More on Powell and Media Consolidation
From today's NY Times:
The smaller broadcasters, who have considerable influence because they are in every Congressional district and control most of the television and radio outlets that are vital to political life, came out loudly against the rule permitting the networks to buy more stations.Michael Powell obviously understands public choice theory. And not only that, he is willing to acknowledge it in public by refusing to kowtow to special interest groups. What a remarkable public official.
And a significant number of religious, consumer, labor and civil rights groups rallied against many of the other rules. Organizations like the National Rifle Association and the Parents Television Council joined in one of the oddest ideological alliances in years and flooded lawmakers and regulators with millions of complaints.
"There has been a huge problem with the political lopsidedness of the debate," Mr. Powell said. "People in the opposition are part of a highly vocal and strenuous community. They have relatively strong viewpoints, are very active and mobile."
"On the other side, if you are in a fraternity watching TV and drinking beer and happy, what are you going to do to get in the debate?" he asked. "You are not. I think the public is more upset with the media than they are with the rules."
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Mr. Powell said that he believed that many of the comments flooding lawmakers and the commission were mass-produced by a handful of groups, like the National Rifle Association, which are less interested in the policy merits of the debate than in using the controversy for their own fund-raising purposes.