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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending June 13, 2003


  • Critics Charge FCC Media Deregulation Will Strengthen
    Monopolies While Weakening Democracy

    For story text and audio, Click here!

  • Amnesty International Declares U.S. War on Terrorism
    Has Made the World a More Dangerous Place

    For story text and audio, Click here!

  • Plowshares Action Targets
    Warships in New York Harbor

    For story text and audio, Click here!

  • Underreported News Summary from Around the World
    For full summary and audio, Click here!
LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. MP3 files available until June 17, 2003.

This week we present Between The Lines' summary of under-reported news stories and:

Critics Charge FCC Media Deregulation Will Strengthen
Monopolies While Weakening Democracy

Interview with Danny Schechter,
journalist and author,
conducted by Scott Harris

In a historic June 2nd vote, the Federal Communications Commission, chaired by Bush administration appointee Michael Powell (and son of Secretary of State Colin Powell), abandoned regulations in force for several decades which had restricted the concentration of ownership of the nation's print and broadcast media outlets. In a party line 3 to 2 vote, the Republican-dominated Commission put in place new regulations that will allow a company to own up to three television stations, eight radio stations, a daily newspaper and a cable TV provider in the nation's largest cities. The new rules will also permit national networks to own TV stations that reach 45 percent of U.S. households, up from 35 percent.

Chairman Powell maintained that the most sweeping media deregulation in a generation will promote diversity, localism and competition. But a bipartisan coalition of media activists, consumer groups and members of Congress charge that these new rules will have an opposite effect by creating ever-larger monopolies which will limit the diversity of viewpoints and undermine local programming. In response to what many viewed as an undemocratic process leading up to this vote, a grassroots media democracy movement was born, inspiring court challenges and federal legislation seeking to overturn the FCC rules changes.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with journalist and author Danny Schechter, who, over the last four decades, has worked for both corporate and independent media outlets. He assesses the effect FCC deregulation will have on our democracy and the movement now organizing to take back the public airwaves.

Danny Schechter is executive producer at Globalvision. His latest book, "Media Wars," examines U.S. media coverage of the war against terrorism. Visit Schechter's media watch Web site at:

Related links

Amnesty International Declares U.S. War on Terrorism
Has Made the World a More Dangerous Place

Interview with Josh Rubenstein,
Amnesty International,
conducted by Scott Harris

As increasing numbers of U.S. soldiers are killed and wounded in ambush attacks across Iraq, and the search for Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction" continues to come up empty-handed, many Americans are beginning to question the Bush administration's justification for their war against Baghdad. After the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, the White House declared what they said could very well be "an endless" war against terrorism which sent U.S. troops first to Afghanistan and then the Persian Gulf, while curtailing civil liberties here at home.

Contrary to international law, hundreds of prisoners captured in Afghanistan, some of them juveniles, have been held at the U.S. Navy's prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba without charge for up to 18 months. Meanwhile, Attorney General John Ashcroft, under the authority of the USA Patriot Act, held hundreds of immigrants in secret detention, without filing charges, while denying many of them access to attorneys or family members. Allegations that many of these immigrants were abused while in custody are supported in a recent investigation conducted by the Justice Department's inspector general.

In its annual report on global human rights released on May 28th, Amnesty International declared that Washington's war on terror has made the world more dangerous by curbing human rights, undermining international law and shielding governments from scrutiny. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Joshua Rubenstein, northeast regional director with Amnesty International USA, who discusses his group's concerns about the questionable tactics employed by the Bush administration to fight the terrorist threat.

Contact Amnesty International USA by calling (617) 623-0202 or visit their Web site at

Related links

Plowshares Action Targets
Warships in New York Harbor

Interview with Mark Colville,
Plowshares peace activist,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus

On May 25, as hundreds of tourists were sightseeing aboard battleships in New York Harbor for the city's annual "Fleet Week" celebration, four peace activists hammered on missile launch hatches and threw their own blood on the deck of the guided missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea. In a statement released by the religious activists, they said, "With hammers, we have initiated the process of disarming this battle ship, of transforming this carrier of mass destruction into a vessel for peace." The ship was the first U.S. Navy vessel to launch missiles on Afghanistan in 2001. Calling themselves the Riverside Plowshares were Brian Buckley of Virginia, Mark Colville of Connecticut, Joan Gregory of New York, and Sister Susan Clarkson of England. All are members of Catholic Worker communities, which espouse non-violent direct action against militarism in support of the poor.

Although the four were arrested, they were not charged and after a few hours in custody they were released. During more than two decades of Plowshares peace protests, more than 150 people have participated in at least 70 actions in several countries that have targeted a range of weapons and delivery systems. Plowshares activists have served prison terms averaging one to two years, with the longest sentence being 18 years.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Plowshares activist Mark Colville at his home in New Haven, Conn., after his release by New York City police. He describes the recent action in New York Harbor and his philosophy of non-violent resistance.

