Copps On Patrol

Bad news at the Federal Communications Commission:

President Obama today designated Democratic FCC Commissioner Michael Copps as acting chairman, replacing Republican Chairman Kevin Martin who resigned earlier this week.

As acting chairman, Copps will run the agency until the permanent chairman is appointed by the president.

Most believe that appointment will be longtime Obama friend and former FCC General Counsel Julius Genachowski. However, the White House has yet to announced its intention.

This is unexpected, if only because everyone allegedly in the know has been treating the Genachowski appointment as a done deal. I realize the president is supposed to put someone in charge of the agency while his long-term choice goes through the appointment process. That doesn't mean I have to be happy about it. The appropriately named Mr. Copps is an old-school regulator with an extremely expansive view of the FCC's powers. Not surprisingly, he is also the commission's most ardent censor, outdoing even Martin in his desire to drive indecency from the airwaves.

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  • Travis||

    Change you can believe in.

  • Seward||

    Any news, hints, etc. on the fairness doctrine, net neutrality, etc.?

  • ||

    If he'll just get that damned Burger King off my TV, I'll consider his short stint a success. Creepy bastard.

  • cunnivore||

    Any chance this guy will be out in time for the Super Bowl, so we can have a chance of catching a glimpse of sagging nippleburst?

  • MAX HATS||

    Naturally, this will be a far hotter topic than the closing of Gitmo.

  • Liberal <i>REASON</i> Commente||

    the commission's most ardent censor
    is a Democrat?

    COGNITIVE DISSONANCE!!!!!!!!!!

  • ||

    I am still pissed that they won't let me perform autofellatio during the super bowl half time show

    I thought Janet Jackson would have paved the way for my performance.

  • <i>rightward</i>||

    We can put tags in our names? Awesome.

    (If it works.)

  • Blink||

    :(

  • jk||

    Both Copps and Genachoski are history majors. Nothing wrong with that, but I'm a bit surprised that there are no qualified electrical engineering or physics majors that actually know something about communications available for the position.

  • ||

    Copps may be a douche, but what's the 411 on Genachowski? Is his supposed permanent pick at least better?

  • Dave W.||

    Is there any chance that Copps was the way he was because he was taking orderes from the decider and would be totally different if his boss was totally different?

    I am not saying this is true -- just a sincere question.

  • Xeones||

    Incorrect, Nick. The Burger King is an awesome, awesome ad campaign, mostly because of the creepiness factor.

    Also, fuck the FCC.

  • T||

    Nothing wrong with that, but I'm a bit surprised that there are no qualified electrical engineering or physics majors that actually know something about communications available for the position.

    You don't need to know shit about about communications theory to run a censorship and licensing bureaucracy.

  • Nigel Watt||

    You don't need to know shit about about communications theory to run a censorship and licensing bureaucracy.

  • Jesse Walker||

    Dave W.: Copps is a loud voice of dissent when he disagrees with the decider. He is very clearly his own man.

    Episiarch: Genachowski is a tech industry guy. I don't have as firm a handle on where he's coming from as I'd like (I tried to interview him for my last FCC article, but he never returned my calls); but he's widely credited as being the chief of Obama's brain trust when it comes to telecom and technology issues, so based on the stuff Obama said during the campaign, I'd call him a mixed bag. He's certainly better than Copps.

    jk: If we're going to have the position, I'd like to see an economist in it, ideally someone who spent a career studying the effects of regulation...

  • ||

    If he'll just get that damned Burger King off my TV, I'll consider his short stint a success. Creepy bastard.

    The Burger King himself I don't mind so much, but did you ever see the one where he comes home and there is a Burger Prince, his son? Now that thing is freakin creepy. That commercial didn't last very long on the air, probably because of how f'd up that little Burger King was. At least the King's wife and daughter were real humans, I'd think that a female apporition of that automaton would give me nightmares for weeks.

  • ||

    If there is any censorship of television it should be keeping creepy giant headed fast food peddlers and talking babies whose superimposed mouths move in unnatural ways off my TV. I can choose to watch whatever shows I want, but I have no control over what commercials are thrown in.

  • ||

    Genachowski is a tech guy and a lawyer. He used to be general counsel of the FCC, and was a COO or something like that for IAC/InterActiveCorp. He was on the transition team and is reputed to be about as inside as you can get--he went to law school with Obama.

    I have no idea where he'll come down on the various issues before the commission, but at least he's seen both sides of the spectrum (oops, not an intentional pun). IAC owned HSN back when he was there, so he's got a little cable TV experience, too, I imagine.

  • EJM||

    Another weird thing about this is that Kevin Martin announced last week that he would be departing on Inauguration Day--instead of waiting around until his successor was named. (Compare this story from 12 Jan. to this one from 15 Jan.) I guess he couldn't hold off any longer on his new Aspen Institute job.

    However, there is something to be said for having an FCC chair with the same name as a Wisconsin supermarket chain (not to be confused with Milwaukee's legendary [and similarly named] frozen-custard stands).

  • T||

    I can choose to watch whatever shows I want, but I have no control over what commercials are thrown in.

    Dude, join the 21st century and get a DVR. The only commercials I see come during live sporting events or places where I don't control the TV.

  • ||

    Genachowski is a tech guy and a lawyer. He used to be general counsel of the FCC, and was a COO or something like that for IAC/InterActiveCorp.

    Is this the Obama guy with the huge conflict of interest on the HDTV switchover, or is that someone else?

    Nope, I see that's another Obama guy, Clearwire's Salemme.

    Carry on.

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