I’d like to point out an apparent paradox which came to mind when I read James Merriner’s article about the Federal Communications Commission [“Today Mancow, Tomorrow the World!” September 17]. Merriner describes FCC commissioner Michael Copps as “the FCC commissioner whose torch against smut burns brightest.”

Michael Copps has also been the FCC’s leading force against media concentration. That is, he has opposed trends and policies which allow fewer big media firms to own more and more media outlets.

This is a paradox, since FCC enforcement of obscenity fines is sometimes seen as an easier task in a context of concentrated media ownership, since there are fewer big media players to referee.

FCC policies play a role both in media ownership and in freedom of speech of the airwaves. While such issues of censorship and freedom of speech are never easy to wrestle with, understanding as many related issues can help shed new light on such debates. And with such understanding, citizens can be better equipped to participate in relevant actions and help shape policies that benefit everyone.

Mitchell Szczepanczyk

Chicago Media Action

N. Rockwell