1. Late last week, Sen. Maria Cantwell came out against an FCC proposal to allow media companies to own both a newspaper and a television or radio station in the same market.
The FCC tried and failed to pass similar rules changes easing media ownership rules in 2007, after public interest groups, decrying media consolidation, challenged the move in court.
I am extremely disappointed by the FCC’s actions today.[Former FEC] Chairman Martin’s rules were merely a bailout for big media companies that incurred debt from poor investment decisions.
“Resurrecting these rules will have far-reaching impact. While increased media consolidation may be good for Wall Street, it is bad for Main Street. This decision will determine whether Americans have access to independently gathered news from diverse voices in their local communities. The American people deserve better than this proposal.
The rejoinder from Republican FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell?
Commissioner Robert M. McDowell, a Republican, suggested that the rule is outdated at a time when people increasingly get news on the unregulated Internet.
“The notion that broadcasters may distribute their content through radio, television, the Internet, mobile devices and other unforeseen portals, but must be prohibited by law from printing the same content on the medium of newsprint, seems anachronistic at best,” Mr. McDowell said in a statement. He suggested that the newspaper-broadcast rule should be loosened further.
2. With stats to back up their screed, The Seattle Transit Blog denounced a KING 5 story equating light rail with crime.
3. Yesterday, the pro-pot legalization ed board at the Seattle Times ran a good summary of pending efforts to legalize marijuana and loosen restrictions on medical marijuana.
Our recent conversation with Gov. Chris Gregoire, who vetoed a bill to help facilitate and regulate medical marijuana earlier this year, is here.
4. Over on his blog, City Council member Richard Conlin explained why he supported for the Roosevelt rezone, which the council's land-use committee passed on December 14.
He breaks it down into "Four Truths"—The city botched the process; Overheated rhetoric polarized the issue unnecessarily; Height is a means, not an end; Surprisingly, the outcome is a win for the city and for the Roosevelt neighborhood
5. The AP had the latest on Gregoire's push for a sales tax. It's looking like the business community is in.
6. On Saturday, the Seattle Times had more news on their scoop about behind-the-scenes efforts to build an NBA/NHL stadium in SoDo.
7. For our part, we had some news on Republican Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna—his office came out strong last week with a brief denouncing religious pharmacists who refuse to dispense Plan B—and we had some predictions about the coming year.
8. Oh, and Erica—visiting family in Louisiana and Mississippi–sent in an email titled "A Matt Taibbi quote I actually like." (Despite his left-wing politics, lefty Erica doesn't genearlly like Taibbi's frat boy bravado.)
From Taibbi's blog on Rolling Stone:
It seems to me that if you’re broke enough that you’re not paying any income tax, you’ve got nothing but skin in the game. You've got it all riding on how well America works.