Tom Wheeler, the White House’s pick to head the Federal Communications Commission, was for years a well-heeled lobbyist for cable and wireless companies. He also served the president’s 2008 and 2012 election campaigns as a top “bundler,” raising more than $700,000 from undisclosed donors in support of Obama.
Most weeks there’s more Internet-related news than people can handle.
Given the constant flux, we at Free Press are taking a stab at listing, every Friday, the top five things you need to know about developments impacting Internet freedom.
A recent ProPublica investigation highlighted a network of political action committees that consultants and strategists set up as front groups designed to funnel money back to those who established them.
In the report, which examined PAC expenditures, Kim Barket found that the PACs spent just a small percentage of the money they raised on concrete actions to get candidates elected.
Think the election season ended on Nov. 6? Think again.
The shadowy Super PACs and front groups that polluted the airwaves with political ads are already raising millions from corporations and billionaires to batter television viewers with a new wave of ads.
What if there was a gadget that could fix everything that’s wrong with the media?
There’s no such thing — yet.
But at Free Press we’re building a people-powered machine that fights every day to change the media and build a better democracy. Click here to read about all of the “apps” that make Free Press such a powerful and effective tool for achieving lasting change.
Before Nov. 6 is written into history, we need to challenge assumptions now circulating among Washington’s pundit class.
First, the Obama victory didn’t signal the demise of big-money politics. It didn’t spell the end of the Super PAC. And the election wasn’t a train wreck for political advertising — even after groups paid billions for spots in support of losing candidates.
Lost in the media frenzy of last Tuesday’s elections was one broadcaster’s 11th-hour attempt to bias voters against President Barack Obama.
Just hours before Americans went to the polls on Tuesday, Sinclair Broadcast Group — which owns more than 70 TV stations nationwide — forced newscasters in battleground states to air a “special” that attacked President Obama’s positions on health care, jobs and foreign policy.
Free Press spent the final months of the campaign season traveling to swing states to visit TV stations that are not currently required to post their political files to the Federal Communications Commission’s new online database.
When the FCC announced it would require broadcasters to upload data on political ad spending, it exempted all Spanish-language TV stations from posting this information until 2014.
Since the Federal Communications Commission’s new online database of political ad data does not include information from Spanish-language stations, we at Free Press decided to take matters into our own hands. Free Press staff and volunteers visited Spanish-language stations in three battleground states — Colorado, Florida and New Mexico — to inspect the political files and post them online.