Tune in to Reclaim the Media's coverage of the final FCC media ownership local hearing TODAY.
The meeting will be held at Town Hall Seattle, 1119 8th Avenue at Seneca Street, from 4:00pm - 11:00pm PST (it may run late due to all the public comment).
But go to Reclaim the Media, and share the love!
The purpose of the meeting is to "involve the public in the process of the 2006 Quadrennial Broadcast Media Ownership Review," although the Republican-dominated FCC GAVE THE PUBLIC ONLY 5 DAYS NOTICE... What's the hurry?
Republican FCC Chair Kevin Martin is trying to fast-track the process that will allow big media companies to get even bigger. That is Mr Martin pictured above in the July 2006 edition of Details magazine, literally in bed with a telecom lobbyist while a radio industry executive stands nearby.
You can't make this stuff up!
According to FreePress.net co-founder and Executive Director Josh Silver, "Seven years ago, Martin was a 33 year-old GOP attorney sent by team Bush to lead the Florida recount. His wife is a former senior counselor to Vice President Cheney, and now serves as a deputy assistant to President Bush."
But mega-media lovers aren't limited to Republicans. After all, the 1996 Telecommunications Act was passed with Clinton/Gore in the White House. That Act eliminated long-standing limits on the number of TV and radio stations one company could own. A buying binge ensued, with companies such as Clear Channel gobbling up over a thousand radio stations, destroying localism and diversity on the airwaves.
Party affiliation is not the problem. The bigger issue is the corporate takeover of our publicly owned airwaves. This starts with the incestuous sleepovers between big media conglomerates, their lobbyists, "regulators" like FCC Chairman Martin, and our representatives in Congress.
What can YOU do? For one, you can tell FCC Chairman Kevin Martin that he should not be having pajama parties with the companies he is supposed to be regulating!
Seriously, Martin wants to let newspapers buy radio and TV stations in the cities where they are published. A current regulation bars companies from owning a daily newspaper and TV or radio station in the same market.
Martin has set a deadline of December 11 for public comments, with the FCC likely to vote a week later on December 18. You can file a comment with the FCC online here. Select "Media Ownership Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking - Docket 06-121," and click "Continue" at the bottom of the page.
To find out more, head over to STOPBIGMEDIA.COM now.
UPDATE 1: Bill Moyers reviews the Seattle conference. Hundreds of people showed up to testify, almost all of them unanimously opposed to the proposed rule change:
UPDATE 2: Two key House lawmakers announced that they would be investigating the FCC, accusing Chairman Kevin Martin of "possible abuse of power."
Rep John D Dingell (D-MI), Chair of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, wrote to Kevin Martin about "concerns about a breakdown in proper procedure" at the FCC:
"Given several events and proceedings over the past year, I am rapidly losing confidence that the commission has been conducting its affairs in an appropriate manner.
Our nation is founded on fair, open, and transparent government, and the FCC is certainly no exception. When that openness and transparency is compromised, so too is public confidence in the agency."
Rep Bart Stupak (D-MI) said:
"I have received several complaints from the public and professionals within the communications industry about how Chairman Martin is conducting business at the FCC.
It is one thing to be an aggressive leader, but many of the allegations indicate possible abuse of power and an attempt to intentionally keep fellow Commissioners in the dark."