Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Salon article on the massive failures of both Michael and Colin Powell.

Before Janet Jackson's boob flopped out during last year's Super Bowl halftime show, prompting Powell and the FCC to unleash unprecedented indecency fines and call for further investigations -- a move some critics blasted as an assault on the First Amendment -- Powell was on the record dismissing concerns about raunchy programming, famously telling reporters, "I don't think my government is my nanny. I still have never understood why something as simple as turning it off is not part of the answer." Later he told the Washington Post, "It's better to tolerate the abuses on the margins than to invite the government to interfere with the cherished First Amendment." Since the announcement on Jan. 21 about his pending departure from the FCC, Powell has drifted back toward his original set of core beliefs, telling the Washington Times over the weekend that regulating radio and television programming clashed with his firm beliefs in the First Amendment and made him "uncomfortable." But he wasn't too uncomfortable to sign off on $7.7 million worth of indecency fines last year. That represented a $7.69 million increase in fines the FCC levied during Powell's first year on the commission.

A friend of mine met Michael Powell early in his term as FCC chairman, and confided in me that he seemed to be a complete tool...a fact which became self-evident later, but it is breathtaking to see his stupidity laid out like this.