Open letter to the FCC

It is bad enough that, living in Jefferson, TX, I am forced to watch news from Shreveport, LA, the vast majority of which means nothing to me.  And the occasional and incidental mention of Texas news stories on these stations does nothing to mitigate the alienation I feel because the FCC has determined we Texas residents should be subjected to meaningless broadcasts from Louisiana.  But when it comes to our political process, the Television Market Area (TMA) idea materially interferes with my ability to remain informed about the elections that matter to and affect me.

Quite by chance a relative picked up a newspaper from Longview and learned from it that we missed an important debate last night between the candidates vying to fill Texas’s open U.S. Senate seat.  As the debate was not carried by any Louisiana station—it was not even mentioned by them—only by mere chance did we learn of it from a newspaper we do not subscribe to but nonetheless picked up out of curiosity.

Am I required to subscribe to newspapers as well as satellite service in order to remain informed about the elections that matter to me—the elections in Texas, the state where I live?  The TMA with which the FCC has burdened me ensures I remain ignorant and disenfranchised since Shreveport news stations provide inadequate coverage about the issues and elections that affect me.

Interference with any election is a crime, yes, but to do so in a manner that is easily rectified is also an affront.  Texans deserve to receive news relevant to them, to wit news from the state in which they live.  This empowers the electorate and ensures the democratic process is open and available to those interested enough to pay attention.  On the other hand, hiding important information behind irrelevant TMA assignments blinds us from the government that works for us.

It is time for the FCC to negate interstate TMAs in favor of intrastate coverage.  Texans want to know about the drought in Texas, not crime in Louisiana; Texans want to know about emergency preparations in Texas, not hurricane preparedness in Louisiana; and Texans want to know about elections in Texas so we can exercise our constitutional rights by taking part in a government by, of and for we the people, and I don’t mean elections in Louisiana in which we cannot vote and for which we have only cursory interest at most.

Do us all a favor: Stop interfering with the electoral process in Texas and elsewhere.  Give Texans access to Texas news stations.  We don’t live in Louisiana.

Best regards,

Jason M Hogle
Jefferson, TX

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  1. This missive was sent to the FCC as well as every Senator and Representative who wields power over the agency via the committees upon which they serve.
  2. Several House of Representative members block communications from anyone outside their districts despite those representatives serving on national committees wielding power over the United States in toto.  Shame on them for thinking themselves above the American people to whom they answer.
  3. Any member of Congress who blocks communications from people outside their districts and who likewise serves on a national committee needs to resign their committee seat immediately.
  4. I will name names in the immediate future with regards to those Senators and Representatives who do not want to hear from anyone outside their districts whilst simultaneously wielding influence on a national committee.  They deserve to be kicked out of office for their selfish ways.

2 thoughts on “Open letter to the FCC”

  1. Well, Jason, my situation’s just about opposite here. Living in southeastern Pennsylvania, I have to hear about the elections in Pennsylvania (naturally), but also New Jersey and Delaware, since New Jersey and Delaware have no television stations of their own and our stations and newspapers generally serve the tri-state area.

    1. Wow, Scott. I hadn’t thought of that spin on the issue (likely because I’ve not been exposed to it, but nevertheless . . .). You probably find it as frustrating as I do. It amazes me how much control the Neilsen ratings wield over what we see–a fact I just learned from the FCC in their response to my letter (to be posted momentarily).

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