Monday, June 02, 2003

Surprise Surprise

I am not surprised by today's FCC decision to relax media ownership restriction. It is not a defeat, as the battle has only just begun. By being aware of this issue, exchanging ideas and arguments, and spotlighting the actors and agents involved, and following the money, we have set a strong foundation for reasoned and vigorous public debate on appropriate media checks and balances.

Congress should step in and take control of this matter. They already seem to be leaning that way. Our legislators must do this, to safeguard the power of the legislative branch, and to stick up for freedom, democracy and the American people. The American people have not asked for this decision, and are largely unaware of it. This has been framed all along by those corporations and individuals who stand to benefit from this. Congress must step up now and assure its viability by assuring that decisions of such vast importance are made in the halls of democracy, and not behind the closed doors of regulatory agencies, by decision of appointed bureaucrats.

I believe that Congress will do this. When they do, we can have the kind of civilized, transparent, and engaged discourse, and vigorous debate, that this matter requires. That democracy requires. After such a debate, we can clear the air, determine who wins and who loses, and lessen the uncertainty involved in divining a sensible set of rules for media in America. The current rules are not sacrosanct, and will not survive intact. So be it. The rules passed today by the FCC will not survive either. So be it. We need to make sure we have the clearest and best justified rules possible. So be it.