As if last week’s bombshell did not do enough to tarnish the legitimacy of the FCC, now comes word that a second media ownership study did not see the light of day back during the agency’s last go-round on the subject.
The funny thing is, this newly-unearthed report – “Review of the Radio Industry” – doesn’t tell us anything that we didn’t already know, which is how consolidation has decimated radio since the passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. When regulators find themselves threatened to the point where they go out of their way to cover up the obvious, you know things are f*cked up to an insane degree.
The whistleblower who saved the first buried research project, Adam Candeub, was recently interviewed on New York’s WBAI. While said he doesn’t know who gave the order to kill the study, the suspects it came from “somewhere in the imperium heights of the FCC.”
As for why? “Not unlike a lot of federal agencies, the [FCC] staff can be somewhat craven at times, and I think they saw their job as to sort of paint a factual reality consistent with what their bosses wanted. And this report was not part of that factual reality they wanted around,” said Candeub.
For his part, Mikey Powell claims to have no idea how these reports got ditched. Yeah. I’m buying that.
Current FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has promised an “independent investigation” into the spiking of these studies. But will he finish that before the current media ownership proceeding closes? Perhaps: the FCC’s extended the deadline for interested public to file comments on the proceeding from the end of this week to October 23, with replies due December 21.