08/04/2005 12:32 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

D/democratic Media Policy -- A Key Crossroads

I remember one of my few "gross" moments during the 1992 presidential campaign was when a major Democratic insider tried (unsuccessfully) to get a set of DNC talking points I had written attacking Big Cable toned down -- it turned out he was a cable industry lobbyist in the era of soft money donations.

In theory, in the wake of McCain-Feingold campaign law and the emerging era of MoveOn, Dean and small dollar Internet donations which brought John Kerry to parity with the Republicans, the Democratic Party and its affiliates no longer have to rely on soft money donations.

So we're coming up to a big choice on media policy and who drives it. And our need for campaign checks from telecommunications companies is no longer as big an excuse for not doing the right thing.

We can either connect the big D Democratic Party to little d democratic polices on telecommunications -- or not.

We can either follow the opportunities of community wi-fi and community Internet -- most recently touted yesterday by Thomas Friedman -- or we can lobby for Comcast and Adelphia on the wrong side of this issue (Yo Daily Kos: go dig up the unfortunate letter from Simon Rosenberg of the New Democratic Network in FCC docket on the Comcast-Adelphia merger, MB 05-192, letter dated 7/20/05).

In the months and years ahead, I hope that great emerging initiatives like the Democracy Alliance can lead us to make the right choices.