Radical media, politics and culture.

Angels of Public Interest Will Descend Upon the FCC

Angels of Public Interest Will Descend Upon the FCC

Friday, March 22; 3:00-6:00 PM

445 12th Street NW; Washington, DC

Hark Ye, Friend!

Angels of Public Interest shall descend upon Washington, DC three hours past noon on the 22nd day of March in the vicinity of the Federal Communications Commission at 445 12th Street NW. The Angels shall resolutely teacheth those who command power within the FCC that Media and Communications Technology Should Forever Serve People Over Profits.

We encourage all Angels such as yourself to come to the gathering dressed in your best Angel garb -- halo, wings, glitter, the whole nine yards.

If your halo and wings are still at the dry cleaner, perhaps you could at least keep with the Angel color-scheme by wearing a solid white or black shirt. Still, an Angel's presence and attitude are always more important than his or her duds, so if you can't dress up, don't worry about it. This is your time to shine!

Why Angels?

Why the FCC?

Our Demands

Independent Media

Get Involved


FCC Chairman Michael Powell has said "The Market Is My Religion." This
most unwise and unrighteous mortal made the mistake of claiming: "The
night after I was sworn in, I waited for a visit from the angel of the
public interest. I waited all night, but she did not come." Since he
had trouble seeing one Angel that dreadful night, on March 22nd we shall
descend upon him in droves.

We suggest you question your mortality. Maybe you are an Angel after
all? If not, we‚re sure Michael Powell would benefit from being in the
company of humans, too.

For more information on Michael Powell, including snapshots of him and
his friends, visit his tax-payer financed Internet home page at:


The Federal Communications Commission is a government agency that could
help make media beautiful. Instead, the FCC using its power to collapse
control of the media into the hands of fewer and fewer transnational
corporations. Dig this

Turning Media Oligopolies into Media Monopolies

Just two days after the tragedies of September 11, while most Americans
were still trying to cope with the shock and trauma, the never-say-die
FCC decided to "review" its own regulations on media cross-ownership. A
rule that currently prevents a corporation from owning newspapers and
television stations in the same city (aka "market") is now under serious
threat. If overturned, locally-owned newspapers, and even newspaper
conglomerates like the New York Times Company, Gannett and
Knight-Ridder, could be bought up by such community-friendly giants as
General Electric, Disney, Viacom and AOL/Time-Warner.

This "review" could extend even further into areas like limits on the
size and scope of corporations‚ broadcasting power. One current
regulation says that a single corporation can only own enough television
stations to reach 35% of American households. If dismantled, a single
television network like ABC could potentially buy up the holdings of the
few remaining independents and its major competitors. "No more ŒSeventh
Heaven‚ in Cleveland, I‚m afraid. The WB affiliate‚s just been bought
by Disney!"

So really, what does this mean to you? A single transnational
corporation˜with absolutely no allegiance to your own community, only to
its stockholders and advertisers˜could own and control the daily and
weekly newspapers you read, in addition to the television stations you
watch, the radio stations you listen to, the movie theaters and video
stores you frequent, the magazines you peruse, the music labels you buy,
the internet service provider you use and even the sports teams you root
for. Okay, but so what?

In a media monopoly, synergistic opportunities to make more money (like
stories about the Pets.com sock puppet or the latest happenings on
"Survivor") are hyped to the point of making you nauseous. At the same
time, really important stories that just might happen to threaten the
monopoly's profits (like coverage of the environmental impact of an
advertiser's product, or better yet, recent FCC policy decisions) get
seriously downplayed. That monopoly on information is bad for you and
it's bad for democracy.

For more information on the government's plans to eliminate the last
remaining media ownership limits, check out MediaChannel‚s in-depth
guide explaining the issues and steps you can take to get involved:

Slamming the Door Shut on an Open Access Internet

Right now, any company that wants to be an internet service provider can
use America's telephone lines to do so. It's called open access. If
you want email or web-hosting or instant messaging, you can use your
telephone lines to dial-up to Earthlink, AOL, Jimmy's Internet Shack,
and dozens of other companies willing to sell those services to you.

If you want high-speed internet access over your cable lines, that is
another story. Most cable operators are not forced to share their cable
lines with other broadband companies. So, in many areas, if you want
super-cool cable internet access, there is only one show in town. You
pay their monopoly rates, and if they choose to do so, the potential
exists for them to limit the types of websites you get to visit.

