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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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May 16, 2008 12:30 PM

Cantwell on media consolidation

Posted by Ryan Blethen

Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D. has spearheaded the fight in Congress against the Federal Communications Commission's attempts to increase media consolidation. His tireless efforts paid off last night when the Senate passed a "resolution of disapproval," which will scrap the new cross-ownership rules adopted by the FCC in December.

No passing legislation is championed by one lawmaker. Sens. Maria Cantwell and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine have provided critical support and advocacy for media reform. Below is a video of Cantwell's comments from the Senate floor last night.

Both Cantwell's and Snowe's opposition to media concentration is important because of their seats on the Senate Commerce Committee. Snowe also has brought a much needed Republican voice to the media debate.

The house will now vote on its resolution, which was introduced by Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island and co-sponsored by Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn. House Republicans should follow Reichert's and Snowe's lead and approve the resolution.

UPDATE: Here is Reichert's comment about the Senate passing the resolution. As mentioned above, Reichert co-sponsored the House's resolution.

"I'm pleased to see the Senate take action on this legislation and I hope the House follows suit and quickly takes up the companion bill I introduced with Congressman Jay Inslee in March. Congress must send a clear message to the FCC that we will not tolerate a rule that rewards big business at the expense of our democracy.

"While I believe in a marketplace that allows companies to operate as freely as possible; I believe it is a role of government to stand between corporations and consumers when the public interest is at stake. I will continue to do what I can to maintain a diverse, free and unbiased source of news for my constituents and citizens across this nation."

Here is the statement Reichert gave for the FCC's Seattle hearing.

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