June 20, 2003
Senate slaps FCC

A Senate committee has voted to revoke many of FCC Chairman Michael Powell's rules that would have allowed for more media consolidation. Sing Hallelujah!

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee adopted a bill sponsored by Sens. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Ernest F. Hollings (D-S.C.) that would prevent newspapers from owning television and radio stations in the same city, halt broadcast networks from buying more television stations at the local and national levels and force radio companies to divest some of their stations. The bill's prospects in the Senate and House, however, remain uncertain.

On June 2, the FCC passed rules permitting cross-ownership of newspapers and television stations, allowing networks to own a group of TV stations reaching 45 percent of the national audience -- up from 35 percent -- and exempted some radio companies from new rules that would have left them over station limits.

"Today's vote is a strong, bipartisan repudiation of the FCC's disastrous ruling," Hollings said.

Tom Shales has the best line:

When communism fell and America won the Cold War, George F. Will, on "This Week With David Brinkley," memorably considered that the civil and polite thing to do would be not to gloat about the victory. Then he smiled and said, "Let's gloat."

Those who opposed Powell and his sweeping, potentially ruinous rule changes would be justified in feeling the same way this morning. Let's gloat -- while the gloating's good.

Indeed. If there's anyone who deserves to gloat, it's Lisa English, but she's right back at work on this, focusing on the full Senate vote.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 20, 2003 to Bidness | TrackBack

Don't celebrate too soon - the bill may well pass in the full Senate, but it likely won't even make it out of the House telecom committee run by media stooge Billy Tauzin.

Posted by: Matt on June 20, 2003 2:47 PM

I agree that it is too soon to gloat. Republicans can still put the brakes on in the House and then there is a Bush veto to consider.
Check out the story on Page 4 of today's Wall Street Journal about the pending Univision/HBC merger. These media CEOs haven't been giving all their money to Republican candidates for nothing.

Posted by: Mike Thomas on June 20, 2003 3:07 PM

I concur: it's too early. This is, I think, but the first salvo in what's gonna be a long and bloody war.

Posted by: Frankenstein on June 20, 2003 3:12 PM

Yes, I know, this is just one battle and the real victory is miles away. But still, it's pretty sweet. Enjoy it while you can.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on June 20, 2003 3:27 PM

The Repugnants in the Senate felt free to vote with "the people," or the Dems in the Senate, because they know it is all caca. The FCC's ongoing prostitution to the rich media conglomerates is a done deal, and the US House will make sure it stays that way.

The only way anybody in the Repugnant Party could show that they actually do care a wit about this country is to either change over to the Dems -- no shining lights themselves -- resign, or commit suicide. It was a free vote for them on the FCC, and they get a little press for being so "reasonable," or "statesman-like." But in the end, the result will stay the same and they all know it, as do the Democrats who voted for it.

As has been the case for the last couple of years with the Bush Regime: All Hat, No Cattle, or, They Get the Mine and We Get the Shaft.

Thank you for your time.

David Winn
[email protected]

Posted by: David Winn on June 21, 2003 2:22 AM