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Dereg critics keep up the fight

Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean Tuesday joined the parade of
Federal Communications Commission critics marching to derail the agency's June 2
vote on media-ownership-rule changes.

"The FCC appears poised to ignore the interests of regular Americans by allowing
a few massive conglomerates to gobble up our local news sources," Dean wrote in
a letter to FCC chairman Michael Powell.

Dean urged that the vote be postponed until Powell testifies on the changes before
Congress and time is allotted for additional public comment.

Also Tuesday, Democratic FCC commissioners hosted a roundtable on media
ownership comprised of activists of varying political stripes, journalists,
union representatives and religious leaders to voice concerns about the
direction the commission's three-Republican majority is about to take the
media-ownership vote.

"Just about everyone is opposed, and I agree with America," said commissioner
Jonathan Adelstein, who opened the session with fellow Democrat Michael Copps.

"The big media companies and the lobbyists have turned the FCC into their
tool," lamented Wade Henderson, executive director of the Leadership Conference
on Civil Rights.

Juan Gonzalez, president of the Coalition of Hispanic Journalists, criticized
the big broadcast networks for both ignoring and stereotyping
Latinos. "We are experts at nothing, as far as the networks are concerned, except crime
and immigration," he said

Others joining the round robin of complaints were Parents TV Council
president Brent Bozell, Remember the Titans writer Gregory Allen Howard and
Terry O'Neill, vice president of the National Organization of Women.

Wednesday afternoon, Norman Lear and other Hollywood personalities are
scheduled to hold a conference call on behalf of the Writers Guild to lambaste
media conglomerates.

On the list to join him are Richard Dreyfuss, M*A*S*H writer Larry
Gelbart and Murphy Brown creator Diane English.