Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Copps Unveils New Media Contract Proposal

Michael Copps -- the guy who for years has stood in the way of the religio-racist right's goal of total control of the Federal Communications Commission -- has a plan:

Half a trillion dollars. That's a conservative valuation of the airwaves that our country lets TV and radio broadcasters use — for free. Any way you slice it, that's an awful lot of money. In fact, it's just about the biggest chunk of change that our government gives to any private industry. And what do the American people — who own the public airwaves, by the way — get in return? Too little news, too much baloney passed off as news. Too little quality entertainment, too many people eating bugs on reality TV. Too little local and regional music, too much brain-numbing national play-lists. Too little of America, too much of Wall Street and Madison Avenue. That's what we get for half a trillion dollars. It's one hell of a bad bargain, don't you think? I don't know about you. But I'm sick of this bargain and I'm sick of playing defense. So I'm not here tonight to talk about defeating bad new media ownership rules — although we still need to do that. I'm here to say it's time that we all get off our duffs with a real agenda. Let's get rid of the bad old rules that got us into this mess in the first place. And let's go on from there to bring tough — I'm talking really tough here — public interest obligations back to those who use the spectrum you own. Here's one way we can shift from defense to offense — one way to demand that the nation's media moguls hold up their end of the bargain with the American people. I'm here to propose that we replace the bad old bargain that past FCCs struck with the media moguls with a new American Media Contract. It goes like this. 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: 1. A right to media that strengthens our democracy 2. A right to local stations that are actually local 3. A right to media that looks and sounds like America 4. A right to news that isn't canned and radio playlists that aren't for sale 5. A right to programming that isn't so damned bad so damned often And, by the way, you have already paid for this with the half trillion dollars you gave the media giants — so you deserve all this on free-over-the-air TV and radio.
How does Copps propose we do all this? Click on the link and find out.

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