As he did on many things, Arizona Senator John McCain, who died over the weekend, went his own way on broadcasting policy during his days as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee in the 1990s and the aughts. Untethered to any regulatory orthodoxy, he helped broadcasters stave off new public interest obligations, but at the same time he opposed their second-channel plans for the analog-to-digital transition and championed free air time for candidates.
Ultimately, freedom of information is critical for a democracy to succeed. We become better, stronger and more effective societies by having an informed and engaged public that pushes policymakers to best represent not only our interests but also our values. Journalists play a major role in the promotion and protection of democracy and our unalienable rights, and they must be able to do their jobs freely. Only truth and transparency can guarantee freedom.
Lawmakers plan to introduce a bill Thursday that would impose new requirements on online platforms that run political ads. The measure, first floated by Senate Democrats Mark Warner (Virginia) and Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota), has picked up Republican Sen. John McCain (Arizona) as a co-sponsor.
The 80-year-old Arizona lawmaker has glioblastoma, according to doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, where McCain had a blood clot removed from above his left eye last Friday. He and his family are considering further treatment, including chemotherapy and radiation.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who introduced legislation to unbundle cable channels, explains why an a la carte system would be good for consumers, without harming the TV industry.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) has signed on to co-sponsor the Television Consumer Freedom Act of 2013 with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). The bill, introduced in May, seeks to coerce the pay TV industry to start selling channels to consumers on an a la carte basis instead of large bundles.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) claims the NFL’s blackout rule, instituted in 1973 and regulated by the FCC, is extreme, archaic and poor public policy. In May, the 2008 presidential nominee introduced a bill that would prohibit the league from blacking out games in markets in which teams have used public financing for stadium construction. “If the taxpayers paid for [a stadium] then, by God, I think the taxpayers ought to be able to see the game whether they sell out the stadium or not.”
The Arizona senator touts his proposed Television Consumer Freedom Act in the missive.
True to his reputation as a maverick, Arizona Senator John McCain has authored a bill seemingly designed to please nobody, while arguably disserving just about everybody. Dubbed the Television Consumer Freedom Act of 2013, it consists of clumsily crafted legislative language that mashes together in one bill three disparate and contentious aspects of the current video delivery system. In only one of those three areas does McCain’s proposal come to remotely practical terms with the problem it seeks to address.
ESPN President John Skipper said Tuesday he isn’t too worried about proposed legislation from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that would allow consumers to pick what channels they want instead of buying a big package of networks. “We don’t think the bill has any momentum,” Skipper said to reporters after ESPN made a presentation to advertisers in New York City. His view that McCain’s legislation is a long shot is shared by many television industry insiders.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) today announced proposed legislation titled the Television Consumer Freedom Act that would pave the way towards an à la carte system of pay television as well as penalize broadcasters who abandon public airwaves in the wake of digital TV upstart Aereo.
Legislation being drafted by Sen. John McCain is in response to broadcaster threats of shifting network shows to cable if the courts affirm the right of Barry Diller’s Aereo and similar services to retransmit broadcast programming online without paying broadcasters.