It’s gotten to the point where you think something must be wrong with you to believe that you deserve better broadcast media, right?
Michael Copps doesn’t think so:
We, the American people have given broadcasters free use of the nation’s most valuable spectrum, and we expect something in return. We expect this.
First, a right to media that strengthens our democracy;
Second, a right to local stations that are actually local;
Third, a right to media that looks and sounds like America;
Fourth, a right to news that isn’t canned and radio playlists that aren’t for sale; and
Fifth, a right to programming that isn’t so damned bad so damned often
Neither does the other liberal FCC commissioner, Jonathan Adelstein:
If a bad Order comes out of the FCC, let’s not just bury it. Let’s bury it six feet deep! When the FCC goes too far in rolling back media ownership limits, if you demand it, Congress can send it right to the dumpster of history where it belongs!
Even better, let’s keep bad rules from coming out in the first place. We have a new Commission, one that has seen the damage you can do to policies that neglect the people we’re supposed to serve. You need to send the message loud and clear: if the FCC dramatically rolls back the media ownership protections, it will get vetoed by Congress. So don’t even bother trying.
I’ve been pounding on the issue of media democracy over and over again, because it really matters to well-being of our communities. It especially matters to our communities here in New Orleans where media owners don’t just control the content, they control the space, and the tone of the dialog (if there’s any dialog at all).
Here’s what I wrote in a post on the Free Press Conference for Media Reform:
Help New Orleans rebuild by helping our community acquire an independent, community-run radio station that serves as the authentic voice of our community’s needs.
New Orleanians are straining under the burden of having to master so much information in a constantly shifting policy environment. As a practical matter, autocratic, corporate institutions could never provide the array of perspectives that a large community can offer. But more importantly, everyone knows how contemptuously uninformed talk radio hosts can be, vilifying anyone who disagrees with their right-wing perspectives. I’m not just talking about the syndicated usual characters — I’m talking about partisan local hosts across the spectrum who are completely unqualified for their jobs. Of course, in a place like New Orleans, threatened as it is by the possibility of sea level rises as the globe warms up, it’s a complete insult to be subjugated to reactionary comments of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity attacking the consensus of scientific understanding and empirical evidence supporting global warming. How could any corporate radio owner justify those views as serving our community?
We need community radio to rebuild our lives, our homes, and our neighborhoods. It isn’t just a luxury. It’s indispensable to the recovery. Join us in the cause. There is no better place than post-Katrina New Orleans to create a model for a truly community-run radio station.
Laissez la révolution rouler