PRESS RELEASE For More Information Contact:
For Immediate Release September 11, 2003
Kalee Kreider 202-246-5295
Kawana Lloyd 240-472-2860 Michelle Mulkey 415-987-7377
Senators Lott and Dorgan Hold News Conference Calling for Rollback of FCC Media Consolidation Rules
Millions Contact Congress: Over 300,000 Signatures to Oppose FCC Action Are Delivered Today
(Washington, DC) -- Today, Senators Trent Lott (R-MS) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) announced new bipartisan opposition to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules that allow further concentration of media ownership. The Senators’ announcement comes as the Senate debates a Resolution of Disapproval, sponsored by the pair, which would repeal all of the new FCC rules. A vote is expected Monday.
Joining the Senators’ call for a rollback of the FCC rules is a diverse group of consumer and citizens groups, as well as a growing tide of public support – more than 340,000 signatures were gathered in recent weeks from MoveOn.org supporting a reversal, and another 300,000 postcards were sent recently by members of the National Rifle Association to the FCC.
“The mega-media corporations have demonstrated a clear and undeniable pattern of abuse and contempt for local community decency standards. A vote to give these corporations more power is a vote to censor independent community voices across this nation. We call upon both houses of Congress to rebuff the FCC’s June 2 decision,” said Brent Bozell, president of the Parents Television Council.
“We’ve gathered 340,000 signatures, with 200,000 of them coming in just two days,” said Eli Pariser, campaigns director for MoveOn.org. “That’s the fastest response rate we have ever had. Americans are demanding that Congress protect their interests, not the special interests.”
The Senate vote comes on the heels of a victory in the Third Circuit Court, which ordered a stay on the implementation of the FCC rules. The stay allows Congress time to act before irreversible harm is done. The FCC rules will come under fire again during the Commerce, Justice, State (CJS) Senate appropriations process at the end of September, when Senators will decide whether to join their House colleagues, who overwhelmingly voted to oppose the FCC’s decision.
“What can’t get lost in this debate is the importance of not only protecting the national television ownership cap, but also maintaining the ban on newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership,” said Free Press President Robert McChesney. “If we lose that, we lose the localism and diversity required by a representative democracy.