Television broadcasters are suing to block an attempt by the Federal Communications Commission to crack down on media consolidation.
The lawsuit by the National Association of Broadcasters claims that the agency’s new policy is “arbitrary and capricious” and an abuse of power. The suit, filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, also claims that the FCC failed to follow proper rule-making procedure.
Under the FCC Media Bureau’s policy, which was first issued in March, the agency will scrutinize any deals between TV stations that share a single advertising staff or other resources — such as news helicopters. Later in the month, the FCC enacted broader rules against “joint sales agreements.”
Democratic FCC officials argue that major TV companies around the country are colluding to undermine the agency’s media-ownership caps.
The FCC bars any company from owning more than one of the top four TV stations in a market. By selling ads for multiple stations, companies have been able to dodge the FCC’s ownership cap while effectively controlling several stations, according to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.
The goal of the TV ownership cap is to ensure that viewers have access to a diverse range of views in the media and that no single corporation is able to dominate the flow of information.
Republicans and broadcasters warn that the FCC’s actions will force small TV stations off the air. They argue that sharing resources helps stations save costs and focus more on covering news important to their local communities.
CORRECTION: This post has been updated to reflect that the lawsuit is over the Media Bureau’s policy guidance as opposed to the new rules on joint sales deals.
What We're Following See More »
In a release Tuesday afternoon, the White House announced that President Obama has commuted and/or reduced the sentences of another 111 convicted criminals, mostly convicted of drug possession or trafficking. About 35 were serving life sentences.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said Monday he'd now be willing to hold a hearing on Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland in a lame-duck session of Congress. While he said he wouldn't push for it, he said if "Hillary Clinton wins the White House, and a majority of senators convinced him to do so," he would soften his previous opposition.
We can call this the anti-Sherman-esque statement: If reelected, Marco Rubio ... might serve his whole term. Or he might not. The senator, who initially said he wouldn't run for a second term this year, now tells CNN that if reelected, he wouldn't necessarily serve all six years. “No one can make that commitment because you don’t know what the future is gonna hold in your life, personally or politically,” he said, before adding that he's prepared to make his Senate seat the last political office he ever holds.
Since Rodrigo Duterte took over as president of the Philippines in June, he has made a serious of controversial statements and launched a war on drugs that has led to nearly 2000 deaths. He called the US ambassador to the Philippines, Philip Goldberg, "a gay son of a bitch." Next week, President Obama will meet with President Duterte at the East Asia Summit in Laos, where he " will raise concerns about some of the recent statements from the president of the Philippines," according to White House Deputy National Security advisor Ben Rhodes.
The Convention of States Project, which seeks to force a constitutional convention under Article V of the Constitution, will hold a "dry run" in Colonial Williamsburg starting Sept. 21. "Several states have already followed the process in Article V to endorse the convention." Thirty-four are required to call an actual convention. "The dry run in Williamsburg is meant to show how one would work and focus on the changes and potential constitutional amendments that would be proposed."