FCC Leadership (05-09-06)
With President Bush making so many recent personnel changes, I was disappointed to learn he doesn't plan to replace current FCC Chairman Kevin Martin. The President recently nominated Martin for a new five-year term.
The FCC used to be an agency with a clear mission to responsibly regulate the public airwaves. But during Mr. Martin's tenure, and that of his predecessor, Michael Powell, it's been hijacked by a strident minority that believes everyone should subscribe to its own overly restrictive standards of decency.
Nothing wrong with standards. But for an agency that supposedly specializes in "communication," the current version of the FCC has been pretty poor at clearly explaining exactly what those standards are.
These days, the FCC seems to just make up its own rules as it goes along, reacting to every whine and whim of professional complainers. It then plays "gotcha!" - imposing potentially crippling fines upon stations that unwittingly violate the mysterious secret code.
This is no way to run a government agency. Because when broadcasters get unreasonably timid about what they're willing to put on the air, the viewers are the ones who lose.
So it wouldn't bother me a bit if the Senate decided not to approve Mr. Martin's re-nomination.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my...Point of View.