Don’t go near Washington these days–you might distract the tireless folks at the FCC.
First it was that Janet Jackson Superbowl boob thing, which so mortified the country that it required 3 years of FCC all-nighters to punish all the wrongdoers. Then it was the round-the-clock effort to nail the appalling TV networks who showed Iraq war footage in which soldiers could be heard saying, gasp, “f*ck!”, when they thought they were about to be blown to smithereens. And now, with the DOJ having impetuously approved the XM Satellite Radio (XMSR) / Sirius (SIRI) merger after only 15 months of research, the country’s last line of defence against this outrageously bold combination lies with…you guessed it–the FCC.
But what are they trying to protect us from, exactly?
The FCC was relevant, perhaps, back when some forms of media were actually delivered over “public airwaves.” It was relevant, perhaps, back when the entire “Big Media” industry wasn’t getting its sorry arse kicked by an unregulated Silicon Valley behemoth called Google. It was relevant, perhaps, back when you couldn’t flip the dial and watch boobs, profanity, and violence galore on absolutely any channel, site, or frequency that doesn’t have the misfortune of being owned by a traditional media company (and many that do).
But now the FCC has outlived its usefulness, and it’s just getting in the way.
The XM Satellite Radio – Sirius merger should have been approved immediately. By the time it is finally approved, two companies that will likely die anyway–XM and Sirius–may already be dead. The FCC has one real agenda here, which is to avoid looking as though
A) it “rushed things,” and
B) it’s in the pocket of the traditional radio industry.
All it has really done, however, is show why–in an era of ballooning budget deficits–it should be at the top of the list when Congress finally gets around to deciding which government agencies to eliminate.