Book Details Politicized Abuse of Broadcasting Rules During Presidential Race

Talk Radio and Presidential Elections: Though it's expected talk radio host will be a headache for Democratic presidents today, President Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic National Committee had the power to retaliate.

Online PR News – 04-November-2012 – Fredericksburg, VA. – With so many conservative talkers skewering President Barack Obama in this election year, it’s difficult to imagine a president enacting political retribution against radio commentators in a country that reveres free political speech and robust debate. But that hasn’t always been the case.

The Right Frequency by Fred Lucas explains how the FCC regulation known as the Fairness Doctrine was once used by politicians to bludgeon opposition political voices on the radio. This reached a high point during the 1964 presidential election.

In 1964, the Democratic National Committee – with the approval of President Lyndon Johnson – targeted conservative, pro-Goldwater, talk radio programs by mounting legal challenges through the Federal Communications Commission. One Johnson administration official later recalled, “Our massive strategy was to use the Fairness Doctrine to challenge and harass right-wing broadcasters and hope that the challenge would be so costly to them that they would be inhibited and decide it was too expensive to continue.”

The book also explains how the Fairness Doctrine was scrapped during the Reagan administration in a policy battle that lasted nearly a decade.

“Today conservative talk radio frequently comes under attack for a combative tone, even ridiculed by government officials, but politicians no longer have the power to target voices they don’t like,” said Lucas, the author and also the White House correspondent for “There has been scattered talk by some members of Congress about bringing back the Fairness Doctrine, but to do so would be radioactive.”

For more information on The Right Frequency, contact Don Bracken of History Publishing Co. at djb-at-historypublishingco-dot-com or at (845) 398-8161, or contact the author Fred Lucas at fredvlucas-at-gmail-dot-com or (703) 859-1836.