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Daily Democracy

Ryan Blethen discusses the press, media and democracy. Daily Democracy is part of the Democracy Papers, a series of articles, essays and editorial opinion examining threats to our freedoms of speech and the press.

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December 11, 2007 11:16 AM

Obama's Seattle visit

Posted by Ryan Blethen

Barack Obama is in Seattle briefly today for Generation Obama. This event at the Showbox SoDo is a great opportunity for the senator from Illinois to talk about media consolidation. Obama has been very vocal on the topic. He was one of the co-sponsors of the Media Ownership Act of 2007, which if passed by the Senate, could derail FCC Chairman Kevin Martin's plan to increase consolidation by lifting the cross-ownership ban.

After the Senate Commerce Committee approved the bill last week Obama said:

The rules promoting the public interest and diversity in media ownership are too important to allow the FCC chairman to force through an agenda supported by Washington lobbyists that favors corporate interests over the people's interests. I commend the Senate Commerce Committee for passing the Dorgan-Lott-Obama Media Ownership Act. The bill requires what I have been urging for more than one year - that the FCC place its public charge ahead of its concern for corporate profits.

This message will find a friendly audience tonight. He should use these opportunities to expand on this message, make it his own, and force the rest of the presidential hopefuls to address media consolidation head-on.

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