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Fairness and Radio

September 05, 1993

I seem to recall that in this country there was a thing called the fairness doctrine, which went away during the Reagan-Bush years. In reading the two articles by Judith Michaelson (Aug. 22-23) regarding the alarming exclusion of minority talk-radio hosts from the airwaves, I was struck by the rather glaring fact that the fairness doctrine was not once mentioned.

Perhaps like the fairness doctrine, certain standards of journalism are no longer operative in this country. The likes of Rush Limbaugh have replaced Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite.

As a resident alien in this land of the allegedly free press, I am very much disturbed by certain obvious trends apparently toward fascism, while the ship of state sails on. Has it not occurred to anyone that there is a conflict of interest between a system that considers a commercial mass communications media under private ownership "free" and the actual practice (not the ideal, mind you) of equal time and access to the purportedly public airwaves?

Whose interests are being served by the present system of allowing private parties to sell access to the public airwaves?

Citizens of this great nation had best wake up and realize what is happening here.

A. MEYYAPPAN

Goleta

*

So conservatives have taken over talk radio. So what? If liberals are so disgusted, they can always turn on television or pick up a newspaper to find "equal time."

Not surprisingly, however, the liberals in the mainstream media have reacted to this trend by invoking their favorite tool--the politics of racial divisiveness. These nasty conservatives are costing hard-working minorities their jobs and further disenfranchising the disenfranchised, so the rhetoric goes.

In truth, the cultural elite couldn't care less about how many minority talk-show hosts lose their jobs. It is concerned solely about losing its stranglehold on the minds of the American public. Rush Limbaugh and Co. must be stopped before 51% of the electorate actually begins agreeing with them.

DANIEL BAREN

Los Angeles

*

The ethnicity of radio talk-show hosts is basically irrelevant to the great majority of listeners.

It is values, intelligence, ability to communicate and the willingness to have a discussion with individuals of opposite views that make for a good host.

The popularity of Dennis Prager is due to the fact that he encompasses all of the above and practically begs individuals with views opposite to his to challenge him.

The vocal mini-minority of individuals whose agenda regards ethnicity as being of primary importance really are demanding ethnicity plus their own radical views. Otherwise, it doesn't count!

MORT ALAN

Canyon Country

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