Time to Occupy the FCC?

December 2, 2011

What is it going to take to make the federal agency tasked with protecting the public interest in broadcasting actually listen to the public?   An uprising of three million people?   A directive from President Obama?   An order from the second highest court in the land?   We've seen all of that, and still nothing has worked.   It may be time to Occupy the FCC.   But I digress.

Just before the big Thanksgiving holiday, the Federal Communications Commission leaked information that they are once again reviewing the broadcast media ownership rules, and that -- get this -- they intend to leave local TV and Radio ownership rules in place, and plan to move ahead with the same newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rules that Republican chair Kevin Martin put into place. 

But wait, don't they remember the 3 million people who wrote them in 2005, saying they want more owners of fewer radio and TV stations, not the other way around?  Or what about President Obama's January 2009 directive, originally reported in BradBlog, that we need to diversify media ownership?   Or the recent Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruling specifically surrounding the newspaper cross ownership issue, which said the FCC had not properly listened to the public, and that they must do so before making such a rule?   

What is it Charlie Brown says every time Lucy pulls the football out from underneath him?     

It gets worse.   True to form, the FCC quietly announced that there would be an FCC hearing about media ownership rules held in Atlanta, Georgia December 1.   They announced the forum in their Daily Digest the day after Thanksgiving, just 6 days before the public event.   The hearing would be the last public event held before the final notice of proposed rulemaking for 2010 Quadrennial Ownership Review is released, the last opportunity for the public to make comments about OUR public airwaves for the next four years!

It is clear the FCC does not want to hear from the very public it serves.

So I am not kidding about Occupying the FCC.   

More.   Soon.


 Occupy Sacramento screened "Broadcast Blues" Thursday evening, and the Occupy protesters are now looking closely at corporate misinformation and fear created by media, especially radio.  What will come of it?  Stay tuned. 


  1. Pffft! Get rid of the FCC.

    And what is with this compliant about ownership? If someone wants to own a company they can. Government shouldn't say who is allowed to own what. And with all of the available media, who cares? We have satellite TV and radio, cable, the internet which has online TV, radio, and podcasts.

    Radio is not overly antiquated, but has enough competition in other forms that even if only one person owned all the radio stations, we still have other choices.

  2. Sue, I just discovered your work. I directed the feature
    doc "Orwell Rolls In His Grave" which was theatrically released in 2004 after film festival runs. That film will be on Link TV again this Friday June 15 at 10PM
    West coast time. www.orwellrollsinhisgrave.com
    I would like to keep in contact - suggest email swaps.
    Keep up the great work. People on the East coast
    like Mark Crispin Miller, people in the mid west
    like McChesney and Mark Karlin are with you. There
    are good ideas out there. All the best.

  3. Sue,

    You and your twisted liberal friends own major media. Why do you need to try and break conservative radio? Your minions don't even listen to talk radio, they are to busy listening to gangster rap and protesting in LGT rallies

  4. Amazing how much people reveal about themselves in these comments, isn't it? Especially the ones who post anonymously... I guess they don't want their family and friends to know what they are saying.