Thursday, May 15, 2008

US Senate Overturns FCC Rule

Until December, 2007 it was law that no one person could own all the newspapers, radio, and television stations in one market.
The FCC, in a 3-2 party line vote, "modified" in the words of FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, the rules which would allow such local consolidation of media.
Yes, there were lots of obscure rules in there about if the owner of the #2 newspaper in a market could not buy the #1 TV station, it would have to be like eighth in the market, but if the #1 TV station wanted to buy the #2 newspaper, it would be okay, because the #1 paper would still be "independent."
Got that?
In other words, it was filled with loopholes, and therefore crappy regulation.
So, the Senate has voted to overturn this boondoggle media land grab.
Hooray for them!
Senators Clinton and Obama were co-sponsors along with many others.
Senator Obama had this to say a short while ago...
"Today the Senate stood up to Washington special interests by voting to reverse the FCC's disappointing media consolidation rules that I have fought against," he said. "Our nation's media market must reflect the diverse voices of our population, and it is essential that the FCC promotes the public interest and diversity in ownership."
Senator Inouye, long one of my favorite Senators said...
"In recent years, we have seen an increase in coarse and violent programming, coupled with a decrease in local news and hard-hitting journalism," Inouye said Thursday night. "To say these trends are not in the best interest of the American people, and especially our youngest citizens, is clearly an understatement."
This is a great step made possible by grassroots organizing, beginning, I believe with Hop on over there and spread the love.

Of course, the current occupant of the White House, a certain Mr. Bush has indicated he will veto this measure. That should be fun.

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