This is really important. Our Internet is threatened by the AT&T merger
FCC Chairman Martin would like to literally force through before the next
Congress comes in. He wants to deliver this little holiday gift to the
he so proudly has represented that he's trying to force FCC Commissioner
McDowell, who had correctly recused himself from voting on the merger, to
ethical standards in order to break the 2-2 tie.
PLEASE TAKE ACTION NOW--SAVE OUR INTERNET--STOP THIS MERGER go to:
What, you haven't taken action yet? Without the Internet being free and
open to us- we will have no way to communicate! We all know how hard it is to
be fighting to regain what the broadcast media, in collusion with our
government, has taken from us. DON'T LET THAT HAPPEN WITH THE INTERNET!
And speaking about fighting to reclaim what's rightfully ours-- our
airwaves--our free press-- thank you all for a terrific turn out at FDR's on
and thank you Commissioner Copps for this wonderful Op Ed you wrote in
response. We have 13 days left to get our responses into the FCC- if you
done that yet- go to our blog and we'll send them in for you and
If you're a Dutchess County resident- get your local government to stand up
for you-- Go to _http://freepress.net/news/19306_
(http://freepress.net/news/19306) and see County Legislator Joel Tyner's
Resolution Asking FCC for Media Monopoly Protection Sought by Duchess County
sign the _The Ten-Point Plan for Media Democracy Petition_
PLEASE SHOW UP- MONDAY, DECEMBER 18th, 7:30- AT THE DUTCHESS COUNTY
LEGISLATURE 22 Market St. Poughkeepsie
-- IF YOU SHOW UP WE CAN PASS THE RESOLUTION--
(WHILE WE'RE ALL THERE MAYBE WE CAN TALK ABOUT THOSE VOTING MACHINES THEY'RE
GOING TO HAVE TO BE MAKING A DECISION ON VERY SHORTLY-- MORE ON THAT NEXT
Thanks to everyone for taking action and thank you in advance for showing up
Monday night, December 18th at 7:30, Dutchess County Legislature, 22 Market
St. Poughkeepsie, NY.
Northeast Citizens for Responsible Media
This is Commissioner Michael Copps' Inspirational piece on our Public
Hearing-- thank you Commissioner Copps.
Three weeks ago, I was invited by the Northeast Citizens for Responsible
Media and Congressman Maurice Hinchey to visit Hyde Park for a hearing on local
media. I accepted immediately.
Now I have to admit - this was a little bit business and a little bit
pleasure. As a Commissioner at the Federal Communciations Commission, I'm
eager to get out from behind my desk and hear what Americans think about their
local media. But I also couldn't pass up the chance to attend a hearing so
near the home of that giant of the twentieth century- and my personal hero -
Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
FDR understood the power of the media and he understood how it could be used
for good-to inform the public, encourage discourse, and bring communities
closer together. He relied heavily on radio to ensure that his history-making
"fireside chats" were broadcast across the nation in order to bring him and
his message closer to the citizenry. But he also understood and supported
that opposing voices should also be heard and that this new medium of radio
could be used to nourish and grow American democracy. He knew that too much
media power in too few hands would work to the detriment of democracy and he
worked to keep such aggregations of power checked.
The importance of the many lessons FDR taught us have not diminished with
time. Soon, the Federal Communications Commission - a New Deal creation- will
deciding whether to allow a small number of media giants to buy up the
remaining local broadcasters and other media outlets across the land. Three
ago - in a process seemingly designed to exclude public comment - a
at the FCC voted (over my objection) to scrap many of the ownership limits
previously in existence. Instead, the agency's new rules allowed a single
corporation to dominate local media markets by merging the community's TV
stations, radio stations, newspaper and other outlets. A storm of public
Three million citizens contacted the FCC to express their opposition to the
new rules. I didn't know that three million people knew the FCC even
existed! But these concerned Americans contacted us out of a strong belief that we
desperately need rules to prevent "one-size-fits-all" news from becoming
the acceptable standard in our communities.
Congress went on record with its opposition, too. And then a federal court
found the rules both substantively and procedurally flawed and sent them back
to us to rework. Several months ago, the FCC launched a review of these very
So a new dialogue is underway. But this time, it needs to be much more than
an inside-the-Beltway discussion between a government agency and a few
mega-corporations. Let's remember that American citizens own the airwaves, not
and radio executives. We give broadcasters the right to use these airwaves
for free. They earn profits using this public resource in exchange for their
agreement to broadcast in the public interest. But we need to make sure that
broadcasters hold up their end of the bargain.
I left Hyde Park with a lot of hope in my heart that we're going to win this
fight. Hundreds of citizens turned out, through less than welcoming
weather, to take part in a truly inspiring meeting. This was due in no small
to the outstanding organizing of Andi Novick and her staff at Northeast
Citizens for Responsible Media. But I think it also shows that the citizens of
New York are fed up with the current media environment. And- as the famous
from Paddy Chayefsky's Network goes- they are not going to take it anymore!
At the end of the day, it is citizen action, involvement and commitment of
the sort I saw up in Hyde Park that is going to make the difference. I
believe we have the best chance in our generation to settle this issue of who
control our media and for what purposes. But it will take a lot of us,
working together, to make it happen.
Think about what a sweet victory this can be-because if you and I do what we
should be doing, at the end of the debate we can have airwaves of, by and
for the American people. We can have a media that reflects and nourishes our
democracy. I believe the American people want a New Deal for how their
airwaves are used. Let's go get it for them.
Michael J. Copps is a commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission.