The report found that 91 percent of weekday talk radio on the top five news/talk chains is conservative. Rather than censor those voices, Halpin says he wants to add more viewpoints to radio, especially local ones, including churches.
But religious broadcasters call such proposals a "stealth fairness doctrine." The public interest, they say, is best served by treating radio and television waves as a free market, where competing opinions vie for audience share. "It's dangerous to wrest control from station managers and put it in the hands of a few Washington bureaucrats," says National Religious Broadcasters general counsel Craig Parshall. Earlier this week, the conservative American Spectator reported that House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Harry Waxman is studying ways to "enforce fairness doctrine-type policies" like those contained in the Center for American Progress report. Which means that a fight over the future of radio may not be so far off after all.