We don’t need a fairness doctrine — just a cattle prod

A lot of folks have been saying we should reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, hoping to return some balance to the debate in talk radio.

Count me as someone who thinks a far different change could do a lot more good.

I don’t care who’s talking on the radio, whether his name is Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage, Liddy, Ingraham or any of the other folks the right wing can trot out — as long as they were required to tell the truth.

Take Rush, for example. Please. For years he has equated three words — liberalism, socialism and communism — that are very different. Yet no one ever calls him on it, because he controls the microphone.

Or Sean Hannity. This week he had Rep. Michelle Bachmann (L-Minn) on his show. She’s technically a Republican, but the “L” stands for lunatic. She told him we have to have an “orderly revolution” to prevent President Obama and the Democrats from turning us into a “Marxist” country.

Now even if you concede — which I don’t — that what Obama wants is what Europeans call “Social Democracy,” that’s a long way from Marxism. But Hannity agreed with her, called her a great American and encouraged her in her efforts.

No problem, but here’s where my proposal would come into play.

Anyone wanting to talk on the radio or on television would be hooked up to electrodes. As long as they were telling the truth, or even stretching it a little, no problem. Free speech, y’know.

But when someone comes out with a bald-faced lie, they get an electrical charge. Maybe a small one at first, but with each additional lie, the voltage would double. I don’t know about you, but I’d pay good money to see Rush flopping around and eventually messing his pants because he couldn’t stick to the truth.

I know, I know. There are problems, not least of which the question of who controls the electricity. These things can be worked out. But wouldn’t it be great if the idiots who now say “they couldn’t say it if it wasn’t true” could have proof?

Is this a great country or what?