John Edwards’ Letter To The FCC

Responding to the FCC’s proposed new rules for media ownership, John Edwards has written a letter addressed to Commission chairman Kevin Martin. Like his predecessor Michael Powell (Colin’s boy), Martin has drafted a set of rules aimed at advancing the interests of Big Media conglomerates and permitting them to get even bigger and more powerful. Powell’s initiative was halted by over three million Americans rising up to oppose the media’s power play and now we have to do it all over again.

The letter Edwards sent is a great way to reignite this fire. Edwards is showing the sort of leadership that is in short supply in Washington. He is the only candidate of either party to speak so forcefully on behalf of a diverse and independent media.

Some excerpts:

“I urge you to cease your efforts to radically rewrite the rules preventing excessive media consolidation. You and your fellow commissioners have the responsibility to ensure that our nation’s media is open, democratic and as diverse as the American people, and not – like too much of our economy and our political system today – dominated by the wealthiest Americans, large corporations and their lobbyists.”

“The result of all this over-concentration, Mr. Chairman, is a poorer democracy, with a few loud corporate voices drowning out independent perspectives and local participation.”

“High levels of media consolidation threaten free speech, they tilt the public dialogue towards corporate priorities and away from local concerns, and they make it increasingly difficult for women and people of color to own meaningful stakes in our nation’s media.”

This is the kind of courageous and principled action that we ought to be getting from all of our candidates and representatives. Who do they think they are representing anyway? It certainly is not the people if they continue to act on behalf of giant multinational corporations that are only interested in their own wealth and power.

John Edwards deserves a lot of credit for getting in front of this train. The media is quite capable of ruining the reputation and electoral prospects of candidates they oppose or fear – just ask Howard Dean. I urge everyone to reward Edwards with support, donations, or just a few kind words of appreciation. But it is just as important to let the other primary candidates and current members of Congress hear from us about this. We must flood their email boxes and jam their phones. Visit Stop Big Media for more information and assistance with contacting your representatives.


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