Monday, December 15, 2008

Media: Bush's broken Boy Toy

You’re Boy Kevin Martin. You’re living in the waning days of the Bush Administration and your reign as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is coming to a disgraceful and bitter end.

You’re Boy Kevin Martin and you’ll be forever known by your new acronym for the FCC – Federal Communications Crook. You wear it well.

You’re Boy Kevin Martin and you turned the FCC into your own personal hackapalooza. Under-the-table deals were your specialty.

You’re Boy Kevin Martin and you offered your own personal directory of preferred lobbyists to anyone wanting to buy in.

You’re Boy Kevin Martin and you should’ve known the end was near last May when the General Accountability Office ratted out your less than fortuitous leaks of confidential material to certain lobbyists and companies.

You’re Boy Kevin Martin and you responded to their accusations by claiming your only motive for passing along confidential information to those that benefited from the inside information was strictly a courtesy. They were simple timelines to your inner circle on when to prepare their lobbyists and other assorted influence peddlers to descend on Congress. Translation: It always helps to know which palms need greasing and when.

You’re Boy Kevin and you have the same motto as Jerry McGuireShow me the money.

You’re Boy Kevin Martin and you forgot the one rule that applies how business is done whether you’re a politician, a crook, or both: Never write if you can speak; never speak if you can nod; never nod if you can wink.

You’re Boy Kevin Martin and you believed in running the FCC on the down low. Above the law, below the radar.

You’re Boy Kevin Martin and when Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), who chairs the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, threatened to investigate the improprieties uncovered by the GAO, you had that irritating professional letter-writer, whiny speaker, radio/TV industry yes man and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, David “Fumbles” Rehr prepare an officially sanctioned “Defend Boy Kevin” campaign.

You’re Boy Kevin Martin and you had to know the walls were closing in when the HCEC sent you a letter requesting e-mails, memos, handwritten notes, and meeting schedules for the last three years. It said their investigation was linked "to management practices that may adversely affect the commission's ability both to discharge effectively its statutory duties and to guard against waste, fraud and abuse."

You’re Boy Kevin Martin and countered by claiming an investigation would violate the commission’s trade secrets until you were reminded that you're not supposed to have any.

You’re Boy Kevin Martin and it only got worse when over thirty of your own staff members, past and present, told how you’d been pushing your own agenda to deregulate and eliminate more media ownership rules. They also brought up your way of dragging out meetings that don’t go your way and how you suppress agency studies when they don’t support your viewpoint.

You’re Boy Kevin Martin and your friends in broadcasting are really going to miss your rubber stamp. They’ll also miss the eight-year -majority rule of the FCC along with Republican Deborah Tate whose term on the five-person commission is about to expire.

You’re Boy Kevin Martin and just a couple of weeks back you announced plans on distributing free wireless Internet –with a proviso that would forbid pornography, whose definition would be up to you.

You’re Boy Kevin Martin and - guess what? - the HCEC just released their long-awaited bipartisan 100 page in-depth report on your FCC, titled Deception and Distrust: The Federal Communications Commission under Chairman Kevin J. Martin. You can read it here.

You’re Boy Kevin Martin and your official title may have been FCC Chairman – but your real title was bagman Numero Uno for big media.

You’re Boy Kevin Martin and you had one of the best offices money could buy on Capitol Hill.

You’re Boy Kevin Martin during your FCC Chairmanship, wrong was the new right.

You’re Kevin Martin and you look like someone dropped a punch line on you and you were the joke.

You’re Boy Kevin Martin and your career on Capitol Hill has gone from shakedown to takedown, and finally – breakdown.

You’re Boy Kevin Martin and you and your rubber stamp are outta here!


Anonymous said...

This is why Americans are disgusted with their government.

What does any of this have to do with the American public? Nothing. Which is why no one cares. It was a do-nothing FCC, attacked by a do-nothing Congress. Meanwhile the country is falling apart and no one is doing anything about it.

If Dingell or any of the Democrats had actual proof of wrong-doing, they'd go to court. Had they summoned the Chairman to Congress or sent him a subpoena, or something serious, he would have been forced to appear. Instead the Democrats stomp their feet and hold their breath, and the Chairman ignores them. He could have at least been a bit more dramatic and thrown his shoes at Martin!

The Congress has been a complete waste of time when it comes to broadcasting. If they didn't like something Martin did or said, they could pass a law about it. But they can't get enough people to vote on these laws. So they put out press releases. Why do we even give them attention? Why do we act like it's news? It's not.

Anonymous said...

"Lawmakers order FCC to stand down; put actions on hold"

"Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) today called on FCC Chairman Kevin Martin to put the agency's actions on hold unless they are urgent or required by law. Rockefeller's and Waxman's committees both have jurisdiction over the FCC... If the FCC indeed must stand down (an FCC spokesperson said they are reviewing the order right now), then the WCS-SDARS issue - and even the HD Radio mandate - would likely be put on hold until the new administration moves in."

