Copps receives Backbone Award in Portland

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UPDATE: View Photos from the award presentation

Showing Spine: FCC Commissioner Michael Copps awarded Backbone Award for fighting media consolidation

The Backbone Campaign will present a Backbone Award to FCC Commissioner Michael Copps during his Portland visit Thursday, June 24, 2004.

The Backbone Campaign, a grassroots effort to embolden the Democratic Party to stand up for progressive principles, will present the award to Copps for his opposition to the FCC media consolidation rules and for making the courageous decision to hold his own series of public hearings on consolidation around the country when FCC Chairman Michael Powell refused. Michael Copps has been and continues to be the loudest voice for the public interest inside and outside the FCC.

Michael Copps has been the central spirit in the public effort to reform our media, protect the Internet as a public space, and make the big media giants beholden to the public interest. He has done this at the risk of personal ostracism, criticism, and his own personal time and expense. Michael Copps is the head of the resistance to Michael Powell and the media giants. Many of his efforts have been behind the scenes, working with activists, letting others take the glory. We could not do it without his leadership. He kicks open the doors so the rest of us will have a chance. says media activist and Backbone Campaign organizer Mike Weisman.

The golden Backbone Award, created by artist Hans Nelsen, is a hand made piece of art, similar in size to an Oscar. Other recipients of the Backbone Award include Dennis Kucinich, Howard Dean, Cynthia McKinney, Bernie Sanders, Amy Goodman, Greg Palast, Jim Hightower, and Jim McDermott. Backbone Awards are just one of the components of the Backbone Campaign; the organization has also written a Platform with a Backbone and created a 70 foot puppet of a human spine with platform issues lettered onto each vertebra. The Campaign will bring both its platform and its puppet to the Democratic National Convention in Boston in July.

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey