The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Tuesday, June 29, 2004  

Together With Media Miscellany

“Let Freedom Reign”
Military Occupation = Sovereignty. Single-Bidder Contracts = Free Enterprise. Theft = Reconstruction. Martial Law = Freedom. On that last point, Los Angeles Time columnist Robert Scheer writes (“Born Under a Cloud of Irony”): “[I]t is perhaps not strange then that [Iyad] Allawi, who built his exile organization with defecting Iraqi military officers, is already proclaiming the need to delay elections scheduled for January and impose martial law. On Monday Bush said coalition forces would support such a call for martial law, presumably enforced by U.S. troops.”

Say It Twice, Star
If you repeat something often enough, people just might believe it. Of course, that aphorism generally refers to repeating a misleading or false statement over a period of time, not over and over in one brief essay. No matter to Star Parker, president of the Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education, who wonders why black voters aren’t flocking to the Republican Party since, as she remarks in a column posted today at, “There is increasing evidence that blacks are becoming disillusioned with traditional big-government politics of the Democratic Party,” an observation enhanced seven paragraphs later with this allegation: “Blacks are beginning to question the big-government approach that they’ve gotten from their Democratic leadership for the last 50 years.”

We’ll Hardly Miss Ye
Michael K. Powell, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and big media’s best friend in Washington, is rumored to be considering leaving the agency this winter. The Los Angeles Times reports (“FCC’s Powell Won’t Stay, Some Speculate,” by Jube Shiver Jr.):

Washington has been whispering about Powell leaving the FCC since February 2003, when the soft-spoken but strong-willed bureaucrat suffered an embarrassing defeat over telephone competition rules. He lost a 3-2 vote on the rules, which were thrown out by a federal appeals court in March. And last week a federal appeals court sent the FCC's media ownership rules back for revisions. […]

The less-than-adamant denials from his chief of staff and agency spokesman, observers say, is an indication that Powell has had enough of the FCC. But Powell’s advisors insist that he has made no firm plans to leave.

Some political observers say Powell doesn't want to be viewed as a lame duck or have talk of his departure damage his chances of being appointed to another post in the Bush administration.

Meanwhile, no surprise here: “Another Washington lawyer, who represents television station owners and who asked not to be identified, said he had begun advising clients to wrap up any deals that might require FCC approval.”

[Note: Additional items may be posted to “PP&T” after initial publication but only on the day of publication, excluding post-publication addenda. Such items, when posted, are designated by an asterisk.]

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