Senate Committee Votes To Rollback FCC's Media Consolidation Plan

Poor Kevin Martin. The Senate is well on its way towards killing his proposal to let newspapers get all freaky and consolidate with television and radio stations. Martin shouldn’t be too surprised: this is exactly what happened the last time a FCC Chairman tried to ram media consolidation down our throats.

“We really do literally have five or six major corporations in this country that determine for the most part what Americans see, hear and read every day,” said Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.), the lead sponsor of the resolution. “I don’t think that’s healthy for our country.”

Dorgan has 25 senators behind his bill, including Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, and is confident it will pass the Senate. A similar bill has been proposed in the House.

The Bush administration has threatened a veto, but Dorgan could try to attach the resolution to a must-pass bill to make it harder for the White House to block.

Back in 2003, then-Chairman Michael Powell’s media consolidation nightmare was downed by the Senate and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. What’s that old adage about people forgetting history being doomed to something?

Senate panel moves against FCC media-ownership rules [L.A. Times]
S.J. 28 – A Joint Resolution Disapproving The Rule Submitted By The Federal Communications Commission With Respect To Broadcast Media Ownership [THOMAS]
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(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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  1. Trai_Dep says:

    Only in America can a President that doesn’t read veto what the other 99.999999999% can.

  2. The Stork says:

    As long as Tribune gets to keep their grandfather clause and doesn’t have to sell off WGN Radio to an out of town group that dilutes the quality, then I say KILL IT WITH FIRE. Consolidation has already hurt the media enough.

    It’s sad that Martin is so wrong on this. He’s a champion for more local accountability on radio (though he doesn’t know how to accomplish it) but then he turns around and allows for more giant corporate buyouts.

  3. BigElectricCat says:

    @The Stork: What you said.

    Deregulation and consolidation has only led to the crappening of American broadcasting. ‘Efficiency’ and ‘economy’ aren’t what the FCC is charged to promote, anyway.

  4. ajn007 says:

    I particularly like how Martin & Co. had a series of town meeting across the US to get feedback from citizens on this proposal. The overwhelming response was negative and against it. And Martin STILL tried to push it through.

  5. TechnoDestructo says:

    @Trai_Dep:
    There are not 100 billion people, in the US or anywhere.

  6. bobblack555 says:

    Aww – Bush vetoing a bill that protects the public in order to bolster big businesses?

    That’s a surprise.

    What an asshole.