CENTER ON DEMOCRATIC COMMUNICATIONS PRAISES COURT OF APPEALS REBUFF TO BROADCAST INDUSTRY’S ATTEMPT TO SABATOGE LOW POWER FM

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, early
today, rejected the National Association of Broadcasters’ (NAB) and
National Public Radio’s (NPR) attempts to silence the microradio movement,
and threw out as unconstitutional a law passed by Congress to limit the
FCC’s Low Power FM (“LPFM”) service.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, early today, rejected the National Association of Broadcasters’ (NAB) and National Public Radio’s (NPR) attempts to silence the microradio movement, and threw out as unconstitutional a law passed by Congress to limit the FCC’s Low Power FM (“LPFM”) service.

Alan Korn, CDC Litigation Director, states “For years microradio broadcasters tried to get the FCC to approve a low-power radio service that would address the local needs of people in their communities. After years of struggle, the FCC recognized the legitimacy of these efforts, and issued regulations authorizing the licensing of hundreds, if not thousands, of LPFM stations. But the NAB, NPR and Congress refused to leave well enough alone” Korn said.

In response, the National Association of Broadcasters and National Public Radio lobbied Congress to overturn the FCC’s Low Power Radio service and protect their economic and corporate interests that dominate the airwaves. Congress dutifully drafted legislation pursuant to the NAB’s and NPR’s request. The influence that Enron exercised over the Bush White House pales in comparison to the power that the NAB holds over the Congress.

Today’s decision is unquestionably a victory for the microradio movement. Today’s court’s decision is typified by the incredulity with which it evaluated the government’s argument that Congress did not intend to regulate the content of microradio broadcasts. Rejecting the government’s claim, the court suggested instead that Congress’ “objective was not to increase regulatory compliance, but to penalize microbroadcasters’ ‘message’.”

This morning’s decision is the culmination of the efforts of thousands of microradio broadcasters who had the courage to take to the airwaves in spite of regulations prohibiting anybody but the rich from broadcasting, and to their legal supporters: the National Lawyers Guild Center for Democratic Communications, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and in particular to Robert Perry and Barbara Olshansky.

Author: Committee on Democratic Communications

News Service: Project Censored

URL: http://www.projectcensored.org/