The two Democrats on the Federal Communications Commission hosted a public
meeting Tuesday to allow a diverse array of religious, consumer, media and other
groups to denounce the agency's expected vote next week that would relax its
One of the commissioners, Michael J. Copps, predicted that loosening
ownership restrictions would lead to "a lot more consolidation" of media
He dismissed FCC chairman Michael K. Powell's argument that the proliferation
of cable-TV channels has reduced the need for strict ownership regulations.
"More channels are great, but when they're all owned by the same people,
cable doesn't protect localism, editorial diversity or competition," Copps said.
"It only tightens the vise of media monopoly."
Jonathan S. Adelstein, the other Democratic commissioner, said the impending
rule changes would lead to "the McDonald's-ization of the American media."
The roundtable discussion featured representatives from more than two-dozen
They included socially conservative groups like the Parents TV Council and
the Family Research Council; religious groups like the Catholic Conference of
Bishops and the United Church of Christ; and associations of minority
journalists, telecommunications workers, consumers and local
States News Service