There's little that Jeff Chester can say that would surprise Federal
Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell, but the FCC chief probably
didn't see this one coming.
Chester, head of the Center for Digital Democracy, has been one of Powell's
fiercest critics during the debate over media-ownership rules.
Wednesday, Chester asked Powell to recuse himself from the review -- the most
important rulemaking mediawise on the FCC's plate.
Chester charged that Powell favors deregulation so stridently that he has
developed an "ideologically driven" record on the impact of industry
consolidation, rather than an objective one.
"Under your leadership, the FCC has engaged in an intellectually dishonest
inquiry," Chester wrote in the request to Powell. "Given your bias ... we urge
you to recuse yourself from voting in the proceeding."
The FCC is slated to revise nearly all of its broadcast-ownership rules June 2.
A spokesman for Powell had no comment.