Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, November 9, 2007

LIVE from Town Hall: FCC continues to hear from real people

The hearing on media ownership continues to strech on into the late hours of the night here in Seattle, with Town Hall still largely filled and those testifying still as passionate and unequivocal as they were five hours ago.

It's been interesting to watch Chairman Kevin Martin. From my seat here in the auditorium, I have a direct view of him, and he looks like he'd rather be anywhere but here in front of the people he's supposed to serve.

At times he sits with his head in his hand, or smoothes his hair, or leans forward with arms crossed, facial expression unchanging, as speaker after speaker challenges him to listen to the people of the United States and not the executives of massive media conglomerates.

We've heard almost every point of view tonight, from almost every political persuasion and demographic that exists in this country. We've heard testimony that's satirical, hard-hitting, heartfelt, provocative, and thoughtful.

We've heard singing, excerpts from The Assault on Reason, witnessed one speaker present a copy of the Constitution of the United States to the commissioners, and then there are all the citizens who have come armed with the FCC's own research...which doesn't support Kevin Martin's proposed changes to allow increased media consolidation.

Even with a pathetic five days' notice, representatives from across the Pacific Northwest have packed the house here at Town Hall, and the message is getting across, loud and clear: media consolidation is harmful and it's time to strengthen regulations that protect diversity, not weaken them.

"I came here tonight to see democracy in action," one speaker said.

That's why we are here, and we're heartened to see such a diverse outpouring of grassroots energy from across the region.


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