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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 13, 2007 8:44 AM

FCC oversight hearing III

Posted by Ryan Blethen

Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., was the first senator to question the commissioners. He circled back on something said by Kevin Martin in his opening statement. The chairman had said that cross-ownership is needed to save newspapers. Lott pointed out that newspapers are not the FCC's concern, then cracked a joke:

"I don't get why Republicans would be crying alligator tears over newspapers."

Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, just said that the FCC should take more time on any decision. He then went on to say that newspapers are struggling because there is nothing worth reading. Viewers should remember that Stevens has been in Alaska's newspapers a lot during the last year. The coverage has not been flattering.

Lott also mentioned that newspapers are killing themselves. He is partly right. There are many bad newspapers. What Lott and Stevens need to understand is that cross-ownership and conglomeration leads to bad, or light journalism.

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