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FCC MEDIA CONSOLIDATION RULING ON MONDAY

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It has been estimated that most newspapers in the USA are now owned by just 14 companies, seven companies own most of broadcasting and cable television; and four (YES, FOUR!) companies control 90 percent of radio. It seems that it's not enough that this small a number of people control what people watch, hear, and read in every market in the USA. Imagine that number shrinking due to consolidations, buyouts, and mergers. Picture a world like George Orwell's 1984 with only one company. A move which will ease up what little restrictions on the media can only move us one step forward to that. Moveon.org has the following to report:

    This Monday (June 2nd), FCC Chair Michael Powell will hold his vote on media consolidation. There's nothing special about that date—it's totally arbitrary. The vote will conclude a process which has shown deliberate disregard for the views and opinions of the American people. Powell has refused to even release the actual language of the rule change—it won't be known until after the vote. And he's only held a single meeting to hear the views of the public. Even when a bipartisan group of Senators requested that he give Congress some time to discuss the impact of this change, Powell brushed them off.

    Chairman Powell still has the power to delay the rule change and allow time to have a democratic debate about its consequences. Please call him today and ask him to allow a real public debate on an issue of such massive importance.

    You can reach Powell's office at:
    (202) 418-1000

    Once you've made your call, please let us know at:
    http://moveon.org/fcccall.html

    Our momentum is clearly building: our advertising campaign with Common Cause and Free Press has received a great deal of media attention. Powell was personally quizzed about our Murdoch TV ad on CNBC on Wednesday. A front page article in the Washington Post highlighted our petition and advertisements as important pieces of the groundswell of concern on this issue. Articles in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and even the Guardian in the UK discussed the ads. (Links to some of the articles are below.) Hundreds of thousands of comments have been delivered to the FCC, and we've been told that Powell's aides are "stunned" by the amount of anti-consolidation mail they've received. Together, we have put the FCC Chair on the defensive.

    Even if Powell doesn't reschedule the rule change vote, getting thousands of calls into his office will send a strong message that the public is watching him. Powell doesn't appreciate this kind of pressure: in a recent interview, he said that "I think we're one of the most heavily lobbied federal institutions in the government, probably second only to the United States Congress. I don't, by the way, think that's a particularly good thing." We need to remind him that public involvement in decision making is what democracy is all about.

    Call FCC Chair Michael Powell now at:
    (202) 418-100

    It's not too late to do this process right.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 August 2005 23:47  


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