Michael Copps's blog


The Long Arm of the National Security-Communications Industry Complex

[Editor's note: Kevin Taglang is traveling today so instead of our normal weekly round-up we share instead the latest op-ed from former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps. The Benton Foundation publishes articles penned by Commissioner Copps each month for our Digital Beat Blog.]

This is a story about more than just the national security implications of government surveillance, but it begins there.


Can Journalists Help Themselves?

A major victim of our changed and monopolized media environment is journalism itself. Its diminished state leads to a fundamental question: do journalists have a responsibility, or even a right, to work for change in that environment?


Dollarocracy or Democracy?

“Dollarocracy”—rule by the dollar—what a great and telling name for a shrinking American democracy that every day loses ground to the command-and-control of unchecked money. Somebody ought to write a book based on the idea.


"Obama-Phones" or "Gipper-Phones" -- What's in a Name?

It’s a sad commentary on the state of our public discourse that clever misnaming of issues can totally recast what should be substantive policy discussions. The most obvious example: adding the suffix “gate” onto anything that smacks of real or alleged political wrong-doing in the wake of Richard Nixon’s Watergate is usually sufficient to muddy the waters beyond all reality; often it demolishes any chance for serious debate. Remember Billygate, NannyGate, CoinGate, CableGate and all the rest?


A Rising Chorus

I’ve spent a lot of time on the road these past six months, talking with people coast-to-coast, with lots of stops in between. I’ve been to large cities and small towns, colleges and community halls, red states and blue, talking about communications and how our current news and information infrastructure is disserving democracy.