By Sara Jerome - 02/15/11 07:05 PM EST
Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps made a case for a government hand in media policy in a speech to the FCBA on Tuesday.
"The commission can act now. It should have acted on the media before now. I am disappointed that it has not," he said.
The decline of "real journalism" justifies federal involvement, according to Copps. "The news is suffering from a bad case of substance abuse," he said.
The Democratic commissioner pointed to Fox News' Bernie Goldberg and Bill O'Reilly as examples of the problem with today's media landscape, saying the pair has taken his own words out of context.
"What you and I are getting these days is too much opinion based on opinion and too little news based on fact," Copps said.
The key going forward, according to Copps, is "making sure there is media about, and originating from, the local communities a station serves."
Congress has given the FCC power to get involved in the Communications Acts, according to Copps. It may want to give the agency more power to promote media diversity and competition, he said.
The commissioner also reiterated his call for a "Public Value Test" as part of the broadcasting license renewal, a process controlled by the FCC.