No one would claim that war critics are being shut out of the media entirely. But don't we have the right to equal time on TV? Why should the president be allowed to monopolize the nation's airwaves? If this were happening in Venezuela, self-styled press freedom advocates would be having a cow.
After the president's State of the Union speech, a response speech is broadcast. Why not now?
Public opinion -- including a majority of Democrats, a majority of Republicans, and a majority of Independents -- is against the war. Passionate public opinion is even more lopsided. "There are now both Democratic and Republican members of Congress who have reported that their emails and letters and phone calls to their office are running more than a hundred to one against this," Rep. Alan Grayson told Democracy Now.
Shouldn't this entitle us to equal time in the broadcast media -- equal time of equal prominence?
MoveOn is running TV ads against the war in proximity to the president's speech. But should war critics have to pay for broadcast media access when war supporters get it for free?
We have certainly Democratic Members of Congress who could give a speech to counter the president's speech. Alan Grayson tells us in the New York Times that the administration won't share with Congress the intelligence reports that are purported to justify the war. Decorated Iraq veteran Tammy Duckworth is adamantly opposed, and said, "When Washington decides to use military force "it's military families like mine that are the first to bleed." Charlie Rangel says there's no such thing as a "limited war" in Syria. Jim McGovern says the president should withdraw the Syria war authorization request.
I realize that the Fairness Doctrine is no longer enforced by the FCC. But perhaps public opinion could enforce it. How about we agitate with @MSNBC, @CNN, and @NPRnews, urging them to broadcast a Congressional response to the president's war speech?
Follow Robert Naiman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/naiman
Original article on Huffington Post