12/19/2007 8:07 AM
In recent years, have you sensed difficulty in getting independent national and international news? Have you felt that too many of our national media outlets are already in too few hands?
Have you begun to think that the current administration is too “lame duck” to do much more damage?Think again!
The latest blow came December 18, 2007, while most Americans had their minds on the holidays. The five-person Federal Communications Commission
approved a controversial new rule to allow broadcasters in the twenty largest US media markets to also own a newspaper. The existing ban against this practice had been in place for thirty-two years.
Chairman and Bush appointee Kevin Martin and two other Republican commission members voted for the proposal. The commission's two Democrats voted against it and denounced the proposal at the same time.
Many members of both houses of Congress have vowed to try to reverse or delay the decision, but the White House has already pledged to veto any congressional action that seeks to change the decision.
January 20, 2009 can’t arrive soon enough.
Of course, there is a slight chance that the country’s federal courts will strike this latest FCC decision down, eventually. You’ll recall that when young Michael Powell (yes, son of that Powell) was FCC Chairman some years ago, he tried loosening cross-ownership rules that the court finally nixed.
Stay tuned for more news from the media, assuming you can find at least one outlet that’s willing to report it.