The word came down yesterday -- exactly one year to the day after an appeal was filed, that the FCC to little surprise formally rejected the petitions to deny of Chicago Media Action and the Milwaukee Public Interest Media Coalition.
Mind you, this is not the first time this petition was rejected. But rejection is based on the notoriously flimsy moving target "bad faith" -- "The petitions have no provided evidence that the named licensees exercised their editorial discretion in bad faith." -- without any way to standardize what "bad faith" is. This is, and has been, part of the problem: there's no operational standard to judge legitimate claims to violate the public interest. Without it, the status quo, which wasn't popularly created to begin with, maintains its institutional advantage. This echoes some calls CMA has made in the past, and will make in the future.
Speaking of the future, we're weighing our options in light of this and will figure out next steps.
We're also working on a formal statement to be released shortly. The formal statement is now available here.
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