Santa Cruz Indymedia :
Santa Cruz Indymedia

Re: FCC Coming to Monterey on July 21; Santa Cruz Organizing Meeting TOMORROW

Statement of Jeff Chester, executive director, Center for Digital Democracy, on today's Third Circuit decision on the FCC's Media Ownership Rules.-June 24, 2004

Note: CDD was one of the petitioners in the case, along with Consumers Union and the Consumer Federation of America. It was represented by Media Access Project.

Today, the Court delivered a judgment that almost everyone but FCC Chair Michael Powell and his two GOP colleagues knew was coming: That the FCC decision on media ownership on June 2, 2003, was fatally flawed. Under Powell, the FCC embarked on a "rush to judgment" that promoted dangerous deregulation of the nation's media ownership rules. The GOP majority was so convinced by its ideological perspectives that it failed to conduct public hearings (except one) and to engage in serious independent scholarship and analysis. To be honest, there is a striking and disturbing parallel between the Powell's FCC fixation that the nation's newspaper, broadcast, and network television was so diverse that ownership safeguards could be jettisoned, and the Administration's Iraq policy that also appears to have been shaped by preconception--not facts.

The review ordered today by the Court provides the country with a new opportunity to debate and review more seriously the policies that determine how the First Amendment should best serve the public and the press. This time, millions of Americans will be closely watching how the country's media lobbyists, including the four TV networks, and the Commissioners create an agenda that addresses this issue in a way our democracy deserves.

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