Sorry I can't talk about this stuff more today (no time till the weekend), but I did want to make sure you saw this message from Move On about what happened Wednesday, June 4, 2003 between Congress and the FCC. Namely, that Congress basically told the FCC to not be so hasty. I'm still trying to understand completely how the power struggle will operate from here and I promise when I figure it out I'll let you know.
For know, here's the scoop on what you can do to take this to the next level:
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Senators and let them know that you want the FCC's rules repealed.
You can take action now at:
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 raised over $180,000 to pay for print and TV ads,
which we ran in partnership 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
Here's direct link to the Real video feed of the Congress hearing on the FCC changing its media ownership rules that took place on Wednesday, June 4, 2003.
You may not have seen anything on television in the news this week about the FCC Media Ownership Vote, probably because the five media conglomerates that own the news didn't think it was important to tell you about it. (And that's what happens when there are only five different companies deciding what you see and don't see on television.)
Luckily, The Daily Show came through with a full report.
Daily Show On FCC Vote (Small - 10 MB)
Daily Show On FCC Vote (Hi-res - 91 MB)
The Daily Show (the best news on television).
The group Black Voices For Peace were protesting yesterday outside of the FCC Building in Washington D.C. during yesterday's meeting.
This is a really solid and concise three minute explanation about the greater situation and how groups such as Black Voices For Peace, and others, are starting to organize to help raise public awareness about Media Consolidation and other issues.
Damu Smith, President, Black Voices For Peace - Complete Interview
Here's most of FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein's speech from yesterday's FCC meeting. (I missed the very beginning of it.)
He gave his speech, received polite applause, and before the applause was even over, Michael Powell took a vote, democracy went down the drain, and the meeting was adjourned.
That's when the Code Pink ladies began singing their song and were escorted out of the room by the cops.
No Hi-res or highlight reels on this one guys. There's just no time.
If anyone ever really needs a high resolution version of this for something, just let me know and I'll generate one for you (even on short notice).
FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein - Near Complete
Here's a little web movie of the very end of fcc commissioner Jonathan Adelstein's speech before the vote was taken and Medea Benjamin (Media Alliance, Code Pink) and Victoria Cunningham (Code Pink) and other Code Pinkers that you can't see off camera (including Rebecca Stone Gordon, Adjunct Professor, Computer Science, Audio Technology and Physics at American University) started singing "the mass deregulation of the mass communication is the end of democracy" and got taken away by police:
Code Pink Protests The FCC Deregulation Of Media Ownership Rules (Small - 4 MB)
Code Pink Protests The FCC Deregulation Of Media Ownership Rules (Hi-res - 44 MB)
Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein's speech will be in the same directory later today:
This work is dedicated to the
Public Domain. (Take it and run, baby!)
Wow I just recorded Medea Benjamin, Founding Director of Global Exchange and co-founder of Code Pink and Friends getting taken away by police immediately after the vote was taken on the media ownership rules in Washington DC today.
Maybe they woke up Jesse Jackson. (He was falling asleep in the audience :-)
From the CSPAN footage, it looks like they broke up the meeting over it.
I guess things were over with anyway at that point.
Commissioner Adelstein gave a nice speech at the end there, too.
I'll have this stuff up in an hour or so max. Capturing and generating movie files now...