The Radio Right and The Fairness Doctrine

Critics of social media’s monopoly power like Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz might be surprised to learn that they have much in common with progressive broadcast reformers of the mid-20th century.

In his book The Radio Right: How a Band of Broadcasters Took on the Federal Government and Built the Modern Conservative Movement, Paul Matzko, Editor for Tech and Innovation at Cato’s, documents the fascinating history of how the “Fairness Doctrine” was used to undermine the free speech rights of conservative radio broadcasters. From the Kennedy until Carter, Presidents weaponized FCC regulations to target dissenting voices under the guise of the public interest.

As a long-time radio host and active user of social media, I want to see free speech flourish. Does that mean requiring radio stations to give equal airtime to competing points of view as the Fairness Doctrine required? Or forcing social media companies to host every conservative point of view on their platforms, as Hawley’s reforms would require them to do?

Perhaps today’s conservative crusaders against Facebook have the “free speech” argument backwards. I’d much rather live in a world where government has less power to regulate all media – whether traditional print, radio, or modern social media and podcasting.

Tune to hear Paul Matzko tell “The Sordid History of the Fairness Doctrine” and call in with your questions at any time during the show.

The Radio Right
The Radio Right by Paul Matzko

Navigate Post-Censorship Social Media with Confidence

From Parler and Gab to MeWe and Bitchute, learn everything you need to know from my brief guide to the various sites where free speech still lives (allegedly), and how they stack up to the more mainstream competition like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.