FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who was the “executive responsible for the creation of Fox Broadcasting Company,” now stands poised to make Fox owner Rupert Murdoch’s media influence and power even stronger than it is today. Genachowski is currently trying to change FCC ownership rules that forbid one company from owning a newspaper and a television station in the same city. Those rules are in place to prevent one voice from overwhelming a community with its own agenda. A philosophy that Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp owns Fox Broadcasting as well as the country’s largest cable news outlet (Fox) and nationally circulated newspaper (Wall Street Journal), clearly does not endorse.
Although Fox has television stations in both cities, Murdoch is negotiating the purchase of the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. These are the second and third largest markets in the United States. And Genachowski, an Obama appointee, is reportedly trying to quietly assist his former employer in that endeavor. To call this a ‘conflict of interest,’ would suggest that Genachowski recognizes his responsibility to the public, which in this instance he has clearly abandoned. There is no cogent argument for narrowing the diversity of voices in US media, and certainly none for giving more media control to conservative ideologue Rupert Murdoch, who is currently under investigation for a variety of abuses of power in the U.K.
This is not the first time that this issue has been raised; in 2007 media giants lobbied the Bush administration to change these rules. This time, they have one of their own on the inside.
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