Obama Stands Up to Bush, the FCC, and Big Media
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John Eggerton at Broadcasting and Cable has the story.
The fight over the Federal Communications Commission's Dec. 18 media-ownership vote set up a potential battle between the current president and a senator who wants to be the next one.
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) Thursday urged the House to follow the Senate's lead and pass a resolution of disapproval, an unusual legislative maneuver that would invalidate the FCC's decision to allow TV and radio stations and newspapers to be co-owned in the top 20 markets, subject to some conditions.
After the Senate approved the measure, Obama, a co-sponsor of the bill, released a statement saying, "I urge my colleagues in the House of Representatives to expeditiously pass the legislation."
He framed the vote, as he has before, as standing up to "Washington special interests," a campaign theme. "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," he said.
The FCC decision to consolidate yet more media was opposed by 99% of public comments. As Paul Rosenberg noted in this comments, this might be the single least popular decision by the Bush administration ever. But Obama, as he did with his media and tech plan, took this further, and called for diversity and representation for the public interest in media ownership.
With ownership levels for minorities and women in media in the low single digits, Obama is really saying that it's time to reshape our media system. In discussing Reagan, one of the great conservative media reformers, remember he made the following comment.
"I didn't' say I liked Ronald Reagan's policies," Obama explained. "What I said was that was the kind of working majority we need to form in order to move a progressive agenda forward."