Should the FCC scrap all remaining media ownership rules? we go to the FCC public hearing with a former FCC chair, Fox Entertainment Group, the Nat l Assoc. of Black Owned Broadcasters, the Nat l Assoc. of Hispanic Journalists, the Center for Public Integrity, and the Project for Excellence in Journalism; British punk-rock-pop-anarchist-activist band Chumbawamba performs; they also talk about the anti-war movement; Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez meets with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan
9:00-9:01 Billboard 9:01-9:06 Headlines 9:06-9:07 Music Break: Chumbawamba 9:07-9:12 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez meets with UN Sec. Gen. Kofi Annan Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias met with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at the United Nations yesterday. Chavez has asked the UN and neighboring countries to help mediate the standoff between the government and opposition forces. In recent weeks, a business lockout and work stoppage led by right-wing groups aiming to bring down the government has devastated the petroleum industry. In a press conference after the meeting, President Chavez was asked how much oil the country is currently exporting every day. Tape: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, speaking at a press conference outside the United Nations in New York, 1/16/03 Democracy Now! producer Alex Wolfe later asked Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez whether foreign high-technology firms such as the major US defense contractor Science Applications International Corporation, had cooperated with the Venezuelan government. SAIC supplied much of the technology and computer systems that regulate the refineries and pipelines in Venezuela, as well as navigational and global positioning systems for the oil tankers. This was his response. Guest: Rafael Ramirez, Venezuelan Energy Minister 9:12-9:20 Columbia Law School yesterday held a public hearing on the Federal Communications Commission s plans to loosen or scrap all remaining media ownership rules. The hearing was at the instigation of unions and media activists, originally organized by the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Writers Guild of America, the Center for Digital Democracy, the Media Access Project and others. FCC Chair Michael Powell originally didn t plan to attend, but was forced to after public pressure mounted. The six rules under review include: *the ban on broadcasters owning television stations that reach more than 35 per cent of the country * the prohibition of mergers between the four largest TV networks * and the prohibition from owning a newspaper and broadcast outlet in the same market. If those rules are scrapped, a single CEO could theoretically own all of the largest media outlets in the country. The event featured all-day panels where media activists, public interest advocates, representatives from think tanks and Hollywood guild members outnumbered industry reps like Viacom's Dennis Swanson, Fox Entertainment Group's Ellen Agress and David Poltrack of CBS. Tape: Reed Hundt, former Chairman of the FCC. As chairman of the FCC, Hundt presided over the first major overhaul of U.S. telecommunications policy in more than 60 years and helped negotiate the World Trade Organization Telecommunications agreement. Tape: Charles Lewis, Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Public Integrity. He talks about research the center did investigating media corporations ties to congress and the FCC. Tape: Ellen Agress, Senior Vice President, Fox Entertainment Group 9:21-9:22 One-minute music break with Chumbawamba 9:22-9:44 FCC, cont d Tape: James Winston, Executive Director and General Counsel for the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters Tape: Robert McChesney, Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and author of Rich Media, Poor Democracy Tape: Juan Gonzalez, co-host of Democray Now!, President, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and columnist for the NY Daily News Tape: Amy Mitchell, Associate Director with the Project for Excellence in Journalism. Her organization has conducted several studies about the changes that have been taking place in the news media 9:44-9:58 As the Bush administration gears up for war against Iraq, artists and musicians are taking a more prominent role in giving voice to antiwar sentiments throughout the world. There will be a massive anti-war rally tomorrow, January 18th, in Washington, D.C. If the rally of October 26th is any indication, hundreds of thousands of people will come from around the country and the world to say, Not in Our Name. The British band Chumbawamba will perform live at the peace rally to express their outrage at this proposed pre-emptive strike by the President Select. Four members of the band have joined us in the studio, obediently providing musical interludes, and now we would like to give them a chance to speak. Guest: Alice Nutter, with the British band, Chumbawamba Guest: Boff, with the British band, Chumbawamba Guest: Neil Ferguson, with the British band, Chumbawamba Guest: Lou Watts, with the British band, Chumbawamba 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits For a copy of today s program, call 1 (800) 881 2359. Our website Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Ana Nogiera and Alex Wolfe. Mike Di Filippo is our music maestro and engineer.