Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) condemned Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin's decision today to rush through a vote on media consolidation. The vote to relax the rules regarding cross media ownership of newspapers and radio stations passed by a 3-2 party line vote today. The FCC vote will allow media companies to further consolidate. Martin's decision to the hold the vote ignores the expressed will of the Senate Commerce Committee. Sens. Kerry and Obama made clear last week that if Martin forced through the vote today, they would ask the Appropriations Committee to deny funding for implementation of the rule produced by the forced vote.
"By rushing through this vote today, Chairman Martin did the bidding of big corporate interests and threatened to further marginalize independent media, directly limit diversity, and damage America's public discourse," said Kerry. "Chairman Martin was warned that ignoring the will of the Commerce Committee would have consequences, and I will work hard with my colleagues on the appropriations committee to ensure that the FCC's funding reflects Chairman Martin's decision to go against the commission's own charter and limit media diversity rather than foster it."