Right now, major cable giants like Comcast (which is trying to swallow
up AT&T's cable operations to become the largest cable company in the
world) are pressing the FCC hard to make sure that doesn‚t change. But
it gets worse

On Valentine's Day, the FCC showed its love for Big Business by
proposing that regional telephone monopolies get to have complete
control over their "souped-up" telephone lines. If the regulation
passes, there will be no choice between telephone-based high-speed
internet providers just like there is no choice between cable-based
high-speed internet providers. (Satellite providers? There are only
two major ones in the US, and they‚re trying to merge.)

If the massive media conglomerates get their way, the Internet will
become as concentrated as television and radio ownership, with everyone
across the nation, and the world, watching and listening to the same
exact things. Sites like this could quickly go bye-bye. That will
probably sit just fine with FCC Chair Michael Powell, who has called
public interest regulations "the oppressor." But does it sit fine with

To learn more about the threats to open access and ways to combat them,
check out the Center for Digital Democracy at:


Damn straight we do! For years, our mortal friends in public interest
groups, labor unions, civil rights organizations, grassroots
organizations, universities and elsewhere have offered alternatives to
media business as usual.

All Angels should bring their own ideas and demands to the glorious
March 22nd gathering: media democracy means making room for everyone at
the table. But if you‚re in need of some ideas to chew on before then,
here are just a few of the pro-active proclamations and commandments
that will be issued that day:

I. The FCC shall serve public interest by dismantling the monopolistic
concentration of media and communication systems.

II. The FCC shall serve public interest by promoting information as a
worldwide common good. This shall include defending public airwaves
from privatization and dismantling any Intellectual Property Rights
policies that act to prohibit the sharing of knowledge.

III. The FCC shall serve public interest by supporting and encouraging
the creation of media content that respects pluralism and diversity of
expression, and balance in terms of gender, race, culture, language and
geographic region.

IV. The FCC shall serve public interest by promoting the creative,
widespread use of interactive technologies in such a way that these
technologies are open to all and do not further create new sources of
social fragmentation.

V. The FCC shall serve public interest by defending civil liberties and
privacy from all invasive use of surveillance technology.

VI. The FCC shall serve public interest by banning advertising during
children's television programs and by supporting the taxation on all
advertising aimed at adults.

For more great ideas, check out the recommendations for media rights
coming out of the World Social Forum at:

Fight Media Consolidation! - March 22nd Mar 11 2002

Six months after 9-11,
the corporate media whitewash continues to produce news and
commentary that is questionable in both form and intention.

In the race to increase profits, the
biggest six media conglomerates have won another battle in the us,
repealing a long
standing FCC ruling, limiting the size and scope of media that one
company can own. This
opens the door for a
new wave of mega mergers in an industry that is already characterized
by massive
largess and self serving cross ownership--a problem that threatens
the publication and distribution of truth and struggle in a world
gripped by war and capitalism. In response to the recent federal
court ruling on Feb. 19th,
gutting restrictions
on concentration of the media; in response to the Bush
administrations assertions, and later rescinding, of the use of
false propaganda to
shape international opinion; in response to the
of dissent and opposition to the "war on terror" in the corporate
media; in support of the recent victories in the
of the Pacifica News Network; in support of the long standing and
ongoing struggle for a free media and a real direct democracy:

"Angels" will be descending on
the FCC on March 22nd in Washington DC, to remind the
FCC--established as a tool for
the promotion and management of commercial radio--that information
and the airwaves are in fact public property, and not a commodity to
be traded on the market or sold to the highest bidder, and demand an
end to corporate controll of information and the airwaves.
Help Organize.

The DC-Independent Media Center will be
broadcasting from the demonstrations live over the Internet. Tune in
and join the movement for democracy in the media!


Independent media rocks! We're not talking major label, Top 40, Clear
Channel rock. We‚re talking hard-core, harp and heavenly-choir rock!

The demands we will make of the FCC on March 22nd and into the future
will help defend independent media and bring it further into the
mainstream. Things like open access internet accessible to all are good
for independent media, as are great diversity among broadcasters,
publishers and the like.

If you‚re an independent media-making Angel, please join us on March
22nd. We need your reporting, your photography, your sketches and your
poems and more!

For more information on this "Independent Media," please visit:


Organizer yourself and as many other Angels as you can muster to descend
upon the FCC at 445 12th Street NW on Friday, March 22, 2002 from 3:00
to 6:00 pm. Bring whatever props and signs and street theatre you think
best! This glorious gathering should enlighten, but also offer
rapture! Go wild!

If you want to be included in discussions with the Organizing Angels,
please sign up for the Media Activist discussion list at: