House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, South Carolina Democrat and a former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, is leading an effort to petition the Treasury Department to bailout minority-owned broadcasting businesses.
Mr. Clyburn’s effort is supported by several of his House Democratic colleagues, such as Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank of Massachusetts, and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Charles B. Rangel of New York.
“Like so many businesses caught in the maw of the most severe recession and contraction of credit since the Great Depression, minority broadcasters are not failing businesses looking for a free pass,” they wrote in a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner. “They are looking for continued access to capital to continue their otherwise fundamentally sound operations. And while many jobs are at stake, a more important principle – the government’s fundamental interest in promoting a diversity of voices, including service to underserved communities – is severely threatened.”