Obama Rips FCC's Timeline For New Ownership Rules
October 22, 2007 at 1:03 PM (PT)
Democratic presidential candidate and Sen. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL) sent a letter to FCC Chairman KEVIN MARTIN MONDAY asking for MARTIN to slow down the process towards new media ownership rules. OBAMA is asking MARTIN to put any revisions to the rules out for public comment as well as establishing an independent panel on minority media ownership and completing the Commission's localism study before finalizing the new rules.
MARTIN is reportedly pushing towards a NOVEMBER 13th release of new rules with a 30 day comment period and a mid-DECEMBER vote, a timetable that OBAMA called "irresponsible." OBAMA wrote, "I object to the agency moving forward to allow greater consolidation in the media market without first fully understanding how that would limit opportunities for minority, small business and women-owned firms."
He also voiced objection to relaxing the newspaper-television crossownership ban, and said that the reported relaxation of the rule "is not a proposal that has been put out for public comment; the proper process for vetting it is not in closed-door meetings with lobbyists or in selective leaks to THE NEW YORK TIMES."