Groups Ask FCC To Look At 'Hate Speech'
June 2, 2010 at 6:09 AM (PT)
The FCC doesn't regulate content beyond indecency, political equal time, and TV children's educational/informational requirements, but the NATIONAL HISPANIC MEDIA COALITION and a group of over 30 other mostly liberal groups is asking the Commission to "examine the extent and effects of hate speech in media, including the likely link between hate speech and hate crimes, and to explore non-regulatory ways to counteract its negative impacts." The filing, submitted MAY 7th with the Commission, urges action on a petition filed by the NMHC in JANUARY 2009.
In the filing, the coalition asserts that "As traditional media have become less diverse and less competitive, they have also grown less responsible and less responsive to the communities that they are supposed to serve. In this same atmosphere hate speech thrives, as hate has developed as a profit-model for syndicated radio and cable television programs masquerading as 'news.' The Internet gives the illusion that news sources have increased, but in fact there are fewer journalists employed now than before. Moreover, on the Internet, speakers can hide in the cloak of anonymity, emboldened to say things that they may not say in the public eye."
The filing asks the Commission to collect data on "hate speech," saying, "Collection of the data is an essential task, even if the Commission does nothing more than turn that information over to the public, researchers and other government entities. This will help NHMC et al. to hold the media accountable." The coalition does not say how "hate speech" would be defined and cites several instances of racial and political violence without demonstrating a link to media.
The signatories to the filing, besides the NMHC, include BENTON FOUNDATION, CENTER FOR MEDIA JUSTICE, CENTER FOR RURAL STRATEGIES, CENTER ON LATINO AND LATINA RIGHTS AND EQUALITY OF THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK SCHOOL OF LAW, COMMON CAUSE, ESPERANZA PEACE AND JUSTICE CENTER, FREE PRESS, HISPANIC/LATINO, ANTI-DEFAMATION COALITION SF, INDUSTRY EARS, JOINT CENTER FOR POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC STUDIES, LA ASAMBLEA DE DERECHOS CIVILES, LEAGUE OF RURAL VOTERS, LEAGUE OF UNITED LATIN AMERICAN CITIZENS, MAIN STREET PROJECT, MEDIA ACTION GRASSROOTS NETWORK, MEDIA ALLIANCE, MEDIA JUSTICE LEAGUE, MEDIA LITERACY PROJECT, MEDIA MOBILIZING PROJECT, MOUNTAIN AREA INFORMATION NETWORK, NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR MEDIA ARTS AND CULTURE, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LATINO INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS, NOSOTROS, OFFICE OF COMMUNICATION, UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, INC., PEOPLES PRODUCTION HOUSE, PRAXIS PROJECT, PROMETHEUS RADIO PROJECT, RAINBOW PUSH COALITION, RECLAIM THE MEDIA, TRANSMISSION PROJECT, and the UNITED STATES HISPANIC LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE.