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MMTC tries Reverse Psychology on the FCC

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The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council took a novel approach to trying to get the FCC to act on its promise to do something to make its equal employment opportunity rules more effective: it asked the agency to suspend the rules altogether.

This unexpected request is not what you would anticipate from an organizaiton that counts as part of its mission the promotion of employment in the communications industries among racial minorities.

However, the paradox in what I equate to reverse psychology is actually an attempt by MMTC to get the FCC to move on 12 months of EEO enforcement inaction. Executive Director David Honig said in an interview withBroadcasting & Cable that the request for a 3-month suspension is warranted to enable the FCC to totally revamp its entire EEO program and recommit to it. “Nothing is lost by suspending it,” says MMTC Executive Director David Honig, “since as configured now it isn’t producing any benefits to the public or broadcasters.”

I’d say it was a gutsy move. But in a time when the Commission has lots on its plate, drastic times call for drastic measures. It reiterates my concerns that the FCC has been so consumed with Net Neutrality and other issues that have no direct and real impact on minority advancement in the industry, that it has ignored important ones that do.

Indeed, it has been at least a decade since the agency has been promising to commission studies to justify its EEO rules to survive strict scrutiny (or a Court challenge based on the highest standard of review for government action that involves a perceived preference for one race or groups of races over another.) After two administrations that may not have been as committed to move on this issue, it is a wasted opportunity if the Genachowski FCC fails to move on this initiative at the least.

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