Three Former FCC Chairmen Discuss Media Issues On C-SPAN
October 11, 2010 at 12:52 PM (PT)
Three former FCC Chairmen appeared last week on C-SPAN to offer their views on what the Commission has done and should be doing in the present and future.
The WALL STREET JOURNAL reports that former Chairmen REED HUNDT, MICHAEL POWELL, and KEVIN MARTIN discussed a wide range of issues facing the Commission, agreeing that media cross-ownership rules banning common ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations are outdated, with HUNDT asking, "Why don’t we get an eraser and just get rid of them? None of us thought these rules made sense." POWELL agreed, saying, "It’s a simple reason. It’s politics. If you looked at every sector of communication regulation, there is no more incoherent collection of rules than the media ownership rules. They are rooted in a market that is decades gone. Maybe they made sense 50 years ago when there was no cable industry, no satellite television industry, or no Internet or no VCR or no DVDs."
The three former Chairmen agreed that enforcing the indecency rules was not their favorite part of the job, with POWELL calling it "heinously difficult" but MARTIN saying, "I don’t think the agency should either be afraid of ultimately the way the court could rule one way or another. Additional clarification of what the extent of what the agency’s authority is a good thing, if only so it will help the commission respond to the many complaints they receive."
See the entire interview by clicking here.