The much-hyped Michael Copps speech is pretty dry, especially if you've heard anti-media consolidation arguments before. A spokesman for FreePress, the anti-consolidation group (that's one of their stickers in the photo) introduces Copps as "the finest FCC commissioner we've ever had" and a lone voice of brave dissent: "Rupert Murdoch is so strong that hardly any polticians dare speak out against this media titan." The NewsCorp-Dow Jones merger "might be illegal: We can stop it."
Copps is less firey, and he basically wants to talk about net neutrality ("or Internet Freedom as I like to call it.") "I'm worried that America is playing Russian roulette with broadband," he says. "Your country and mine has been reduced to little more than third world nation, with media control handed over to an ever-smaller number of titans." He asks bloggers to join the fight against "the idea that the market will cure all evils, this mindset we've been struggling under and suffering under for years."
Before he jets off he suggests that the FCC might be able to block the Murdoch merger because some of the licenses the media outlets use are coming up for review and "could be challenged." And he suggests that the Wall Street Journal needn't be considered a "national newspaper" since it has "a great impact on people who live in New York." Not very convincing... a crowd that gaving an ovation at the start of the speech is a lot calmer when he's done.
What's that? You're not sure that the Democrats will devote themselves to protecting free speech? Read Matt Welch.
Matt Yglesias has another take here. (Note the angle of his photo.)
Headline reference here.