Tell FCC Chairman Pai: No Trump TV

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    The Message

    To FCC Chairman Ajit Pai:

    The FCC should not repeal rules that protect competition and a free press. We urge Chairman Ajit Pai and the rest of the Commission to vote against broadcast deregulation on November 16th. The reinstatement of a UHF discount serves no purpose other than to facilitate the merger of the Sinclair-Tribune corporations—a blatant quid pro quo in exchange for the company's positive coverage of the Trump administration.

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is doing everything it can to clear the way for Sinclair Broadcasting Group's TV takeover—setting up a $3.9 billion merger that would allow the pro-Trump propaganda machine to reach 72% of U.S. households.1

    Last week, they repealed the Main Studio Rule, a longstanding regulation that required local TV and radio broadcasters to have local studios. Thanks to the FCC, your local stations can now be run out of a mega-corporation's distant headquarters.

    And on November 16, the Commission is voting on the repeal of yet another decades-old regulation, in order to facilitate Sinclair's merger with Tribune Media Co.

    We only have a few more days to stop them from pushing this deal through. Will you join our petition to the FCC and Chairman Ajit Pai demanding that they vote against clearing the way for a Sinclair-Tribune merger?

    Last month, nearly 40,000 MPower Change members filed comments to the FCC, urging it to uphold current rules preventing a corporate consolidation of the media.

    If you're wondering why the FCC and Chairman Pai are giving preferential treatment to Sinclair, it's simple—the sweetheart deal is the outcome of a backroom negotiation with Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner during the election. The agreement was a classic quid pro quo: deliver positive coverage of Trump, and in exchange, the administration will deliver 72% of American households' televisions.2

    Sinclair's political commentary and analysis, driven by its chief political analyst and former Trump Staffer Boris Epshteyn, is dutifully pro-Trump at best and strikingly propagandist at worst. Disinformation and silencing dissent costs us more than just knowledge—it's hazardous to our communities and our democracy.

    Let Chairman Pai know we won't stand for his assaults on the First Amendment. Tell him: We demand a free press, not a Trump TV takeover.

    Beyond broadcasting only positive news about the Trump administration, Sinclair is the same company that:

    • defends blatant anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic content under the guise of free speech;3
    • forces every station it owns to air must-run segments including the "Terrorism Alert Desk," which aims to label any action by Muslims as terrorism4; and
    • was fined by the FCC for violating U.S. law—an incident former FCC Comissioner Michael Copps cited as an example of how Sinclair has tried to "run over lines" and rules historically.5

    The FCC, chaired by Trump appointee Ajit Pai, has been peeling back decades-old policies that protect competition and a free press in order to deliver on Kushner's promise to Sinclair and flood the airwaves with pro-Trump propaganda.

    And on November 16, they could remove the final barriers standing in Sinclair's way.

    Let's make sure the FCC and Chairman Pai know we're watching. Sign the petition demanding they vote against a Trump TV takeover.

    In solidarity,
    Kifah, Linda, Mohammad, and the MPower Change team



    1. "Right-wing Sinclair Broadcast Group snubs FCC, gets away with it" Salon, Oct 11, 2017

    2. "'Classic Propaganda': Sinclair Broadcasting Pushes Aside Fox News to Become 'Trump TV'" Common Dreams, Jul 30, 2017

    3."CAIR: Sinclair Broadcast Group Backs FL Host Who Attacks Jews, Muslims, Mormons" CAIR, Mar 11, 2015

    4. "Sinclair Requires TV Stations to Air Segments That Tilt to the Right" The New York Times, May 12, 2017

    5. "Ready for Trump TV? Inside Sinclair Broadcasting’s Plot to Take Over Your Local News" Mother Jones, Nov 1, 2017

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