The embargo is broken...

Posted by Mitchell - May 13, 2003 (entry 38)

In the past week, there have been articles, outside of the business pages, on the FCC's deregulation efforts in the New York Times, and even in the lawsuit-prone Chicago Tribune. The USA Today also chimed in, but kept the matter in their Money section.

People now know about this issue, plus I've found that it's a lot easier to talk about the matter. Even folks with whom I don't agree with politically are interested in the matter once they hear about it.

It sounds like (a) Powell is hell-bent on ramming through some deregulation, which doesn't promise to be good for anyone who isn't on the NAB payroll, and (b) as bad as that is, the call-to-arms that citizens and groups nationwide has raised has changed the calculus so that Powell couldn't just quietly obliterate all of the regulations. Count that as a victory; take what we can get.

Powell will probably leave some of the regulations intact, which means we'll get to go through this dance again in two years, but hopefully with greater public awareness, more empirical evidence as ammunition, and a vibrant independent media sector whose quality of production values and content increasingly puts the mainstream media to shame.

Update. From today's (May 14, 2003) Tom Toles:

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