There was some action today on two causes that we’ve been hearing about for a while–one that had been called for by the left and the other by the right. On the first, Defense Secretary Gates announced an end to the ban on media coverage of military coffins returning to U.S. soil, a restriction that has been in place since 1991 and became particularly controversial as the number of deaths from the war in Iraq crept ever higher.
On the second, the Senate instituted a different kind of ban, voting for an amendment barring the Federal Communications Commission from revisiting the Fairness Doctrine. President Obama had already declared that he didn’t expect a new version of the Fairness Doctrine to be implemented, nor did he intend to ask the FCC to do so. But conservative rhetoric around the issue–which they claimed would be sought in order to hurt conservative media outlets–had built to a fever pitch on talk radio, Fox News, and in fundraising letters. It’s actually somewhat surprising that the GOP chose to take such a galvanizing issue off the table. I suppose we’ll have to tune into Hannity tonight to find out what new cause will replace it.