For more information on the Plowshares movement, visit

Related links

This week's summary
of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon and Brita Brundage

  • Rock star Bob Geldof, creator of the Live Aid concerts in the 1980s, is back in Africa trying to create awareness about massive famine now gripping Ethiopia. ("Geldof: Ethiopia aid 'pathetic'," BBC News, May 27, 2003)
  • Death toll of immigrants being smuggled into the U.S. has skyrocketed since the implementation of the Clinton-era "Southwest Border Strategy," which focuses on prevention through deterrence. ("Samaritans in the Desert," The Nation, May 26, 2003; "On U.S.-Mexican Border, Spring is The Season to Die," Reuters, May 16, 2003).
  • U.S. family farmers denounce complaints to the World Trade Organization by the U.S. and eight other nations challenging the European Union's limits on genetically modified food crops. ("Family Farmers Denounce U.S. Complaint," In Motion Magazine, May 28, 2003; "Genetic Engineering and Environmental Racism," by Don Fitz,Alternet,, May 13, 2003)

DOWNLOAD this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. Note: Make sure your browser is set for streaming or download depending on your connection speed. MP3 files available until June 17.

Note to our broadcast subscribers: We are now offering FTP access for faster, more reliable download. Please call Anna Manzo at (203) 268-8446 ext. 2, to register for FTP logon access. After July 14, 128- and 64-kbps MP3 files will be available only through FTP access, not through this home page.

Senior news editor: Bob Nixon and Brita Brundage
Segment producers: Melinda Tuhus
Program narration: Denise Manzari
News reader: Prue Cullen
Distribution: Anna Manzo, Harry Minot, Jeff Yates
Web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Executive producer: Scott Harris

... MORE ...

Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 6/6/03

Bush Re-Election Issues

"Missing Weapons Of Mass Destruction: Is Lying About The Reason For War An Impeachable Offense?" by John W. Dean, FindLaw's Writ, June 6, 2003

"Shoulder to Shoulder and Stabbed in the Back," by Robin Cook, Britain's former foreign minister, Los Angeles Times, June 6, 2003

"Spy Report Saw No Proof of Iraq Arms," Boston Globe, June 7, 2003

"Pentagon in 2002 Found `No Reliable' Iraq Arms Data,"Bloomberg News, June 6, 2003

"Agent Turned Author Defies CIA," MSNBC, June 4, 2003

"Some Analysts Say They Felt Pressure on Iraq Data," The Washington Post, June 4, 2003

"Wolfowitz: 'Iraq War Was About Oil,'" Furor shines spotlight on interpretation of weapons intelligence, The Guardian, June 4, 2003

"How Their Big Lie Came to Be," The Los Angeles Times, June 3, 2003

"Bush 'is on Brink of Catastrophe,'" The Times, May 23, 2003

"Bush Should be Impeached and Tried for War Crimes," The Charleston Gazette, May 12, 2003

War Crimes Prosecution

"Blair Faces War Crimes Suit," BBC News, May 23, 2003

"No weapons in Iraq? We'll find them in Iran," Sunday Herald, June 1, 2003

American Empire/War Profiteering in Iraq

"Imperial America and War," Monthly Review, May 28, 2003

"Back in Political Forefront: Iran-Contra Figure Plays Key Role on Mideast," The Washington Post, May 27, 2003

"Another Scandalous No-Bid Contract Makes Us Look Like Fools,", May 26, 2003

"Pentagon Hands Major Iraq Deal to Scandal-Ridden WorldCom," The Star Online, May 22, 2003

"War Profiteering," by The Nation editors, April 24, 2003

Postwar Occupation of Iraq

"U.S. soldiers face growing resistance Attacks in central Iraq become more frequent, sophisticated, The Washington Post, June 9, 2003

"Ex-Army Boss: Pentagon Won't Admit Reality in Iraq," USA Today, June 3, 2003

Civil Liberties

"US Plans Death Camp at Guantanamo," The Courier-Mail, May 26, 2003

Between The Lines Special Reports in RealAudio

"Opponents Organize Resistance to FCC Rules Change That Will Strengthen Media Monopolies," Interview with John Nichols, The Nation Washington correspondent, Week Ending 5/30/03

"Allegations of War Profiteering Leveled Against Halliburton and Other Companies With Close Ties to White House," Charlie Cray, corporate reform campaigner at Citizen Works, Week Ending 5/23/03

"Campaign to Impeach President Bush Will Require Broad Public Support," law professor Francis Boyle, March 7, 2003

"White House Successor to USA Patriot Act Threatens Further Erosion of Civil Liberties," author Nancy Chang, Feb. 28, 2003

Multi-Ethnic Issues Advocacy

Dr. Earl Ofari Hutchinson's Commentaries, The Hutchinson Report
and in Audio (needs RealPlayer)


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