Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FCC Is Clearly Not Part of the Real World

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FCC Is Clearly Not Part of the Real World

Article excerpt

Byline: Eyder Peralta, The Times-Union

Last week, I watched the FCC hearings on CSPAN, and Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) called U2's Bono "Bouno." I was a tad hurt. Here are the people discussing what we can and can't watch on television, and they're clueless about one of rock 'n' roll's greatest icons. Bono was even on Capitol Hill. Surely, they should've paid attention to that.

But there they were, the politicians, with their suits and ties, prophesizing about the decency of television and radio.

Right.

These are the same people who in 1996 gave Clear Channel the power to control our airwaves. If they were really listening, they would hear that they have forever damaged the artistry of radio and the effect it can have as a social agent.

Radio today is nonsense. The FCC is supposed to be working for us. They are supposed to be upholding the sanctity of our airwaves. There's limited space, so they're supposed to make sure we get the most diverse, best programming we can. Instead, they cave in to money, and we get homogenized airwaves, controlled by a handful of jaded companies.

Jim Davis (D-Fla.) asked if the FCC needed the ability to regulate cable. "Yes. Absolutely," said Michael Powell and his FCC posse, in unison. Earlier in Powell's tenure, he lobbied for deregulation. He wanted to get rid of ownership laws, which would allow companies like Clear Channel to buy even more stations.

If you don't know, Clear Channel owns 11 of our stations here in Jacksonville. So if you've ever wondered why they all play the same play list, now you know. Most radio shows are programmed from up top; there is no concern for local interests, and it's a thinly veiled secret that record labels cough up big chunks of money to get uninterrupted airplay. So when you phone in to request your favorite Skynyrd tune, you're pretty much wasting your time.

I'm done. I'm done listening to these politicians who pretend to know the integrity of everything. …

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