FCC For Sale: Vegas Vacations Gladly Accepted

A report just released by The Center for Public Integrity reveals that media consolidation is already worse than you could imagine:

The three largest local phone companies control 83 percent of home telephone lines. The top two long distance carriers control 67 percent of that market. The four biggest cellular phone companies have 64 percent of the wireless market. The five largest cable companies pipe programming to 74 percent of the cable subscribers nationwide.

And these media conglomerates have faced little or no opposition from the FCC, thanks to the investments they have made in public relations, i.e. paying for the trips of FCC employees, most popularly to Las Vegas and New Orleans.
The report shows that FCC officials have taken 2,500 trips costing nearly $2.8 million over the past eight years, most of it from the telecommunications and broadcast industries the agency regulates. That was in addition to about $2 million a year in official travel funded by taxpayers.

Surprisingly enough, the mainstream media is picking up this story. Surely someone has told FCC Chairman Michael Powell. With just 12 days left until the announced vote, his position is looking less and less tenable.