Hill Dems Clap for Court Dereg Slapdown

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), the chairmen of the House Energy & Commerce committees, respectively, have joined those applauding a federal court's decision to vacate the FCC's 2017 broadcast deregulation order. 

It was broadcasters applauding in 2017 when the FCC's Republican majority voted to loosen local ownership rules, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Monday (Sept. 23) threw those out, saying the FCC had failed to sufficiently gauge the deregulation's impact on diverse media ownership, which has long been in short supply. 

In a joint statement, Pallone and Doyle, who are no fans of media dereg, made it all about the FCC's chairman, Ajit Pai and the President who appointed him. 

“The Trump FCC has consistently placed industry’s interests over consumers," they said. "In his fervor to deregulate, chairman Pai stripped protections away from American consumers, undermining media diversity and isolating communities whose voices make our country stronger. The Third Circuit’s decision validates our concerns that the FCC ignored the order’s effect on women and minority ownership. Rather than doubling down on its misguided approach, we urge the FCC to start anew and review its media ownership rules to ensure they reflect the great diversity of our nation.” 

Pai has vowed to appeal the decision, blaming a court he suggested could never be satisfied. 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.