Any guesses that Struble/iBiquity will eventually get investigated? It's no wonder that Martin has pushed for comments on the proposed 10db FM-HD power increase, and the forced inclusion of HD Radio in SIRI receivers - too bad Martin, you and the iBiquity scammers were just derailed.

Anonymous said...

No big deal. Dingell shut down the FCC after he took over energy and commerce in 06. Waxman's just doing the same now that he's taken the committee.

The FCC is nothing but a shakedown machine for Congress and the Energy and Commerce chairman gets to do a lot of the shaking. The commission threatens to change regulation, the contributions pour in from both sides, from telecom, broadcast, technology, all of them fighting to keep the issue of the day at a standstill. But now Waxman has to make sure everyone knows who to grease before the money machine starts up again. Just like Dingell did in 06. And just like Joe Barton did before him.

Also, now it's time to make sure the FCC doesn't actually do anything while the Bushees slip out the door and the Obama crew gets its hands on the wheel. Actually resolving something would eliminate it as a potential fundraising issue. So no one wants that.

But don't worry, Waxman will have the money machine up and running again soon and the next tool to take the chairman's slot will start pontificating and threatening regulation that will never happen. By then Waxman's crew will have let the lobbyists know who their money needs to go to. And all will be well again in Washington.

Anonymous said... you don't like Kevin Martin.

Who DO you like?

Powell? Was Martin better or worse than Powell.

Let's talk about Bill Kennard, who presided over Clear Channel's consolidation in 2000. As the company was buying hundreds of stations, did he object? Did he come out and say this is a bad thing? No. He even was in favor of newspaper-broadcasting cross-ownership, just like Martin. And Kennard is a Democrat. Kennard is also advising Obama on future broadcast policies.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

bobyoung said...

"You’re Boy Kevin Martin and countered by claiming an investigation would violate the commission’s trade secrets until you were reminded that you're not supposed to have any."


Anonymous said...

The FCC became compromised with Reagan and Bush. Clinton had a chance to clean it up but ended up being persuaded by Vernon Jordan, who had a piece of AMFM/Chancellor to sign the Telecom bill sight unseen. Bush II had John McCain's Michael Powell who was so bad that he replaced him with Kevin Powell, a Cheney recommendation. Government for sale.
It is hard to be optimistic. I would like to believe Obama will choose a real FCC commissioner that knows the territory. The radio industry does not realize that by getting their way they are only killing themselves.

Anonymous said...

From what I hear he will never be charged with any crime. The legacy of the Bush administration.

Anonymous said...

Why can't Martin be brought up on any charges. If companies were granted licenses and variances based on tip offs by Martin shouldn't be be held accountable?

What has happened to our government?

Anonymous said...

You're Kevin Martin and you could cheat and swindle on the U.S. government's dime and get off scott free.

What I want to know is why a first time bank robber can be sentenced to twenty years behind bars but a first time swindler like Martin gets off without even a slap on the wrist.

Anonymous said...

Why am I not surprised about any of this?

Obama, don't let this happen under your watch.

Anonymous said...

John, Kevin Martin, Sam Zell, John Hogan, Dan Mason, Farid Suleman. The list goes on and on. They either took advantage of their situation at the risk of others or only know how to save their own asses by firing others.
All of them appear to be getting away with it. All roads lead back to Kevin Martin because all of these classless acts have been running the show during his tenure as chairman of the FCC. Shame on you. Shame on the industry you represent.

Anonymous said...

"Why can't Martin be brought up on any charges."

No proof. Innocent until proven guilty.

The Governor of Illinois is still in office. Need I say more?

Anonymous said...

It will depend on how bad the economy gets. I would not be surprised if we see retaliation in the form of civil disobedience. I don't want to see it happen. If it does it will be targeted at Bernie Madoff, Sam Zell and others who have financially ruined people and families in one way or another. You cannot have a handful of people ruin the lives of many without retribution.

Anonymous said...

His wife works for Dick Cheney meaning that Kevin will have a future with Haliburton if his political aspirations fall apart.

Anonymous said...

Poor Martin... he figured he would cruise onto K Street as a partner in a big lobby shop. But now everybody hates him and there's a glut of washed-up Repub hacks. How's be going to pay the mortgage on that $1.5 million Georgetown home? His Cheney-staffing wife better find a job with Halliburton and fast, because there don't seem to be any other prospects for these 2, who figured they'd ride the Bush-hack gravy train forever. Too bad for their kids, who presumably have done nothing wrong. As a prize-winning porkmeister maybe he can go back to North Cackolackie and get a job deboning pigs at a Hormel plant.

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