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We Want the Airwaves blog!
Watching the degradation of our media...
Saturday, October 18, 2003
Bill Moyers on Big Media
The flimflam-ery goes on. In 33 other cities, stations that are supposed to be competitors have found clever ways to undermine the existing rules, mergers and takeovers, for example. Remember when Viacom married CBS and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp ponied up for the television stations owned by Chris-Craft? Those deals put both conglomerates in violation of the rule that no one company can control stations that reach more than thirty five percent of the total audience. But so what? The FCC just rolled over, winked, and gave both conglomerates temporary waivers of the rule. A little time passed and this summer the FCC raised the limit to give the big guys what they wanted, anyway. But that giveaway brought protests from over two million citizens; they turned the FCC into a beseiged Bastille on the Potomac. Such indignation from the grass roots caused even the Senate to say, "Whoa, something's going on. People really care about this issue." And the Senate stopped the FCC in its tracks. There are enough votes to do the same in the House. But then, General Electric, owner of NBC; News Corp, owner of Fox; Viacom, owner of CBS; and Walt Disney, owner of ABC, brought on the hired guns ... the lobbyists ... to wage a Trojan War on Congress. A passel of former insiders moved through the revolving door, rolodex in tow, trading their influence for cash -- top aides of the Senate Majority Leader, the House Majority Whip and of John Ashcroft himself.

Now the most powerful Republican in Congress, Tom Delay, the House Majority Leader, won't let a vote happen. The effort to reverse the FCC is dead in the water, sinking the democratic process with it.

Avedon (11:35 AM) permalink

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