Unf*cking The Republic® (UNFTR)Unf*cking The Republic® (UNFTR)

The FCC: On the death of the fairness doctrine.

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This week we finally heed the call to Unf*ck the Federal Communications Commission (FCC.) We don’t get all the way there (it’s been around since 1934) but we manage to tackle the fairness doctrine, which was intended to provide balance and equal time in broadcasting and was repealed in 1987. Many credit this Reagan-era move as the beginning of the end of civility, leading to the divide in the nation today. But, of course, the story behind the doctrine is far more nuanced. We review a history of the FCC, its limitations and whether or not the fairness doctrine ever really had a place in America given the natural tension with the First Amendment.

Visit the episode's accompanying site page.


Intro: 00:03:53

Chapter One: What is the FCC and why should we give a shit? 00:04:51

Chapter Two: To be fair, it was never really a doctrine. 00:13:35

Chapter Three: Fairness in the eye of the withholder. 00:24:57

Chapter Four: Bring it home, Max. 00:33:27

Post Show Musings: 00:39:36

Book Love: 00:40:22

Outro: 00:49:35


FCC Website

Congressional Quarterly: Broadcasting Deregulation

UNFTR Episode Resources

Manufacturing Dissent: How We Let an Aussie Destroy the U.S.

The Economics of Racism: Bootstraps, Black Banks and Redlining.

Book Love

Steven J. Simmons: The Fairness Doctrine and the Media

Brian J. Karem: Free the Press: The Death of American Journalism and How to Revive It

Ken Auletta: Backstory: Inside the Business of News

Bernard Harcourt: The Illusion of Free Markets: Punishment and the Myth of Natural Order


If you like #UNFTR, please leave us a rating and review on Apple Podcasts: unftr.com/rate and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @UNFTRpod. Visit us online at unftr.com.

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Check out the UNFTR Pod Love playlist on Spotify: spoti.fi/3yzIlUP.

Visit our bookshop.org page at bookshop.org/shop/UNFTRpod to find the full UNFTR book list, and find book recommendations from our Unf*ckers at bookshop.org/lists/unf-cker-book-recommendations.

Access the UNFTR Musicless feed by following the instructions at unftr.com/accessibility.

Unf*cking the Republic is produced by 99 and engineered by Manny Faces Media (mannyfacesmedia.com). Original music is by Tom McGovern (tommcgovern.com). The show is written by free speech and distributed by shut the fuck up.

Podcast art description: Image of the US Constitution ripped in the middle revealing white text on a blue background that says, "Unf*cking the Republic."

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Unf*cking The Republic® (UNFTR)

Unf*cking The Republic® (UNFTR) is a series of audio essays on the grand American experiment lovingl 
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