The FCC is supposed to be the organization that protects us from abuses in the communications world. Yet for many years they have been little more than a ‘rubber stamp’ for whatever ‘Big Media’ want to do. From a consumers standpoint the FCC do for newspapers, radio, and television, what the RIAA do for the music industry. Both have an agenda where Big Media wins, and the user loses.

The RIAA would prefer that we ‘not own’ the music, just lease it, they want to control the devices we can play the music on. If you buy a CD, the RIAA feel that it should only be played on a CD player, ripping it to put on an MP3 gets them all hot and bothered.

The FCC on the other hand, just pander to the wishes of Big Media. From an end users standpoint if the FCC says yes to something, you can bet your bottom dollar that it is bad for you. It should come as no surprise that a position at the FCC is part of the ‘Golden Parachute’ offered to media moguls.

In the latest go around of crass stupidity the FCC wanted to loosen the media ownership rules within local markets. Let’s face it, what can be the upside of having one company have control of TV, Radio, and Newspapers? It smacks of the movie Rollerball, (the original one, not that piece of junk that came out a couple of years ago!).

A resolution of disapproval introduced by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) to block the FCC from implementing its revised media-ownership rules has passed in the Senate.

The rules, which allow newspapers in the top 20 markets to own a single radio or TV outlet and set a waiver process for combinations in smaller markets, were passed in December 2007, and Dorgan said they amount to a “green light” for more media concentration.

He said, “The FCC is supposed to be a referee for the media industry, but instead they’ve been cheerleaders in favor of more concentration. Diverse, independent, and local media sources are essential to ensuring that the public has access to a variety of information.”

Of course the FCC will use some sort of back door approach and push this latest idiot idea through. I would trust the FCC about as far as I could throw them!

Simon Barrett

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