MyFDL readers will remember my talking last year about why we need to Occupy Radio. Walking into any radio station during normal business hours and demanding to see their public files is an empowering way to understand that WE the PEOPLE own the radio airwaves, and that radio stations must serve our needs in order to get a license to broadcast.
Still, while it’s educational and it’s shed light on how much money political ads are pouring into stations’ coffers, it has done nothing to alter the imbalance we find on Talk Radio all over the country. (Better than 90% of the nation can ONLY hear Right Wing Talk on their radio dials.)
But now, with the help of staff and volunteers at Media Action Center Wisconsin, we have launched an action which the FCC cannot ignore.
May 22, Media Action Center Wisconsin released results of the Scott Walker Recall Talk Radio Monitoring Project. We revealed that Clear Channel Radio’s WISN and Journal Communications’ Radio WTMJ are each giving supporters of Scott Walker and the GOP about $70,000 in free airtime every day over the air, and virtually nothing to the Democrats.
Tom Barrett supporters cried foul, and demanded comparable time from the stations, citing the little known FCC regulation, the quasi-equal opportunities doctrine, or “Zapple.” The stations failed to comply, so May 24th, I filed a formal complaint with the FCC on their behalf.
We are asking the FCC to immediately order the stations to comply with comparable time rules and give 80 minutes daily to Tom Barrett supporters throughout the remainder of the election.
The FCC has already responded, and are reviewing it now. They will try to answer this immediately, but acknowledge the case – and its implications for talk radio are “huge.”
That’s implications for Rush Limbaugh, for Glenn Beck, for Sean Hannity, for ALL talkers, not just those in Milwaukee. (This will impact the 2012 campaigns; look for a Constitutional showdown on this one, folks.)
But the FCC tends to sweep such things under the rug, and I need your help to prevent that from happening!
Right Wing Talk Radio needs to be put in its place; this is our very best shot. Please help us make it count.