Brian Malloney at the Radio Equalizer has a hard-hitting piece about Michigan Senator Debbie Stabbenow (D-MI) and her support for a renewed version of the “Fairness’ Doctrine. The “Fairness” Doctrine would requpre TV and radio shows to give both points of view, and would mean sweeping changes to Talk Radio as we know it.
As frequent targets of conservative Talk Radio, many Democrats support the “Fairness” Doctrine for the damage it would do to largely conservative Talk Radio. Stabbenow’s support comes from the fact that it would provide a huge boost to the career of her husband Tom Athans, an early supporter of the failed Air America Libtalk network.
Athans first found a role in “progressive” talk radio back in 2004 as CEO of Democracy Radio, which preceded Air America and whose programming (Ed Schultz and Stephanie Miller) was ultimately absorbed by Jones Radio Networks (now part of Dial Global).
In November 2005, we reported exclusively that Athans had received a cushy (if not downright fishy) deal to establish a “DC office” for Air America Radio, at an annual salary of $165,000 once he went full time in 2006. His job duties were fuzzy at best and any real results even harder to quantify. At the time, we wondered if he was hired simply to gain political access to Stabenow.
Lasting less than a year in that position, Athans left Air America once it could no longer afford him, departing to start yet another liberal talk radio network, Talk USA Radio. What ultimately became of that venture is anyone’s guess.
Air America’s Zier supports the Fairness Doctrine most likely because it would compel successful conservative stations to carry unpopular liberal programs in the name of “balance”. That could open up a tremendous number of new opportunities for Athans, given his background in the industry, which would certainly benefit his family financially.
Hmmm . . . another Democrap who will benefit by pushing through dishonest legislation. Why am I not surprised.
Mallonee’s article is excellent, as usual. His stuff his highly underrated; if you love radio as a medium, you should bookmark his sites and read them daily. Great Stuff.