be coming to the legislative forefront in the near future.

With the liberals currently holding power in the Senate and the House and backers of such a bill as Obama and Pelosi, there is a very real danger that at long last, along with other socialist policies and spending the liberals are succeeding in putting into place in the new administration, the Fairness Doctrine may yet become for the first time, federal law, and implemented nationwide.

For those who would like a little more information on the meaning of such laws in relation to the First Amendment, you’ll find an excellent and in-depth history and analysis of the Fairness Doctrine by the Heritage Foundation, if you click here.  

Finally, as it cannot be emphasized enough that we are truly on the brink of government mandated pro-socialist broadcasting via the Fairness Doctrine, we simply must remind the reader of a certain reality pointed out in an article on the American Thinker website titled “The Fairness Doctrine at Work”, wherein we are reminded that the new F.C.C. will now be Democratically appointed.  In same article, according to Accuracy in Media Editor Cliff Kincaid, it will be “very easy” for the far left House and Senate to now make the Fairness Doctrine law – complete with all the implications of demise for the exercise of the First Amendment in media, and elsewhere.  For the complete article from American Thinker, click here.

It has been said that Obama does not support the Fairness Doctrine, which is not only inacurrate, it is in direct contradiction to Obama’s own statements and seduces the public into believing there is no real threat to the First Amendment because supposedly Obama himself does not support this effort.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  For a truly eye opening view of Obama’s intent to silence talk radio via a revival of the Fairness Doctrine in a clever disguise, I highly recommend an article by Human Events titled “Obama’s New Fairness Doctrine”.  You’ll find the article by clicking here.  Another article by the Washington Times titled “What is Obama’s Fairness Doctrine?” reveals Nancy Pelosi’s blatantly stated agenda and does an excellent analysis of what the Obama administration is truly attempting to pull off from a constitutional perspective.  To read the Washington Times article click here.

The good news is that there are “others”.  Others in positions of influence to stop this stalking of the First Amendment in its tracks, and thus prevent the intended demise of yet another of our fundamental liberties at the hands of the far left liberal wing – who have the same lack of regard for the First Amendment right to free speech, as they do for the Second Amendment right to bear arms. 

One such organization is putting their pen where their mouth is to oppose the dangerous and anti-constitutional efforts embodied in the far left wing’s proposed upcoming Fairness Doctrine legislation.  That organization is the Media Research Center which has formed the Free Speech Alliance.  I encourage every American opposed to the Fairness Doctrine to explore their website and strongly support their efforts. Click here for the Free Speech Alliance website.  For starters, you can join the fight to preserve our First Amendment by signing the petition you will find there.

Even more promising, but in dire need of public awareness and support, are efforts on the part of legislators to protect and defend the First Amendment by putting into place new legislation which would strictly prohibit a reinstituting of the Fairness Doctrine as law.  A bill is currently before the Senate known as “S.34: Broadcast Freedom Act of 2009”, sponsored by Senator Jim Demint (R-SC), and 28 co-sponsors.

This bill would amend the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit the F.C.C. from having the authority to wield the Fairness Doctrine. To read this bill, and track its progress, click here.

While the Senate seeks to legislate S.34, another bill known as “H.R. 226: Broadcasters Freedom Act of 2009”, has been sponsored in the House of Representatives by Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN), and 149 co-sponsors.  This bill is pretty much identical to the bill in the Senate, and seeks to muzzle the F.C.C. from re-instigating the repealed Fairness Doctrine.  To read this bill, and track it’s progress, click here.

The legislators in both the House and the Senate who have sponsored and co-sponsored these bills, are to be applauded and given credit for attempting to preserve our freedom and halt the stalking of the 1st Amendment by left wing liberals via the Fairness Doctrine. 

The fact has been made plainly clear by liberal legislators such as Senator Debbie Stabenow and Speaker Pelosi that the intent is indeed to accomplish reinstating the Fairness Doctrine in legislative sessions in the near future.  This stated agenda should speak volumes to the need Americans have for the passage of the important legislation above which will insure that Debbie Stabenow, Speaker Pelosi, and the far left liberal wing do not succeed and progress from stalking the 1st Amendment to utterly destroying it.

The voices Stabenow and Pelosi seek to silence are not speaking of late on behalf of “Republicans”.  The campaign is finished and this is not, or should not be, a partisan issue. It is a matter of Constitutional rights. The voices they are attempting to silence are now speaking in the aftermath of the election results and demanding that America remain a free republic rather than succumb to the agenda of the far left liberal wing and evolve into a socialist state.

Like Obama, who admonished legislators not to listen to Rush for nothing more than his opposition of socialism, legislators who support the Fairness Doctrine and seek to silence the voices on talk radio are also targeting those who oppose socialism.  No American who values their liberty should support such an endeavor. And every American who opposes such a threat should indeed listen to the voices who stand with them in opposition to the destruction of our liberty.

Don’t listen to Obama telling you not to listen to the voices who oppose socialism. Track the above legislation, and support it. Preserve your freedom and listen to others who are trying to do so while you still can.

Your 1st Amendment rights are being threatened with a goal of silencing those who support those rights.  Tune in. If not to the radio, then to the reality. Halt the erosion of liberty embodied in the Fairness Doctrine and oppose all efforts to reinstate it as law.

“The fairness doctrine, on its face, violates the First Amendment and contravenes the public interest.” ~Conclusion of the F.C.C. in their 1987 “Fairness Report”.

UPDATE: Since the writing of this post, Counter Revolution has done an update on the Fairness Doctrine.  Click here to learn the latest on the Fairness Doctrine from Counter Revolution.  There is  some very good information posted there that sheds further light on this issue.



  1. […] Rights Under Seige? The Pirate’s Pen once again has a strong piece up, this time on efforts to squelch free speech rights via the […]

  2. Great stuff!!!
    Can you please add spot so people like me can send this stuff to our friends and family other than using G-mail?
    This is important stuff to be getting out there so people understand what this country is facing under the current administration. GWB was nothing compared to what is looming.

  3. Hi Kim, and thank you! We’re hoping to reach as many people as we can, we feel this information is important too. We have 2 optiions at this time for subscribing to the Pirate’s Pen. One is via RSS feed, one is via email subscription (it doesn’t matter what email you have, it does not have to be google.) The same holds true for the RSS feed, its not neccessary to use google.

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    I agree with you 100%: This new administration is going to be much worse than GWB. No doubt, our pens will be very busy.

    I hope you’ll subscribe, and thank you again!

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