FC: NPR's Rick Karr replies to FCC chairman at Chamber of Commerce

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Fri Mar 08 2002 - 22:25:16 PST

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    [To reply to Rick: I never claimed that Powell said public interest and 
    market forces are the same. Powell's claim was far weaker; which is why I 
    characterized it as such a "mild" statement. As for the consolidated 
    ownership point, I'm not willing to leap to a big-is-bad conclusion. Large 
    companies may be easy targets to assail, but (1) a lot of people really do 
    want to listen to top 40 dreck and (2) being big may bring some economies 
    of scale. --Declan]
    Subject: RE: FC: Senator tells FCC chairman he should be at U.S. Chamber 
    of  Commerce
    From: "neuunitat_private" <neuunitat_private>
    Date: Thu, 7 Mar 2002 20:01:51 -0500
    To: "declanat_private" <declanat_private>
    You wrote:
     > Of course Michael Powell was merely telling the truth and Senator
     > Hollings knew it. But Hollings would rather score political points by
     > assailing someone who dared suggest -- mildly! -- that government
     > intrusion may not be the best solution to every problem. To Hollings,
     > that's apparently more important than speaking his conscience. Shame
     > on Hollings for being a knave; shame on Safire for sounding more like
     > Ralph Nader or Pat Buchanan than someone who once called himself a
     > conservative. --Declan]
    And shame on you for letting your A-is-A blinders obscure the real point: 
    Powell said, "public interests and market forces _can_" be the same 
    (emphasis added). He didn't say they're _inevitably_ the same, that the 
    relationship is an identity.
    The question Safire asks -- rightly -- is whether the public interest is 
    served by allowing unregulated markets to lead to consolidated ownership of 
    a limited public resource, namely radio spectrum assigned to broadcast 
    media. Is Clear Channel's control of a massive segment of US radio 
    broadcasting warranted, or in the best interests of the public? Your 
    comment presupposes that the debate itself is an irrelevant distraction; I 
    think that you do yourself and your readers -- even your most ardent 
    libertarian readers -- a disservice by making that assumption.
    Rick Karr
    (Cultural Correspondent, National Public Radio, for identification purposes 
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