As I mentioned the other day, it appears the FCC deregulation of media ownership rules is a fait accompli, cosmetic hearings and over 9,000 negative public comments notwithstanding. The three Republican commissioners don't appear to give a rodent's rectum what anyone has to say about their pact with the Giant Media Devil.
But just for the record, the Future of Music Coalition looks at the public comments anyway:
- The Federal Communications Commission has virtually no evidence of citizen backing for their controversial media ownership plan, according to an analysis of comments filed in the FCC's ongoing rulemaking.
The Future of Music Coalition today released a survey of the comments available for public review in the Broadcast Ownership rulemaking (Docket 02-277). Citizen response to these proposed rule changes is overwhelmingly negative. As of May 8, 2003, 9065 citizens unaffiliated to a corporation, organization or association opposed changing existing media ownership rules that would pave the way for further consolidation, while only 11 unaffiliated citizens supported changing the rules.
"The FCC asked citizens to file comments on a broad set of questions related to media ownership, and they have in record numbers. It's hard to read these comments and find evidence that the public supports rule changes that would lead to more media consolidation,' said Future of Music Coalition Executive Director Jenny Toomey.
FCC commissioners and staff have claimed that over 15,000 comments have been received by the agency on this issue. However, only approximately 9360 comments are viewable on the FCC website.
...."Reading the comments in this docket has been both inspiring and disheartening," said FMC's Director of Research Kristin Thomson. "Many citizens express a growing dissatisfaction with the trends in their local media, and insist that the FCC show a genuine commitment to localism, competition and diversity. But it's also frustrating to know that, even with the vast majority of comments expressing decisive opposition to the rule changes, citizens' voices seem to be falling on deaf ears."
Three deaf ears to be exact. Check out their pie chart, it's rather overwhelming.