Please Pardon the Hiatus

Completely unexpected life trauma has resulted in my emergency relocation. This occurred, ironically, just hours after I penned the ditty below.
As a result, I’ve been without internet access since then, although the phone company tells me my dial tone and DSL will be installed sometime next week (hopefully by mid-week at the earliest). Continue reading “Please Pardon the Hiatus”

Reportback from Seattle FCC Festivities

“Strategically optimistic” is the way Jonathan Lawson, an organizer with Reclaim the Media, feels coming out of Friday’s FCC media ownership field hearing with Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein. The two certainly got an earful.
Reclaim the Media, along with many other groups, spent a lot of time and energy making the field hearing happen. Because it was not officially sanctioned by Chairman Michael Powell, the FCC wouldn’t release funds for the two Commissioners to travel. Copps paid his own way, presumably out of his own (limited) office expense funds; Reclaim the Media paid the freight for Adelstein.
Having originally scheduled only 30 minutes of time for public comment at the hearing, the Commissioners pledged not to cut off anyone who wanted to speak. They listened to more than three hours of public comment as a result. Not only that, but corporate media executives in the onstage discussion panels were openly jeered. Lawson says the overall sentiment was “overwhelmingly, if not totally opposed” to further relaxation of media ownership rules. Continue reading “Reportback from Seattle FCC Festivities”

FCC Dog and Pony Show Moves to Seattle

Tomorrow, FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein will go through the motions of another “public hearing” on the agency’s media ownership rules review. This one will happen in Seattle on the campus of the University of Washington.
Sounds like it’ll be the same old song-and-dance the folks at the Richmond hearing got last week, except this time the public only gets 30 minutes to speak. That’s because in Richmond the FCC held a six-hour forum; Seattle’s show only runs from 9am to 12:30pm. The last 30 minutes belong to the people.
The strong community of media democracy activists in Seattle are preparing quite a few festivities to go with the official frivolity. The coolest of the bunch will take place tomorrow night, during an “action for media democracy” which will feature Chuck D & the Fine Arts Militia sharing the stage with Commissioner Adelstein. Quite the spectacle for all involved; I hope someone records it. Continue reading “FCC Dog and Pony Show Moves to Seattle”

Election Update

Alas, neither his rhetorical savvy nor the last-minute endorsement of DIYmedia was enough to help Kelly Benjamin claim victory in his candidacy for a seat on the Tampa City Council. Kelly did, however, garner 13,955 votes, just a little shy of one-third of all ballots cast.
It might be a statistical defeat, but not too shabby considering Kelly was outspent by an approximate 30-to-1 margin (or more), and citywide voter turnout was an abysmal 33%.
Next try, the White House?

Last-minute Props and Good Luck to Microbroadcaster-turned-candidate

Kelly “Kombat” Benjamin, founder of the “original” 87X pirate radio station in Tampa, Florida, is running for a seat on the Tampa City Council. The election is tomorrow.
Benjamin, along with Doug Brewer and Lonnie Kobres, fell victim to the law on November 19, 1997, when agents from the FCC and Federal Marshals executed three coordinated SWAT-style raids on microradio stations in Florida. Continue reading “Last-minute Props and Good Luck to Microbroadcaster-turned-candidate”