What Does AT&T Want for Its "Old" $1M "Gift" to Bobby Rush's Charity?

Posted by Scott - September 28, 2006 (entry 433)

(Updated 5/8) Though the severely warped Barton-Rush House telecom bill (H.R. 5252) passed in the commerce committee, there is much to be hopeful about. However, the corporate media, with the possible exception of the New York Times, and a couple others, are faltering badly at detailing the destructive statutory provisions telecom megaliths like SBC/AT&T want. Yet the legislative process is obscured for other reasons as well and is in an unpredictable state of flux. The free and nondiscriminatory flow of communications is essential to the functioning of any democracy. These things mandate our close attention.

Let's hope that we can look back and say that the Chicago Sun-Times helped begin to turn the tide on this awful bill and its Senate and other brethren. On Tuesday April 25th, I thanked the paper's Washington Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet for her excellent article that day on Barton-Rush (H.R. 5252). She responded to my request for Sun-Times followup on media reform issues in part by writing an article (broken link) focusing on Rush's ethics and this in her blog:

"Rush, asked to explain whether he had a conflict in sponsoring telecommunications legislation in the wake of the grant, replied in a statement that the 'real conflict' stems from inequities in the telecommunications marketplace that hurt the poor."

Since his bill is geared primarily to relieving the "inequities" that hurt the telecos, apparently "pay-back" for the "poor" is coming through backdoor channels like his community center.

It would help if more daily papers would monkey the Sun-Times and other outlets. It is truly sad that, to date, no mainstream coverage, except Sweet's April 25th article, details both Rush's ethics and those of the telcos.

Additional coverage includes an editorial, a technical article, and a column by Mary Mitchell in the Sun-Times - a total of five "hits" there, and pieces in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV, NPR Morning Edition heard on WBEZ-FM, Cliff Kelley on WVON-AM, and Democracy Now!, available through CAN-TV, WRTE-FM, WLUW-FM and WZRD-FM. An AP wire story did originate out of Chicago.

Save Access! Save Community Media! Keep the Internet Open! Defend Local Control! Stop Red-Lining in Our Communities!

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This entry was posted by Scott Sanders, a co-founder to date of seven Chicago area media and democracy activist groups.
Sanders has worked for long stretches in social science research, in the creation of video documentaries, as a librarian, and also in movie theater management.
You can link to Scott's combined curriculum vitae, timeline, and resume here.

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