It’s Time For FCC Chair To Step Down
There’s a lot of uncertainty not just in the economy but also in the policies guiding American media, the Internet included. Perhaps to quell some of that uncertainty, the public and government officials should pay close attention to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin’s opinion…and do the opposite.
Maybe it’s wise advice when dealing with other Administration-appointed turds clogging up the works as well. FEMA’s Michael Brown, after doing nobody any favors during the Katrina disaster, finally did us all a solid by resigning. Up next, if we’re lucky, is Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke (Mr. The-Economy-Is-Fine), followed by Martin.
Don’t just take my word for it. It’s Wear-All-Black Day at the FCC, the third anniversary of Martin taking over and creating a totalitarian "super-politicized" environment. Maybe he’s not completely to blame; we all know what happens to Administration appointees if they don’t fall in line.
So if Martin’s not at liberty to do the opposite of what he thinks is best, then maybe others will be able to. Martin’s not a fan of Net Neutrality ideas, unless it involves (symbolically) grilling Comcast about it. Verizon and AT&T have yet to take their places in the hot seat, which is pretty par for the course.
But then again, Comcast isn’t projected as winning the bid for all or nearly all of the C-Block spectrum. Comcast also wasn’t doing its "patriotic duty" by bending over for the DOJ like the telecoms. The reward for the telecoms is they don’t get as much flack from the FCC.
Or so the theory goes.
Comcast is suing the FCC, by the way, over an imposed cap on media ownership, which won’t apply to other media companies, for whom Martin wants to relax the ownership rules. Comcast is more than happy to mention how quickly and lovingly Martin’s FCC approved the largest merger in acquisition history regardless of antitrust concerns, the AT&T/BellSouth merger.
Their lawsuit will have to get in line, though, among two-dozen other lawsuits filed against the FCC regarding that same issue. It will be in line also behind a Supreme Court case, scheduled for this fall, regarding Martin’s and the Administration’s hard-line stance against "fleeting expletives" occurring on live television, often beyond the control of the broadcasters. Martin would extend the government-regulation of speech to cable and satellite subscription networks as well.
Martin would have a more difficult time regulating Internet speech, especially in light of his past non-regulation arguments and all those pesky freedom-loving Americans out there. He won’t have to regulate, though, if he gives a free pass to AT&T and Verizon, who seem lately more than happy to regulate speech for him, and who thus far haven’t come under the scrutiny Comcast has suffered.
That’s not a defense of Comcast’s blocking of file-sharing traffic, just to say that what’s good for one should be good for the other.
Perhaps all these abuses will get their proper light with the threatened Congressional investigation into allegations that Martin has abused his power, either in the name of politics, or the name of double-standard stupidity.
And hopefully, that threatened investigation will result in what needs to be done before a new President takes the stage.