The casual observer can be excused for being a bit confused by the on-going cable imbroglio at the FCC. Throw away your old-fashioned ideological assumptions about who should line up where — the players on this one have been as jumbled as a flight schedule on a holiday weekend. A Republican chairman of the FCC, with support from leftish activist groups and AT&T, is pushing for massive regulation. He is being challenged by fellow Republicans on the commission, as well as Republicans in Congress. Now comes one more voice against new cable regulation: Jesse Jackson’s.
That’s right. Jesse Jackson, the founder of the Rainbow Coalition, thinks FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is going too far:
“There is virtually no political support from either progressives or conservatives for such pet policies as a la carte pricing, which would raise prices for consumers and hurt most programmers, or for the various ‘leased-access’ programs that will squeeze out channel space for minority-owned programmers,” Jackson said in comments earlier this week.
“Rather than work through the democratic process in Congress, a bureaucratic agency should not be using a 20-year-old-legal clause to implement wholesale policy changes that hurt consumers and hurt minority television programmers.”
And he’s right. Despite the rhetoric, regulation isn’t the friend of diversity — it more often suppresses it than fosters it.
Welcome to the deregulatory coalition, Rev. Jackson. You can sit over there, where Mr. Martin used to sit.