Protest News Corporation - Demand the FCC pull the broadcast licenses of criminals

Posted by Mitchell - July 17, 2011 (entry 675)

On July 3, 2011, a six-year-old phone voicemail hacking scandal involving the British tabloid News Of The World (owned by right-wing media mogul Rupert Murdoch) took a dramatic new turn when it was revealed that News Of The World had intercepted the voicemails of thousands of everyday people, including victims of the 7/7 London bombing of 2005, relatives of deceased British soldiers, and a thirteen-year-old murdered girl.

In the two weeks since these revelations, the scandal has grown to hurricane strength, resulting (so far) in the following:

* The closing of News Of The World after 168 years, causing the layoffs of some 200 journalists
* The arrests of nine people implicated in the scandal, including the spokesperson for British Prime Minister David Cameron.
* The resignations of (among others) the head of Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal (also owned by Murdoch)
* The scuttling of an attempted Murdoch buyout of British Sky Broadcasting, the largest pay-TV provider in Britain
* The loss of some $7 billion dollars of market capitalization of Murdoch media properties

The investigation into the matter has also extended to the United States, as allegations has surfaced of hacking (and paying a police officer for) the voicemails of 9/11 victims. The FBI has already opened an investigation into the matter.

What's more, there has already been some talk, even in major corporate media (like ABC's This Week), of the FCC taking action against Murdoch media in the United States, by urging the FCC to withdraw the broadcast licenses including a number of Murdoch-owned Fox TV stations. But the FCC has cold feet on the question; what public indications the FCC has made on the issue suggest that they would not be likely to pull the licenses of any stations, and historically the FCC has very rarely pulled the broadcast licenses of any TV stations on public-interest grounds since the FCC's founding in 1934.

That needs to change. And we intend to make a statement at the Chicago nerve-center of Murdoch media -- Fox Chicago WFLD (ironically, one of the stations still facing a still-pending six-year-old license challenge at the FCC brought by Chicago Media Action).

We encourage you to join us. Join us as we demand the FCC pull the broadcast licenses of criminals

What: Protest News Corporation - Demand the FCC pull the broadcast licenses of criminals

Where: Fox Chicago, 205 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago

When: Friday, July 22, 2011, from 5pm CT to 6pm CT

Any questions? Email cma@chicagomediaaction.org or call 773-641-2151.

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