WASHINGTON, December 18 - Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement on today's vote by the Federal Communications Commission to overturn a 32-year-old media cross-ownership ban and allow broadcasters in the nation's 20 largest media markets to also own a newspaper:
"The FCC has made a bad situation worse. Unless Congress undoes this ruling, as I hope it will, fewer and fewer big media conglomerates will control what Americans see and hear and read. We are not going to have the kind of vibrant democracy that we need unless we discuss serious issues facing the middle class and working families in this country, and I'm not sure the corporate media wants us to do that.
"The consequences of media consolidation go to the heart of the democratic process," he added. "In my view, it will be very dangerous for our country and communities around America when one company is able to own a local newspaper, television station and radio station. Opposing points of view won't be heard and our democracy will suffer."
Sanders, a long-time leader on the issue of media diversity and openness, and 25 Senate colleagues told FCC Chairman Kevin Martin in a December 14 letter that they would offer legislation to overturn the FCC rule if the public was not granted more time to make their views known before the FCC vote.