So the FCC has started to feel the pressure, but according to those rascally Democrats, it's time for them to feel the burn. Fresh from a Monday public hearing on media ownership rules down in Nashville, TN, Chairman Martin and his tightest bros have decided to commission "ten economic studies pertaining to the effects of media ownership, and... well, you know, stuff like that." House Dems are pleased that the studies are being conducted but are concerned with the way Martin trailed off at the end of his sentence and gazed longingly at an ice cream truck passing by the window. Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and six others have sent a letter full of question marks to Martin, demanding further details about the studies.
"Were those conducting the studies given further instruction in addition to the assignment of their respective topics?" the letter barks. "If so, what were the instructions given to each participant?" "How much money is being spent on each study?" "What internal and external resources will be made available for those conducting the studies?" And those are only the juicy bits! The sentiment of all these questions can be summed up as follows: "Are you actually going to do what you said, you dirty little rat?"
Congress ain't the only ones wary of the FCC; Monday's hearing in Nashville drew hundreds of concerned members of the public, including a slew of country music stars. Porter Wagoner sauntered up to Chairman Martin at one point, real smooth-like, and mentioned that "the days of an artist receiving regional airplay or breaking as a new act on radio are gone, and you are now considering making the situation even worse by letting some broadcast dynasties become even bigger broadcasting dynasties." John Rich of Big & Rich also declared that the lack of country stations in cities like New York and Los Angeles is patently "anti-American," to which those sitting around him agreed by hocking into a spittoon.
This hearing was the second in a proposed series of six, though Martin may only be responding to questions with lewd gestures by the fourth.