Statement of Common Cause President Chellie Pingree
Concerning Feb. 10 Federal Communications Commission Vote on Multi-Cast Must-Carry
Broadcasters argue that they deserve to have all their new digital programming carried by cable because they serve the public interest and are therefore "special." Unfortunately, broadcasters by and large have a dismal record on serving the public interest, and have failed to endorse First Amendment-friendly content-neutral public interest guidelines proposed by the public interest groups in the Public Interest Public Airwaves (PIPA) coalition.
Broadcasters have done nothing to show that they are entitled to multi-cast must-carry, which would constitute a huge gift from the federal government. Indeed, broadcasters are challenging children's programming rules for digital TV that the FCC approved a few months ago.
We applaud FCC Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps for repeatedly speaking in support of broadcaster's responsibility to serve the public in meaningful ways through coverage of local issues and state, congressional and local elections. We are confident that their votes on Thursday will reinforce these sentiments.
Office: Common Cause National
Issues: Media and Democracy
Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.