Liberal Groups Want FCC to Police Talk Radio, Cable News

Wednesday, 02 Jun 2010 03:14 PM

By Jim Meyers

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A coalition of more than 30 mostly liberal organizations has sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission urging the agency to monitor “hate speech” on talk radio and cable news networks.

The groups assert in the letter that “hate, extremism and misinformation have been on the rise . . . as the media has focused on Arizona’s passage of one of the harshest pieces of anti-Latino legislation in this country’s history.”

The organizations include the Center for Media Justice, the Rainbow Push Coalition, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, and Common Cause.

“As traditional media have become less diverse and less competitive, they have also grown less responsible and less responsive to the communities that they are supposed to serve,” the letter states.

“In this same atmosphere hate speech thrives, as hate has developed as a profit-model for syndicated radio and cable television programs masquerading as ‘news.’”

The coalition did not mention any specific media outlets.

The groups also argue that the Internet has made it more difficult for the public to separate “the facts from bigotry masquerading as news,” The Hill newspaper reports.

The Internet “gives the illusion that news sources have increased, but in fact there are fewer journalists employed now than ever before,” according to the coalition.

“Moreover, on the Internet, speakers can hide in the cloak of anonymity, emboldened to say things that they may not say in the public eye.

“For these reasons, as the Commission deliberates how the public interest will be served in the digital age, it should consider the extent of hate speech in media, and its effects.”


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