The Daily Stern
: INCONSISTENT: Michael Powell doesn’t make much sense in this FMQB summary of an interview. Could be his fault; could be the interviewers; could be FMQB’s.
“Here’s the truth: the ownership debate is about nothing but content. Don’t be fooled. I mean, this is my greatest warning to the American public. It’s easy to go after every ill in society by claiming it’s the media’s fault. It’s the American pastime, right? Anything you don’t like, it’s the media’s fault,” said FCC Chairman Michael Powell in an interview with Kenneth McGee, a research fellow and Group VP for Gartner, Inc….
Powell claims that the ownership debate is not really about the ownership rules, saying, “The vast majority of people don’t even know what the rules say, to be perfectly candid. Name all six of them. Name what they actually do. Nobody can. They became a stalking horse for a debate about the role of media in our society. I can expect and understand consumer anger and anxiety about that. But the ownership rules are not the cause or the cure. It was really an invitation for people with particular viewpoints to push for a thumb on the scale, for content in a direction that people preferred.”
Powell accuses some of the people who hold those “particular viewpoints” of hypocrisy, saying, “It’s easy to say, ‘I’m comfortable with that when the government’s doing it for something I like. But I get really scared when it’s something I don’t.’ And what is juxtaposed against the media ownership debate? Indecency, which maybe is what you mean by content. Hollywood was happy to beat up on ownership liberalization because they want the government to intervene so we can promote more independent programming