So the latest in the Berkshires' quest to get the FCC to let us get programming from our own region and state capital rather than New York's arises from local legislators being outraged at Time Warner removing New England Cable News (NECN) from the channel lineup.
Great to see all of our legislators getting on board, but unfortunately some of the comments attributed to some of them demonstrates a naiveté regarding cable programming options in Berkshire County.
Rep. Pignatelli can certainly encourage everyone to run to DirecTV, but what they will find is no NECN and not one Massachusetts channel, because DirecTV also has to comply with the FCC's Dominant Market requirements. And if anyone thinks Charter Communications taking over Time Warner is a good thing, they should review the past few years of surveys conducted by Consumer Reports. You'll find Charter at or near the bottom in every category.
The legislators are correct in that the real issue here is the FCC's archaic and outdated Dominant Market policy. To think for a moment -- especially in this day and age -- that I'm influenced by the advertisers or politics of the Albany, N.Y., area just shows that the FCC really has no clue as to today's media access culture and options.
If the FCC wants to demonstrate viability in today's market they can start by changing the policy so that those of us in Massachusetts can receive news from our own state capital and channels and advertisers from our state that we can support if we so choose.
Unfortunately, the FCC is too worried about wardrobe malfunctions and radio disc jockeys saying or doing inappropriate things. All of which we can eliminate simply by turning the channel or station if we so choose, thank you very much. Unfortunately, we can't change the channel to one from Massachusetts!
MICHAEL P. MURPHY