Barton, Stearns Voice Concern Over FCC Localism Mandates
May 22, 2008 at 10:59 AM (PT)
House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Rep. JOE BARTON (R-TX) and committee member Rep. CLIFF STEARNS (R-FL) have written a letter to FCC Chairman KEVIN MARTIN voicing concerns over the proposed localism mandates, joining 28 senators and about 130 congressional members in expressing reservations about the Commission's move.
"While the processing guidelines proposed in the Localism Report may not directly regulate broadcaster content, they create a perverse incentive to air programming aimed at satisfying the government, and not local communities," wrote BARTON and STEARNS. "The First Amendment concerns that caused the Commission to abandon programming guidelines two decades ago are just as relevant today."