The Federal Communications Commission is considering whether to allow media moguls Sinclair Broadcasting and Tribune Media to merge, giving them unprecedented access to 72 percent of American households in flagrant violation of the longstanding cap of 39 percent.

The FCC should not approve this merger! It is unconscionable to allow a merger that would result in extraordinary access to nearly three-quarters of the American television news-consuming public by a single provider – and requiring a historic rule change to do it.

This rule is in place for the best of reasons: to ensure integrity in the balance of news reporting and the airing of ideas and viewpoints that are available to the American people.

There is no defensible reason to degrade the ability of Americans to engage in the civil exchange of information, views and ideas, and it is a direct attack on a free press and free speech.

There has already been evidence in Maine on WGME-TV (Channel 13) and WPFO-TV (Channel 23), both owned by Sinclair, of their intent to force local stations to air their right-wing views and biased reporting without allowing adequate counter-representation.

Viewers should have equal opportunity to hear and air competing points of view. Limiting the choice and denying access by granting disproportionate licensing to a single source are the actions of a fascist government.

Jane Card