Watchdogs appalled by hasty Martin


Watchdog groups are incensed that FCC Chairman Kevin Martin intends to hold its final forum on media ownership in Seattle WA with only a week’s advance notice. However, the protesters may have a leg up this time, since one watchdog group which is a veteran of the opening Michael Powell round of attempted deregulation happens to be based there. The group, Reclaim the Media, are probably happy to have the meeting, but are not at all happy about the lack of warning. They said two members of the state’s congressional delegation, Sen. Barbara Cantwell (D-WA) and Jay Inslee (D-WA) had specified a minimum of four weeks warning before putting together the Seattle forum.

"It’s appalling that the FCC would schedule a hearing of such importance with so little public notice," said Jonathan Lawson, Executive Director of Reclaim the Media. "The FCC needs to hear from rural people, Native Americans, immigrants, working people and others who often get sidelined both in the media and in public debates on the media. Unfortunately, Martin’s disrespectful timing says to these same communities, ‘we don’t care what you think about the media.’"

TVBR/RBR observation: For what it’s worth, this forum will officially clear the table of promised preliminary activities before the FCC settles down to consider how it will handle the Third Circuit remand of the stalled Powell rulemaking attempt. But while the watchdog and activist communities may be running out of time, brand new and far more powerful posses are forming on Capitol Hill. Stay tuned.