Sunday, December 2, 2012

Call To Action: Tell The FCC To Do Their Job!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about how the broadcast licenses of WTMJ-AM and WISN-AM, two Milwaukee-based radio stations, were being legally challenged by the Media Action Center due to their violations of the Zapple Doctrine. The Zapple Doctrine is a federal law that states that radio and TV stations must give equal time to both parties.

Follow this link to see the complaint.

Low and behold, the FCC, when asked by Lisa Kaiser of the Shepherd Express, said that they had lost the complaint:
But a curious thing happened while I was reporting the story.

I contacted the FCC for comment.

Turns out that they couldn’t confirm that they had received the challenge. I was shuffled through an alphabet soup of bureaus and departments at the commission and still could not get a confirmation. Someone else had it. They couldn’t find it. I’d have to file a Freedom of Information Act request to get it. They’d get right back to me—maybe. After Thanksgiving. Before my deadline. No, really, before my deadline.

You know what it’s like. (For what it’s worth, if you want a job without a whole lot of work duties, apply for one at the FCC. They don’t seem to do much besides hand off emails and phone calls to someone else. Well, the ones they don’t ignore, at any rate.)

So I contacted Sue Wilson, the head of the Media Action Center, to figure out what was happening with the legal challenges. She duly forwarded me a postal confirmation receipt showing that she had, indeed, mailed them and that, indeed, someone at the FCC had received them. She said that the FCC routinely “misplaces” communications from the public. It’s sort of a black hole of complaints, she said. (Watch her documentary Broadcast Blues for more on this matter.)

So my article was published yesterday in print and on the Shepherd’s website.

And lo and behold, I get a press release from the Media Action Center today stating that the FCC “misplaced” MAC's challenges to the license renewals of WTMJ and WISN. And the only reason that the FCC became aware of the complaints is because reporters contacted the commission.

Hilarious! (And predictable.)
Pretty bad, eh? But guess what. Yup, that's right. There's more. There's always more.

It turns out that Mark Berlin, Chief of the FCC's Political Bureau, has been contacting supporters of Media Action Center and falsely telling them that the complaint was never sent. Keep in mind that it was already confirmed by an independent source that they had indeed signed for the letter the complaint came in.

Sue Wilson, head of the Media Action Center, sent him a missive that, well, told him to go to hell in such a way as to make him look forward to the trip.

But Sue's letter won't do, not by itself.

This is where you, gentle reader, comes in. It'll require about two minutes of your time, but it will be well worth it.

We need you to copy this letter and paste it into an email. Then fill it out and email it to these people:
Mark Berlin at , and copy all the FCC Commissioners: ; ; ; ;

Also send a blind copy to Sue at so that these can be tracked to prevent further lies being told by the corporate media stooges.

Unless you're happy with the Orwellian Newspeak which these radio stations are subjecting us to, please act on this simple request now.

Cross posted at Whallah!

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