Washington, D.C. (August 7, 2014): The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) strongly refutes recent media attacks on nearly 50 minority organizations’ stance in the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet proceeding. A complete lack of journalistic integrity and fact checking has spawned this misguided attack against our organization and dozens of other national minority organizations. These recent posts are false, and we believe they subtly embrace coarse racial stereotypes.
By way of background, a number of online publications have picked up on two unfortunate posts by Lee Fang in the Republic Report that make multiple inaccurate statements and accuse MMTC and nearly 50 other national minority organizations who filed Comments in the FCC’s Open Internet proceeding (available here, here, and here) of “selling out” the Internet and being paid to take our position in this rulemaking. Notably, these allegations are being made only against minority organizations. Here are the facts:
- MMTC and the organizations that joined in its Comments work on a variety of social justice and equity issues within communities of color. They are not lobbyists. They receive funding from a variety of sources, and they make their own decisions on policy issues.
- MMTC and the national minority organizations formed their views on the Open Internet independently of the telecom companies, with no financial quid pro quos. Their position in the Open Internet rulemaking is the same as FCC Chairman Wheeler’s position except that the minority organizations sought stronger consumer protections than the Chairman did – specifically, a fast-track complaint process modeled after Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
- MMTC asked NewsOne.com, a black-owned website which had reposted one of Republic’s posts, for an opportunity to present an opposing view. On review, NewsOne.com decided on its own to remove the post which, based on no evidence, accused nearly all of the nation’s major civil rights organizations of corruption. NewsOne.com has confirmed this account. MMTC has never asked a publication to take down a post. Mr. Fang’s assertion that MMTC asked NewsOne.com to take down his post is categorically false. He knew that but printed this falsehood anyway. Republic has subsequently refused to correct it.
Here is a link to a full rebuttal of the Republic articles.
MMTC encourages all sides of the open Internet issue to read our filings and analyses in the rulemaking proceeding:
- 7/18/14 – Comments of the National Minority Organizations on the Open Internet: http://mmtconline.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Natl-Minority-Orgs-Open-Internet-Comments-071814.pdf
- 5/13/14 – Open Internet Ex Parte Letter: http://mmtconline.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/MMTC-Open-Internet-Ex-Parte-051314.pdf
- 11/21/13 – Refocusing Broadband Policy White Paper: http://mmtconline.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Refocusing-Broadband-Policy-112113.pdf
About MMTC: MMTC is a 28-year old, non-partisan, non-profit civil rights organization focused on preserving and expanding minority ownership and closing the digital divide. MMTC is generally recognized as the nation’s leading advocate for minority advancement in communications.