Democratic Federal Communications Commission member Michael Copps is branding Tribune's decision to file suit against the FCC's waiver decision an effort scripted by the FCC majority to get rid of the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule altogether.
Copps had predicted as much in his statement opposing the waiver decision, which passed by a 3-2 party line vote Nov. 30.
“It has been reported that Tribune filed an appeal yesterday in the D.C. Circuit Court, mere days after the FCC's order was released," Copps said in a statement.
"This carefully scripted production is hardly surprising but still distressing to watch,” he added. “The FCC majority did everything it could to ensure that Tribune would challenge the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership ban in court, even waiving certain procedural hurdles so the appeal could be filed immediately.”
Copps concluded, "Tribune apparently now has done their part. The next step will be for the majority to mount a lukewarm defense of the rule in court and hope that the entire rule gets thrown out. In the final act, the majority will say they tried to do something more moderate, but the court simply wouldn't allow it. And the curtain will fall to thunderous applause from beltway insiders who appreciate a clever script that only they can follow.”