Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
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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).
March 11, 1996
I was thrilled to hear the President today call for the FCC to take the steps necessary toguarantee that access to the public's airwaves for political debate is reformed in waysconsistent with the clear need to fix our campaign process.
As the President communnicated, the FCC has the power, the precedent and theprocedures to issue a rule ordering free air time access by candidates and to assure free accessto the airwaves for political candidates. The President asked us to take the rulemaking steps todo that. I hear the call and I agree with him.
The FCC is now writing the rules and preparing to grant the broadcast digital televisionlicenses. We intend to make clear that these licenses will be issued subject to concrete andcommensurate public interest obligations.
The President, Senator McCain and Walter Cronkite all agreed today that a part of thesolution to the destructive campaign money chase is to call on the broadcasters to help thecountry solve this problem by providing some free time for candidates.
The broadcasters have always had an obligation to use the public's airwaves to servethe public interest and what could be more in the public interest than providing a small portionof the hundreds of thousands of broadcasting hours to reform our system of democracy byminimizing the impact of money in campaigns.
This is an opportunity for broadcasters to make their own immense contribution to thepolitical life of the nation by renewing their compact with the American people.