A band of angels is expected to descend upon the Federal Communications
Commission Friday, but agency chairman Michael Powell isn't likely to think he's
gone to heaven.
A coalition of activists, media watchdogs and concerned citizens
are planning to protest deregulation of media ownership dressed as 'Angels
of Public Interest.'
The theme is a take on a 1998 Powell speech in which he quipped of waiting
for the 'angel of public interest' to visit him after he was sworn in as an FCC
Powell has frequently complained that he has no idea how to uphold his
statutory obligation to guarantee that electronic media operate in the public
His critics say the FCC and federal courts are creating a media monopoly that
threatens democratic debate by pushing the elimination of limits on media
Although some of the expected protesters have ties to the anti-globalization
movement, one organizer said Friday's protest will be entirely peaceful and
'People will be protesting for political change within the
political system,' said Seeta Peña Gangadharan of Mediachannel.org one of the participating groups.
Planned speakers include Jeffrey Chester, executive
director of the Center for Digital Democracy, and Terry O'Neal, president of the
National Organization of Women.