Concerned about… the issues?

28Oct08

Points to Adam Thierer at the Technology Liberation Front (and Jesse Walker at Reason magazine) for caring about politics in terms of the issues rather than image:

Jesse Walker has a terrific feature story looking “Beyond the Fairness Doctrine” in this month’s issue of Reason magazine. I highly recommend it. It’s an in-depth exploration of what an Obama Administration means for the future of tech and media policy. Walker rightly opens the piece by noting that “The fairness doctrine is still dead, and it probably will stay dead even if Barack Obama becomes president.” The danger, however, is that an Obama FCC will still pursue a variety of onerous regulatory objectives that could do a great deal of damage to markets and free speech.

Walker touches upon the various issues that will likely be a priority for an Obama Administration and the Left-leaning media reformistas like Free Press, Media Access Project, Public Knowledge, and New America Foundation. Those policy issues include: net neutrality, “localism” mandates and increased “community oversight” regulations, media ownership rules, minority ownership requirements, increased merger meddling, spectrum policy, and other new “public interest” obligations.

I could quote the entire post as an model of reasonable, political discourse without resorting to bumper sticker snipes or scary labels. Even though I’m not sure where I stand on all the topics he listed (I find media ownership to be a particularly tough topic), that he speaks in a language of issues and policy gives me hope for the future of our political discourse.

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