In his announcement today that he would be stepping down as FCC chairman, Michael Powell engaged in some self-congratulatory words about having “completed a ‘bold and aggressive agenda.’” Powell certainly had his own agenda (though with questionable priorities). And it certainly was both bold and aggressive. Fox Television provides a good example of just how much networks were in fear of Powell’s wielded power. A recent rebroadcast of a Family Guy cartoon “blurred a character’s posterior, even though the image was seen five years ago when the episode was originally aired.”
But in his censorship crusade, there were many duties and responsibilities that Powell never answered, let alone completed. Worse still, his championing of media consolidation came with seemingly little consideration of what happens when one agenda dominates the news. He won’t be missed.