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FCC Dems Dish Activist-Less HD

Democratic Federal Communications Commission members Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein complained Monday that FCC chairman Michael Powell's kickoff of a consumer-targeted HDTV effort featured no consumer or public-interest representatives.

"Launching a consumer outreach initiative is a positive step, but we're disheartened that the Chairman failed to include consumer and public interest representatives in today's important initiative," they said in a statement.

The Public Interest, Public Airwaves Coaltion registered its complaint about the lack of public interest discussion last week, saying it would protest (there were reportedly a handful of protesters outside the FCC Monday).

"Moving the DTV transition forward is important," Adelstein said.  "But by failing for the past four years to establish meaningful public interest protections for digital television, we've kept viewers in the dark on the full benefits this transition could bring them."

When asked about the lack of activist invites, Powell told reporters that the DTV education campaign being launched Monday was about helping consumers make buying decisions and that the public interest issues were being dealt with elsewhere.