The Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network held a three-pronged
protest in Washington, D.C., Wednesday.
Two protests -- one at the Federal Communications Commission and the other in
front of the Department of Justice -- were in opposition to the merger of EchoStar
Communication Corp. and DirecTV Inc., which NAN said will create a monopoly and
The other was a smaller protest of XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. for not carrying
religious gospel channel The Word Network, while at the same time carrying
programming that NAN said glorifies violence, drugs and the degradation of
women. Among the offending channels it identified were reggae channel The Joint
and Playboy Radio.
NAN has held numerous such protests against both XM and EchoStar in the past
several months, and it plans to be back on XM's doorstep Friday.
According to NAN spokesman Sam Riddle, the Rev. Horace Sheffield III, president
of NAN's Michigan chapter, also led a prayer vigil outside the Bethesda, Md.,
home of XM president and CEO Hugh Panero last weekend.
In a statement last week, XM said: "We have informed NAN that we currently
have a programming partnership with D.C.-area-based Radio One, the nation's
largest African-American-owned radio company, which programs five channels
including Spirit, the first national 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week gospel
channel, and The Power, the first national African-American talk channel."