Actually, freedom of speech doesn't cover ALL speech. At all. If you yell fire in a crowded theater and people trample each other in the panic ensuing, then you're gonna get busted for that. If you damage someone's career or lifestyle by lying about them, you're gonna get punished for that. Not only is there no such thing as universally free speech, having that would be a bad thing.
Agreed, you can yell fire in a crowded theater. you'll just get in trouble for causing a panic. You have every right to say it if you're an idiot and want to deal with the consequences. Common sense stops most people from doing that though.
As for hurtful things? that's a vague term, otherwise the KKK parades and people like the WBC would be shut down because what the message they say is hurtful to alot of people. Yet those people can still say more or less what they will.
And it wouldn't limit what people COULD say about a candidate. It would probably just limit what they WOULD say about a candidate. And it's perfectly fair for the opposing side to be able to defend themselves. The media people could say all they want, and then the opposing side could defend with whatever. Doesn't affect what people can and can't say any more than the laws we already have in place.
Limit what they 'would' say? Why? If it limits what they would say, that is a limitation on free speech. The freedom of speech clause, I believe, the Supreme Court has said repeatedly is for all speech, and mainly for political speech. You cannot censor political speech. It struck down part of the McCain (McCain/Finegold act?) bill passed in this last decade that restricted any 'attack' ads against political candidates that ran within a certain time period before an election. It was stated that that part restricted free speech, so it was removed.
And a bunch of people would have trouble coping. But hopefully that would just result in the people who couldn't cope losing their jobs and being replaced with better, more informative, news persons.
Then try and make the news organizations more accountable and hold to better standards from the inside. What about the talk shows then? On TV, the radio and cable/satellite? Would commentary and talk shows on them have to conform or would only news shows?
A stricter governmental control on that would be abused. I cannot see how it wouldn't be abused sooner rather than later.
'Say what we want you to say or we will fine you or remove your licence to broadcast.'
By forcing them to put on the other side, you limit what they can and do say and making them say things they might not want. Aside from news shows, aren't most of the shows (not including the obvious entertainment shows) more or less commentary or talkshows? What classifies as a news show?