Thinking about an Obama FCC

Alas it’s only in print version of Reason right now, but Jesse Walker’s Beyond the Fairness Doctrine, which looks at what the FCC might look like in an Obama administration, is worth a read.

Walker is not concerned that Obama will restore the Fairness Doctrine, which I agree would be a mistake. “The real danger is more subtle and more mundane,” he concludes. “It’s a bipartisan bureaucracy slowly, steadily increasing its power.”

Walker lays out several sets of players with input on Obama’s media policies, including the Tech industry, minority broadcasters, and a “loose coalition on the left” of public interest organizations and academics that he terms “idealists.” Walker distinguishes between those, like Free Press founder Robert McChesney, who”stress reregulation” and “other reformers,” like Tim Wu and Larry Lessig who “aren’t so statist.” (I I suspect, and hope, that any Obama, or McCain, FCC will tilt towards the Wu-Lessig-John Palfrey camp.)

This week saw a panel discussion at the Berkman Center on what the communications policies of the next administration should be. Wendy Selzer nominated one of the panelists, University of Michigan Law professor Susan Crawford for the Commission. The chatter earlier this year was that Julius Genachowski is a top candidate to chair the Commission.


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