A few days ago Sen. Byron Dorgan introduced a bill (SJ Res. 28) in the Senate that would overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) disastrous December vote to gut media ownership rules. But there is a catch. The bill will expire unless it is passed in 60 legislative days.
The national media reform group Free Press is asking people to send e-mails to their Senators to tell them that media consolidation is bad for local communities, that it limits opinions and perspectives, and that it is anti-democratic. The activist branch of Free Press, StopBigMedia.com also has this to say about how the public stopped the media giveaway in 2003:
“In 2003, when the FCC tried to do away with all media ownership rules, nearly 3 million people took action, writing their members of Congress, telling their friends and organizing their communities to speak out on this important issue. With that kind of momentum, lawmakers had no choice but to listen. The Senate voted to overturn the FCC decision, before the courts tossed them out altogether.”
“The situation isn’t going to repair itself,” proclaimed Commissioner Copps on the day of the FCC vote last December. “Big media is not going to repair it. This Commission is not going to repair it. But the people, their elected representatives, and attentive courts can repair it. Last time the Commission went down this road, the majority heard and felt the outrage of millions of citizens and Congress and then the court. … Last time a lot of insiders were surprised by the country’s reaction. This time they should be forewarned.”