Big money, dark money: Common Cause NC

From Common Cause NC: Join Michael Copps on Feb. 21 for lunch and a discussion on "Big money, dark money."

Copps, former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, will discuss how the rapid consolidation of media corporations and the demise of voter-funded elections pose a great threat to our democracy. Increasingly, control of our telecommunications infrastructure and our political campaigns rest in the hands of a tiny, and sometimes overlapping, group of super-wealthy individuals and corporations.

When: Thursday Feb. 21, noon
Where: Center for Community Leadership training room, Junior League of Raleigh, 711 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC
Cost: $10 - includes box lunch
RSVP: http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/event-registration/?ee=30#registration_form

TV stations begin publishing political ad spending

From Mark Binker at WRAL.com:

A key battleground in contests for president, governor and Congress became easier to understand Thursday when the Federal Communications Commission began publishing information on how much candidates and their allies are spending on televised political advertisements...

Starting Aug. 2, 2012, the FCC will collect the information in those station public files electronically and post it online. Only certain station's in the nation's top 50 markets will be required to start sharing political information electronically immediately, with the remainder to follow July 1, 2014. Still, open government advocates and journalists say it is a big step toward openness.

The article explains why it is important that the TV ad expense is reported and why it is so hard to get good data. Good job, Mark.

Burr tries to block FCC disclosure rule

Apparently we don't need to know who's paying for political advertising:

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said a proposal by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to require television broadcasters to put their public files online would be "burdensome and unnecessary" in a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski earlier this month.

Watching this guy operate is like watching a really bad episode of the Twilight Zone. You know, where somebody in a coma wakes up, and at first, everything seems normal, but then he begins to notice little things that people say and do that are slightly off, and then he turns on the TV and Richard Burr is giving a press conference, and the coma patient slowly comes to the realization the world has changed horribly...okay, I still need to work on this screenplay a little. But it's got promise.

Net neutrality preserved, somewhat

FCC takes steps to ensure freedom of access:

Known as "net neutrality," the rules prohibit phone and cable companies from favoring or discriminating against Internet content and services, such as those from rivals.

The rules require broadband providers to let subscribers access all legal online content, applications and services over their wired networks - including online calling services, Internet video and other Web applications that compete with their core businesses.

Republican FCC member pulls her head out of the sand long enough to cough up an exhausted meme:

Kissell Co-Sponsor HR 1147? Or Not? (Local Community Radio Act of 2009)

The Local Community Radio Act would effectively end decades of radio domination by Big Media and their mouthpieces.

35 45 Members of Congress have co-sponsored HR 1147, Larry Kissell is not one of them.

Analog to digital, I have some doubts.

On February 17, 2009, federal law requires that all full-power television broadcast stations stop broadcasting in analog format and broadcast only in digital format. I'm worried.

North Carolina Democratic Party Investigates FCC Chairman Kevin Martin

The North Carolina Democratic Party today filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Office of the Inspector General to obtain a detailed list of Chairman Kevin Martin’s recent travel.

The request comes in the wake of numerous news reports that Chairman Martin may be using public funds and his position as Chairman of a large government agency to seek elected office in North Carolina.

On "The F-Word", Or, If Beavis And Butt-Head Were Lawyers...

In which we discuss the recent ruling regarding the FCC's ability to regulate the content of broadcast material.

Oral Arguments FCC v FU

Washington Wire brings this to my attention about this morning's challenge to FCC indecency rules, broadcast live on C-SPAN cable and radio. C-SPAN’s Potty-Mouth Broadcast. Many profanities were used during the hearing. At issue is the fact that the FCC fines radio stations for such profanities that are regularly used on cable TV with impunity. Even the Judge brought up the issue of whether the FCC would fine radio stations for broadcasting the hearing.


How often does noted Supreme Court specialist Carter Phillips get to drop the f-bomb (and worse) in open court? C-SPAN talked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York into allowing cameras in the court so the hearing could be broadcast live.

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