Common Cause, October 16, 2007
Kevin Martin, the chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has indicated that he wants to vote to loosen media ownership limits by early December.  But he's not saying exactly what the new rules would be.  He wants his agency to make this crucial decision behind closed doors, without public input.
It's eerily similar to what happened in 2003, when the FCC voted in secret to allow one company to control up to eight radio stations, three television stations, the local newspaper and the cable system in a single city.
Tell Congress to rein in Kevin Martin!
In 2003, the courts threw out the FCC's flawed media ownership rules, in large part because the public wasn't part of the process.  But Kevin Martin hasn't learned his lesson.  He wants to lock the public out.  That's not acceptable.
Common Cause members and other activists across the nation have sent hundreds of thousands of comments to the FCC opposing media consolidation.  Those messages ought to mean something.  But if Kevin Martin gets his way, he'll disregard the public's voice and approve new rules without giving us any opportunity to weigh in on the specifics.
Contact your Representative today. Ask him or her to tell the FCC to keep the public in the loop!
If the FCC won't listen to the public, Congress can and should exercise its oversight power.  The media ownership rules govern how we get news and information -- and that's especially important in an election year.  Without diverse sources of information, we can't have a healthy debate about our nation's future, or a healthy democracy.
For the past three years, activists like you have held off a vote on rules that would allow Big Media to get even bigger.  Let's keep the pressure on.  Tell Congress to stand up for us.
Thanks for all you do.

Bob Edgar
President, Common Cause