Sunday, June 01, 2003

Three reasons from Senator John Edwards to not lift media ownership restrictions

In a letter to the chairman of the FCC, cited here on the Lessig blog, Senator John Edwards of North among other reasons to oppose the lifting on restrictions on media ownership the fact that in rural North Carolina (as in Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee) local stations in recent years have "offered prime-time broadcasts of Atlantic Coast Conference basketball games, Billy Graham crusades, and muscular dystrophy telethons."

Now, though, at least at my house, sometimes the ACC games are on ESPN and the local station at the same time, and there seem to be Billy Graham reruns on another cable channel quite often. (I saw one the other day from Texas Stadium made about 1970, where one of the speakers was Tom Landry, the coach of the Dallas Cowboys.) I don't know about muscular dystrophy telethons, but there was one for the Children's Miracle Network on the local Media General station this weekend. (Is Media General not one of the media companies limited by the current rules?)

Whenever I think of Billy Graham, I recall the story from this book (I think it was) about the famous D.C. lawyer, Edward Bennett Williams, who called Graham as a character witness in some case, maybe it was the trial of John Connally. Williams asked Graham to tell the jury what he does for a living, and Graham said something like "bringing to the people of the world the Gospel of Jesus Christ," which in turn led one of the jurors to exclaim, "Amen!"

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