Tell Us Something We Didn’t Know: Report Says FCC’s Martin Abused Power

By Ken Kerschbaumer

The Wall Street Journal and others
are reporting that U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman
Kevin Martin has abused his power and suppressed public information
during his tenure at the agency, according to a new report from a House
of Representatives committee.
The report, released Tuesday, accused Martin, a Republican, of conducting FCC business in a closed manner, of suppressing FCC reports
that don’t support his policy goals, and of conducting business using a “heavy-handed, opaque, and non-collegial management
style [that] created distrust, suspicion, and turmoil” among the five commissioners.

We had heard the grumblings behind the scenes from friends who worked at
the FCC, and the report backs up the claims. Toss in the way the White
Space situation went down this past November, and it becomes clear that
Martin, a former deputy of Dick Cheney, learned well from his mentor.
Next up? Working for Larry Page!

The report accuses Martin of withholding “important and relevant
data” from other commissioners in an effort to force cable-television
providers to offer unpackaged television channels to customers, without
customers’ having to pay for an entire package of channels. Martin
attempted to push through a vote on “a la carte” television service
after encouraging a February 2006 report on video competition that
contracted one the FCC issued in 2004, the House report says.