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fcclogo NEWS

Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov
TTY: 202/418-2555

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

October 11, 2000
William J. Friedman (202) 418-2300

Statement of Commissioner Gloria Tristani

Court of Appeals Order on Political Editorial and Personal Attack Rules

I am saddened by the D.C. Circuit Court's decision today compelling this agency to vacate its personal attack and political editorial rules. But, I have no quarrel with the Court's rationale. As the Court noted, to an outside observer it appeared the Commission ignored the Court's prior call to action. The rules' challengers fairly seized on this point.

The rules at issue have been part of the modern broadcast landscape for many years and have been both praised and attacked. The purpose of the rules has always been to ensure the American public is an informed citizenry, a goal fundamental to our democracy.

Whether the rules properly balance the competing constitutional rights at issue is a question left open by today's ruling. Whether the public interest requires the personal attack and political editorial rules can only be determined if the Commission undertakes a rulemaking. I look forward to providing both challengers and supporters their chance to advance their evidence and arguments.

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