FCC’s Copps and Adelstein: Stay decision, “Slow down and prepare to stop”
June 23, 2003
The FCC’s two Democratic members, credited with swaying public opinion against loosening media ownership rules, called for the agency to stay its June 2 decision pending actions by Congress.
“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,” said Commissioner Michael Copps.
After the June 2 vote Copps remarked that the FCC’s “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.
Copps’ colleague, Jonathan Adelstein, called the Senate committee vote “a dramatic rebuke of a bad decision. 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.”
David Fiske, a spokesman for the FCC, said that neither the agency nor Chairman Powell would comment on the legislative action.
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