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We Want the Airwaves blog!
Watching the degradation of our media...
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
 
Frustrated Democrats complain of media bias
By Alexander Bolton in The Hill
Democrats in Congress claim the mainstream print and broadcast media are giving the Bush administration and Republican leaders on the Hill a free ride.

These lawmakers complain that the press holds President Bush to a much lower standard of accountability than it did President Clinton. Bush’s predecessor weathered such media firestorms as Whitewater, Travelgate, and Monica Lewinsky.
[...]
Last month Democrats on the homeland security department held a press conference to highlight issues they called “of highest importance to our national security,” specifically that “the Department of Homeland Security is broken and needs to be fixed.”

Few reporters covered the event.

“We criticized the [department] and nobody showed up,” said Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), a member of the committee: “It’s very frustrating because people are asking us ‘Why aren’t you speaking out about things?’”



Avedon (7:35 PM) permalink




Tuesday, July 15, 2003
 
Narrowing Broadcasting
Jeff Chester
Comcast, the nation's largest and most powerful cable company, wants to kill off public access television and related educational networks -- the last bastion of diverse, local, educational and commercial-free TV -- by not updating systems for the 21st century.

To accomplish this goal, Comcast has embarked on a litigation strategy to not only erode the power of municipalities to determine how cable service should be used to serve their communities, but also to deprive local public cable systems of new technology needed to participate as broadcasters in the emerging high-speed broadband era.

Though not surprising, the industry giant is citing the First Amendment as a justification to argue that its program offerings -- its speech -- would be harmed by satisfying requests by municipalities to upgrade and enlarge existing public access networks.

The cable giant has sued the city of San Jose, Calif., to prevent a possible termination of its cable franchise. The dispute arose because Comcast is opposed to the city's request, as part of the franchise transfer from AT&T to Comcast, that the city receive access to a set of modern telecommunications facilities.



Avedon (2:08 PM) permalink




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