Commissioners Copps and Adelstein call for FCC to stay ownership rule change
June 27, 2003
Following the vote of the Senate Commerce Committee to recommend to the full Senate for approval a bill reversing the FCC’s recent relaxation of several media ownership restrictions, commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein issued public statements in support of the committee’s actions.
In his statement, Copps called on the commission to stay its decision. “In light of the very real possibility that Congress will reverse the Commission’s vote to loosen its media ownership limits, I believe the FCC should defer to today’s Congressional action and stay its decision until the people’s elected representatives complete their deliberations on media concentration,” he said in a written statement.
“When the Commission loosened its media ownership constraints on June 2, I remarked that this ill-advised action awakened a sleeping giant – the American people. Now, just 17 days later, and even before the final Commission item is out the door, the people’s representatives on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation have rolled back the Commission’s 3-2 decision. This strong and bipartisan Committee action should flash the orange light of ‘slow down and prepare to stop’ for those media companies rushing to buy, sell or swap stations all across America.”
For his part, Adelstein, who also opposed the changes, pointed to the Senate as slapping the Commission’s hand as a cautionary action taken when the FCC turns a blind eye to the public. “Today’s Congressional action is a dramatic rebuke of a bad decision,” he said in a written statement. “This is what happens when an agency ignores an outcry from Congress and the public to slow down and tread cautiously. The FCC ran right through the warning lights and into a guardrail. The Senate has taken the first steps – the FCC shouldn’t let these rules take effect until the public is heard through its elected representatives.”
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