Dear Senator Fitzgerald:

Merely by the fact of your lone dissenting vote on the airline bailout package, I am proud to have you as my Senator. A brave stance at a difficult time is not easy to take, and I can respect it. I write to you now to encourage you to make a similar, but easier stand.

S. 1046 was introduced by Senator Stevens of Alaska to overrule the recent FCC decision on media ownership and concentration. In 2001, you opposed the airline bailout package by asking, "what do the taxpayers get in return?" Now, I ask you, what do we, the citizens, get in return for giving large media corporations license to consolidate?

I can see that this may be a boon for these companies' bottom lines, and in a time of recession, it's tempting to make these rules changes to give some employers a quick boost. But please take some time to consider the impact this may have on the fabric of American culture. America has always strongly resisted homogenization. I, for one, love my city of Chicago and love that it is different from Detroit, different from St. Louis, different from Los Angeles and New York. But growing media consolidation means that there will soon be very little appreciable difference in the newspapers, radio stations, and television stations from city to city. What is unique about our towns, cities, and regions is being destroyed.

Also, I am a fan of local and independent music. Some of my best friends are musicians who make fantastic, beautiful music, but their only hope of being heard on the radio is on the rare college-sponsored station. Why does this have to be? Why do our media outlets have to cater to the lowest common denominator? Simply, the profit imperatives of national broadcasting markets.

I'm not against broadcasters making a profit, but what I am against is tearing up the unique regional fabric of our country to do it. I think this is a bi-partisan issue. Republicans and Democrats alike are concerned with both the tenor and the quality of our media and press. I think that joining with your colleagues to support S. 1046 and helping to preserve individual and unique voices in our country's discourse is entirely in line with your principles and thosse of the great state of Illinois. I urge you to support this bill.

Thank you,

Thomas Whalen

1648 W. Summerdale Ave #1

Chicago, IL 60640

See also: cognition, compliant.