Jun 3, 2003


The schism between Americans was obvious in the FCC Commissioners' comments and votes. (On the latest relaxing of media ownership rules) Though it had 3 votes needed to change the rules, the majority ignored 750,000 public comments, 150 congressional representatives, and groups like the NRA, NOW, and Common Cause, which were opposed to the decision. The arrogance of the majority mirrors the arrogance of the majority in the U.S. Congress.

The Republicans are incapable of civil discourse.
They are loath to entertain opposing viewpoints.
They engage in ad hominem attacks when confronted with alternative perspectives.

The majority decision was based on facts and logic; the dissenters, they said, were well meaning but misguided by the same emotions and fear of Americans who were against the hijacking of the airwaves. Fools they, and fools we, Abernathy said. History will prove Americans wrong, and the three who know better than we what is in our public interest chose the right path for us. Monopolistic control of the media will benefit diversity of views (there is that Bush regime Alice-in-Wonderland logic again).
It was not so much the decision, for none of us can truly predict the end result. Though unlikely, the Supreme Court may reject or remand the new rules (still unpublished, for we--you and I--don't need to know what they are just yet, you see). No, it was the way the big three spoke about you and me. It was the way they dismissed the comments of three-quarter million Americans. It was the way they put us down, that chauvinistic accusation of emotionality for our challenge of their decision. It was the defiant attitude, the belligerent tone.

It was George Bush telling the rest of the world that he would do what is best for Iraq and the world, world leaders' insight and expertise be damned.

It was the Supreme Court awarding the Presidency to George Bush. Voters and elections be damned.

It was the government telling the governed that their opinions did not count.

It was a democracy handing over the avenues of First Amendment expression to a powerful few that support the Bush regime.

It was the FCC telling Americans to go to hell.

with thanks to ELAINE CASSEL of Counterpunch
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