Dingell calls for slow-down


It is becoming clearer by the minute that Democrats with an opinion about media ownership rules do not want the FCC making any, probably up until the time that a significant portion of the FCC 8th Floor has been appointed by a Democratic president. The latest asking FCC Chairman Kevin Martin to hit the brakes on any ownership rulemaking is powerful Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He said, "I urge the Commission not to rush to judgment in its media ownership proceeding. Issues of this magnitude and importance deserve nothing less than the full and measured consideration of the Chairman and Commissioners. The Commission’s last attempt to craft ownership rules was largely invalidated by an appellate court, and the Commission should avoid that outcome in this instance. It is my sincere hope that the Commission will allow reasonable time for evaluation of the public input received on its media ownership studies and at all of its public hearings before finalizing rules. It is also important that the Commission release proposed rules and then allow sufficient time for comment on them before taking final action."

RBR/TVBR observation: Martin obviously believes that there has been plenty testimony on the topic. The question is just what he plans to try and change. We have to admit that given the pace of such matters, getting in two more public meetings (which will almost certainly be near duplicates of those that have gone before), publishing the rules in advance for public comment (something former Chairman Michael Powell did not do last time) and then quickly getting in a vote seems like a tall order. Stay tuned.