Call it a stinging rebuke, call it a swift kick to the nutsack, but FCC Chairman Michael Powell’s leadership has been eviscerated by the U.S. Senate:
- The Senate voted 55 to 40 today to wipe out all of the Federal Communication Commission’s controversial new media rules, employing a little used legislative tool for overturning agency regulations.
The resolution of disapproval, sponsored by Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.), is now put on the House calendar, where a tougher vote is expected. Even if passed by the House, the White House has promised a veto.
Dorgan’s resolution is the most sweeping of several challenges to the FCC’s rules, which make it easier for media corporations to buy more newspapers and television stations but tighten radio ownership rules.
….On Sept. 3, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit in Philadelphia put the new FCC rules on hold as it considered an appeal. Yesterday the court denied a petition by several media companies to move the review to the D.C. circuit, which has frowned on media ownership rules in the past. While the rules are on hold, the FCC has said it will not take up media applications to the agency, such as license-transfer bids that are the backbone of media mergers.
The new FCC rules were championed by FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell, who argued that consolidation was less a threat now than when the rules were enacted because consumers have many more choices for their news and entertainment. [Washington Post]
With this kind of a bipartisan public slap in the face, Powell is a statisitc.