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Rep. Rush Underwhelmed by FCC Diversity Efforts

Count Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) among those critical of the FCC's diversity efforts to date.

While giving the FCC credit for diversity initiatives in the Comcast/NBCU merger, its efforts to promote fair ad rates for minority broadcasters, and other initiatives, he said he has been "grossly underwhelmed" by what he called "lip service and platitudes" from the commission about concluding proceedings, studies and reports that he says can" dramatically affect the fortunes of minority viewers, listeners, new market entrants, established businesses, and entrepreneurs."

Rush's observations were prompted by a letter to the FCC from 23 minority groups expressing their unhappiness with the FCC's diversity efforts.

FCC spokesman Rob Kenny had countered that the FCC had made "great strides" on diversity. "We are committed to upholding and fostering the civil rights of every American and remain focused on truly making a difference in people's lives," said Kenny, "to spur opportunities for people through policy initiatives that harness technology and adapt to a changing communications landscape in America."

"I look forward to a more detailed explanation from the FCC's leadership about what appears to be lack of aggressive engagement and follow through on issues of importance to small and minority-owned businesses," said Rush, who is African American, in a statement released late Thursday.