media ownership rules

Senator Jon Stewart grills Rupert Murdoch

March 29, 2013: 2:33 PM ET

News Corp. might seek a waiver of FCC rules in order to buy the Los Angeles Times. Jon Stewart has some questions.

FORTUNE -- Media-ownership rules might or not be outdated, but for now, they still exist. They can be waived, however, to allow media companies to own several different news outlets in the same market. News Corp.(NWSA) chief Rupert Murdoch has received several such waivers over the years, even though it was his voraciousness for owning media outlets that led to the rules in the first place. And he might be seeking a waiver now to allow him to buy the Los Angeles Times from the Tribune Co. He would need such a waiver because he already owns two television stations in the Los Angeles market.

On last night's The Daily Show, Jon Stewart played the inquisitive senator, glasses perched Carl-Levin-Style on the tip of his nose, eliciting testimony from archived video footage of Rupert Murdoch (including one bit from several decades ago). Reviewing the recent phone-hacking scandal at News Corp.'s British tabloid News of the World, Stewart told Murdoch: "I assume you're asking us to waive our laws as a courtesy, so you don't have to break them."

President Obama is deciding whom to nominate as the head of the Federal Communications Commission with the announced departure of Julius Genachowski. "How about Jon Stewart as the next FCC Chairman?" tweeted media watchdog Josh Stearns.

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