WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush has chosen Kevin Martin, a member of the Federal Communications Commission, to head the agency that has recently gained notoriety for clamping down on indecency in broadcasting.
Martin, who has been an FCC commissioner since 2001, replaces Michael Powell as chairman. Powell, son of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, had announced in January that he was leaving this month after four years in the top post.
The White House was to officially announce Martin’s appointment later Wednesday, said an FCC official who declined to be named ahead of the announcement.
Since the FCC regulates so many of the changing parts of todays technology and communications grid, this is a very important step. He seemed to be at odds with Micheal Powell over DSL competition. Powell was more in favor of heavy competition, while Martin was in favor of giving the Baby Bells a monopoly. I am with Powell on this one, and it scares me that Martin feels this way.
On the television front, I am concerned that Martin will also try to increase the regulation on cable TV. On this front, I am like Jeff Jarvis, keep the FCC away from cable and satellite TV. If I can not control what my kids watch, it is my own fault. America has a tendency to over regulate everything, partially in the bureaucratic zeal for more power, and because a government never shrinks.
I hope Kevin Martin shows discretion as the new head of the FCC and adopts a laissez faire approach. I sincerely doubt it, and this will be an appointment that will resonate very poorly across America.