On Monday, Michael Powell and his allies on the
Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to authorize media
consolidation. It's a sad day for democracy -- this decision will place the
bulk of our country's newspapers and TV stations in even fewer hands.
Diversity, fairness, and competition will decline as a result.
Luckily, democracy's awful resilient. Congress has the power to overturn these
rule changes. More than 100 members of the House and roughly 20 members of the
Senate asked the FCC not to approve these rule changes at this time. The
members of Congress were right to be concerned, and they have the authority to
act on those concerns now by introducing legislation that will undo these
changes. Our friends at Common Cause have made it easy to contact your
Representatives and Senators and let them know that you want the FCC's rules
You can take action now at: http://causenet.commoncause.org/afr/issues/alert/?alertid=2446521
Thus far, we've had a truly remarkable campaign. Here are some of the
* The Stop Media Monopoly petition now has just under 200,000 signers -- one
of the largest public statements ever made on this issue.
Combined with comments from members of the NRA, Common Cause, the Consumer
Federation of America, and other groups, the FCC has
received over 700,000 comments on this issue. As of last count, about 1 in
1,000 of these supported the rule change. So the FCC
clearly knows where the public stands.
* So many MoveOn and Common Cause members called and emailed the FCC on Friday
that their voicemail system and web site went down. CNN covered the story.
* MoveOn members raise! d over $180,000 to pay for print and TV ads,
which we ran in partn ership with Common Cause and Free Press. The
ads played an instrumental role in making newspapers and TV
stations cover the rule change: the day after they were launched,
the Washington Post discussed them in a front-page story. George
Stephanopoulos showed our TV ad to Michael Powell and Senator John
McCain on Sunday, and grilled them on the media issues. They also
attracted the attention of the New York Times, ABC World News
Tonight, CNN, MSNBC, Newshour with Jim Lehrer, and even The
Guardian in the UK -- and that's only a partial list. Common Cause
President Chellie Pingree and I were both invited on to cable news
shows to debate the issue.
It's pretty clear where Americans stand on this issue: no one wants a
few big companies controlling their access to news and entertainment.
Thank you for being a part of the first stage of an incredible
campaign, and stay tuned for the next steps.
--Carrie, Eli, Joan, Peter, Wes, and Zack
The MoveOn Team
June 4th, 2003