The Fairness Doctrine is a defunct federal policy which required that federally licensed users of the publicly owned airwaves allow diverse voices to air their perspectives on public property. The doctrine was phased out as cable TV and the Internet greatly broadened opportunities for expression beyond old-fashioned radio and TV.
The intent of the doctrine was to maximize free speech and minimize the role that costly broadcast infrastructure plays in silencing perspectives which aren’t supported by the executives of multibillion-dollar media companies.
To Focus on the Family Action, however, the expression of diverse opinion on public property is a form of “censorship”. Focus seems to suggest that federally owned airwaves should be wholly controlled by those lucky few who have millions of dollars in cash and billions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure at their disposal.
Limiting media access to large companies, according to Focus, preserves free speech. Granting diverse taxpayers a voice on government-owned airwaves, Focus says, is “censorship.”
Valid arguments can be made for and against the Fairness Doctrine. But Focus takes the low road, projecting its own desire for suppression of free speech onto those who defend diverse, robust, and civil public conversation.