The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council’s (MMTC) recent letter to FCC Chairman Genachowski – requesting that the Commission suspend enforcement of its broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) rules – stems from the belief that these rules are hurting, more than helping, minority broadcasters. While EEO rules are supposed to be enforced by the FCC’s Media Bureau – the fact remains that the FCC has done little to ensure enforcement of these rules. Raising more red flags is the fact that sanctions are being placed on broadcasters when FCC enforcement is seemingly non-existent. MMTC addresses this problem very clearly in its letter to the Chairman, stating “In short, FCC EEO enforcement has no apparent mission, no focus, no data for evaluation, and no results except sanctioning the innocent while ignoring the guilty. Such a program only creates the false security that comes when the constable is on duty yet asleep.” Ultimately, broadcasters are being penalized for failing to follow protocol that is not clear to begin with, due to the FCC’s failure to enforce EEO rules and provide a clear framework for complying with these rules. For this reason, MMTC has requested that the Commission suspend EEO enforcement for three months. According to MMTC, this period of suspension will enable the Commission to “revitalize the program and reaffirm the agency’s commitment to ensuring opportunities for minorities and women in broadcasting and all of the Commission’s regulated industries.” I say bravo for taking the initiative to call the Commission out and letting them know we will not stand for this. The FCC needs to be vigilant in this front. Hopefully the message will resonate with Chairman Genachowski.
– July 22, 2010
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