FCC skewers the American public, again.

February 7, 2008 | By | Reply More

See this post from Free Press to learn more about the big gift the FCC just handed to huge media corporations:

On Feb. 4, the Federal Communications Commission finally released the details of the devastating rule change it voted on back in December. These new rules would allow one company to own both a major newspaper and a radio or TV station in the same media market – tossing out a ban on “cross-ownership” that has been in place for more than 30 years.

The new rules have gone from bad to worse since FCC Chairman Kevin Martin put forward his proposal in a New York Times op-ed and companion press release. The final published rules amount to wine for Big Media, which will get rich off the public airwaves, and vinegar for the public who will be left with less diversity and competition in their local news.

Let’s be clear about one thing from the start. Martin wants us to believe that these new rules represent a “modest” relaxation of the longstanding newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership ban. But there’s nothing modest about this major handout for Big Media. The final text makes clear the extent to which the FCC has abandoned its mission to protect the public interest.

This despicable behavior by the FCC is nothing new.  For details about the sordid manner in which Michael Powell (past Chairman) and now, Kevin Martin, have abandoned the public’s interest in a fair and vigorous media see here and consider reading Chapter 9 of Eric Klinenberg’s detailed investigation of the FCC, Fighting for Air (2007). 

Remember, however, that the FCC is not entirely under the control of big media corporations.  FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein are among my modern day heros, as a result of their non-stop (often successful) efforts to fight off self-interested and well-moneyed media corporations. 


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About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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