Thursday, December 9, 2010

Government Controlled Media!

Would You Trust This Man?
The senior Democrat on the Federal Communications Commission  (FCC) Michael Copps wants to hold TV broadcasters to higher standards by requiring local programming to pass a test every four years to keep operating on the nation’s airwaves.
If TV broadcasters do not meet the proposed standards (who sets the standards?  The government!), they could risk losing their licenses to operate on air. The proposal, put forth by Commissioner Michael Copps, has alarmed the media industry, put them on the defensive and caught the eye of Republican lawmakers, who worry that the FCC wants to dictate the content of over-the-air TV programming.
His ideas got the attention of Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees the media industry. In a letter to Copps this week, Barton wrote, “I hope that you do not mean to suggest that it is the job of the federal government, through the Federal Communications Commission, to determine the content that is available for Americans to consume.”
Allowing the federal government to have an oversize role in the composition of the media “is unwise policy and raises serious questions of constitutionality,” Barton said.
In an interview with POLITICO, Copps said his proposed “public value test” is designed to ensure that broadcasters are meeting the needs of the communities they serve rather than simply chasing ratings. He also said he wants to increase resources going to investigative reporting and civic news (Government funded new?  No conflict of interest there.)
“Obviously, you don’t want to get involved in defining content,” Copps said. “I see this as a down payment to substantive media reform. I wanted to jump-start a conversation."

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