[5 January 2009]
Not exactly a humble guy, FCC chairman Kevin Martin is leaving behind a huge pile of sleaze as he prepares to leave his office and in a recent interview, he honestly feels that he’s done everything perfectly there. Like his boss GW Bush, he wants to rewrite history, avoid admitting mistakes and look professional even though all the facts are against him. Even in the Broadcasting & Cable interview, the writer doesn’t let him off the hook, noting that he’s been criticized for his heavy-handed, slanted work from within and outside of his own agency but he just brushes it off, certain that he’s right.
Also like Bush though, he’ll be rightfully seen as a pathetic failure. It’s not just Martin’s anti-cable stances (also noted in the article) but his failed attempt to let media conglomerates get bigger and fatter (by letting them own more and more companies) in the supposed interest of the public. Of course, he never proved that and cut down on public comment and reports that went against that as much as he could. Thankfully he lost that battle. Now he can gear up for a job at Fox News or a conservative think-thank.
While it’s good that he’ll be out the door soon, we shouldn’t give an automatic pass to the next FCC head. They’ll still have to deal with the thorny issues of media ownership and the FCC fines for ‘obscenity.’