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Julius Genachowski, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission

The controversial Fairness Doctrine and 82 other rules governing electronic media were deemed obsolete and, therefore, abandoned by the FCC on Monday.

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski called the rules “outdated” and said they were being removed to lessen the burdens of regulation on media companies. The decision also includes significant reductions in satellite and broadcasting license fees, various media outlets reported.

The shake-up is part of the FCC’s focus on eliminating rules that are no longer needed and revising others to reflect changes in technology, Genachowski said.

Ditching the Fairness Doctrine is bound to get the most attention, however. An idea that was meant to force radio broadcasters into offering as much left wing political content as they offer right wing commentary, the doctrine has not been enforced since President Ronald Reagan deemed it unnecessary at best and an infringement of free speech at worst. Until today, the rule was still technically on the books.

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