The FCC's Rape of the Public Interest

You've got to love the rhetorical softness employed by the media conglomerates to report the FCC's recent rewriting of our country's media ownership rules. They gingerly noted in headlines that the old rules had been "relaxed," "eased," or "loosened" -- as if the FCC's action were a minor adjustment to an old belt.

No, it wasn't. The FCC action was reglulatory rape, stripping the belt off and ripping apart the rules that protect our public airwaves from monopoly control. This was an orchestrated power play plotted by three Republican ideological nutballs on the FCC and by the top executives of the major media conglomerates -- executives who gave generously to George's election and are now being allowed to collect their reward... at the expense of you, me, and our democracy.

The FCC's new monopoly-friendly rules mean that if you live in a sizable city, Rupert Murdoch of Fox or Mickey Mouse at ABC can practically dictate your daily mass-market news feed. In any city, a single conglomerate can now own two or three television stations, eight radio stations, the cable TV stations, the cable TV system, and the only daily newspaper. In fact, one of these global media conglomerates can buy up enough local television stations to control broadcasting to 90 percent of American households.

This is Big Media's dream -- and they essentially scripted it in the back offices of the FCC. The Center for Public Integrity reports that since the proposal to rewrite the ownership rules first surfaced eight months ago, the CEOs and lobbyists for Murdoch's Fox, Viacom's CBS, Disney's ABC, and other broadcast giants held 71 private, off-the-record, essentially secret meetings with FCC commissioners and top staff.

To learn how you can help stop this dirty deal, call the Media Access Project: 202-232-4300.

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