Monday, June 30, 2003

Still Perseverating About the FCC

Yes, the June 19th Senate Commerce Committee’s decisions are a major victory regarding overturning the FCC’s vote on June 2nd (see S. 1046 and analysis by John Nichols). Common Cause reports on new legislation June 26th by the Senate Commerce Committee " eliminate a loophole in the FCC rules that allows media giants to evade the limits on how many TV stations they may own nationwide...". offers an excellent compilation of legislative movements in both the Senate and House.

Regarding the chances of S. 1046 passing, Media Reform notes that:
    “…The media reform fight in the Senate requires two things: to push Senator Frist to allow a floor vote on the Stevens-Hollings bill (S. 1046) and to preserve that bill's integrity from any industry-driven amendments to weaken it. (See the June 20th update for details on S. 1046.) “

While the situation in the House looks rather grim, with the burgeoning grassroots support and the current response by the Senate, a wee bit of hope exists.

With both the Senate and House, continued grassroots support is vital and necessary. Please contact (write, email, fax, phone) your Senators and House Representatives.

See also : Ruminate This and Common Cause for more info, especially about steps to take action.

Note: I am curious about Senator McCain’s apparent flip-flop on S.1046. His amendment (requiring divestiture of radio stations) makes this a more stringent bill, a double edged sword since this means it faces an even more difficult battle in the House. Is this merely a symbolic victory? What happens in the media in the meantime?

    “The loss of liberty in general would soon follow the supression (sic) of the liberty of the press; for it is an essential branch of liberty, so perhaps it is preservative of the whole. “ John Peter Zenger (1697-1746)

Info about Zenger's trial here.
Quote is on the dedication page of Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil by Gerard Colby with Charlotte Dennett.

Note: This is an excellent historical perspective about the role of Nelson Rockefeller and the CIA in the plundering of South American oil and mineral resources using evangelism (and genocide). Look for more affordable copies at Best Web Buys. Oops; sorry, it's even more expensive. I'm just realizing this is not an easy book to find. Published by Harper Collins in1995, Colby's book provides the backdrop for the current human rights abuses in South America as covered by Jeanne in Body and Soul. And maybe I'm reaching here, but I wonder if the media coverage of Venezuelan politics as reported by Greg Palast in Alternet is related somehow to the information covered in Colby and Dennett's book.