In a Wednesday interview on BBC World News America, liberal FCC Commissioner Michael Copps told correspondent Katty Kay: "I think American media has a bad case of substance abuse right now....we are going to be pretty close to denying our citizens the essential news and information that they need to have in order to make intelligent decisions about the future direction of their country."
As TVNewser reported on Thursday, after Kay asked about instituting a "Public Value Test" of media outlets, Copps replied: "What we've had in recent years is an aberration where we have had no oversight of the media. For years and years we had some public interest guidelines...they agreed to serve the public interest and that public interest to me right now is crying 'news and information, news and information, news and information.'"
Despite seeming to endorse heavy-handed government regulation of news media, Copps legitimately criticized the lack of hard news coverage: "It's a pretty serious situation that we're in. I think American media has a bad case of substance abuse right now. We are not producing the body of news and information that democracy needs to conduct its civic dialogue, we're not producing as much news as we did five years, 10 years, 15 years ago and we have to reverse that trend."