As part of a White House-mandated review plan that aims to streamline procedures and regulations at the FCC and other federal agencies, the FCC on Monday announced the elimination of 83 media-related rules that include the broadcast fairness doctrine that was last enforced in 1987. Adopted in 1949, the fairness doctrine requires radio and television broadcasters to provide equal airtime to opposing political viewpoints. Although the fairness doctrine has not been enforced for more than twenty years, the rule has nevertheless remained on the FCC’s books through the present day. While detractors of the fairness doctrine argue the rule is unnecessary in the age of multiple broadcast stations and alternative news outlets that include cable networks and the Internet, some congressional Democrats have advocated in recent years for the doctrine’s reinstatement, citing the rise of conservative talk radio and political polarization. Describing the fairness doctrine as “obsolete,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said he was “pleased we are removing these and other . . . rules from our books” as the fairness doctrine “holds the potential to chill free speech and the free flow of ideas.” Other rules scrapped by the FCC this week include the “broadcast flag,” rules that govern cable programming service tier rates, and various regulations that pertain to broadcast applications. In announcing the FCC’s action, Genachowski further observed that elimination of the fairness doctrine corresponds with the agency’s reform agenda that strives to “reflect changes in technology, thereby clearing the path for greater competition, investment and job creation.” Voicing support for the Obama Administration’s recent Executive Order on Regulation and Independent Agencies that requires the FCC and other agencies to report on their regulatory review efforts by November 8, Genachowski pledged to “continue on this regulatory reform track—thoughtfully and diligently conducting our reviews of existing rules and taking other important steps to meet our statutory obligation and mission in a way that grows our economy, creates jobs and benefits all Americans.”