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Sat Dec 29, 2012, 03:19 PM

 

Why is the administration helping Rupert Murdoch to futher consolidate media?

Earlier this year, Obama Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski proposed relaxing media ownership rules to allow Rupert Murdoch to buy the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. Itís not something youíll see discussed much, because Republicans like the fact that Murdoch is going to get more power, while Democrats donít want to admit that Obama is helping the person framed as their arch-nemesis. This is part of a larger pattern Ė media consolidation is one of the many structural problems that Obama promised to deal with. And indeed, this is the real arena where the battle over free speech is being fought. Corporate control over our communications infrastructure is the free speech question of our time.

Backed by tech billionaires and consumer advocates in 2008, Obama argued for a dramatic restructuring of communications policy (versus Hillary Clinton, whose advisors were traditional telecom lobbyists). Candidate Obama made the right noises, from a strong stance on net neutrality to opposition to media consolidation to expanded broadband access. In this case, there were billionaires who valued the right policies, not just do gooders. For instance, hereís a little noted part of Democratic Party platform from 2008.

We will encourage diversity in the ownership of broadcast media, promote the development of new media outlets for expression of diverse viewpoints, and clarify the public interest obligations of broadcasters who occupy the nationís spectrum.


Of course, as is consistent with Obamaís main policy arc, after winning, Obama neutralized the reform groups and quickly reverted to a model of policymaking that is slightly more pro-corporate than Bushís. He appointed Genachowski, a law school classmate known as an intellectual and moral lightweight, to run the FCC, and ensured that Larry Summers in the White House would sideline any attempts to fight against media and telecom barons. Hereís the predictable outcome, in a Free Press filing.

There has been ďa nearly 20 percent decline in the level of minority ownership since 2006, and a net loss of six minority-owned stations since the Commission last collected data in October 2011. In a nation where African Americans comprise 13 percent of the population, there are only 5 African American-owned full-power commercial TV stations, just 0.4 percent of the total. This is a 76 percent decline in just 6 years.


In other words, the record of the Obama administration and corporate free speech is terrible, with one significant exception, when the administration blocked the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile. This horrific record is largely because of the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowski, a man who has managed to take a position renowned for corruption and somehow manage to make his predecessors look noble. Not only is he roundly despised by most consumer advocates, who consider him the worst FCC Chairman in history, but heís also thought of as weak, stupid, and feckless by the corporate sector. Mostly Genachowski panders to the telecom giants, which would normally gain him adherents in that group. But his weakness and lack of attention or understanding of the details of his job overshadows what would normally be a standard DC model of operating. For example, Genachowski made moves to block the AT&T and T-Mobile merger, but only after the Department of Justice did. Nobody respects that, not the AT&T lobbyists or the consumer advocates...

Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/12/obama-administration-seeks-to-strengthen-rupert-murdoch.html#bevswovEQY5iC5bH.99

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Reply Why is the administration helping Rupert Murdoch to futher consolidate media? (Original post)
HiPointDem Dec 2012 OP
xchrom Dec 2012 #1
Angry Dragon Dec 2012 #2
Smarmie Doofus Dec 2012 #3
MotherPetrie Dec 2012 #4
historylovr Dec 2012 #5

Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 03:24 PM

1. Du rec. Nt

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 03:27 PM

2. it is time to break up the Murdock empire and send him back to Aussieland

he is bad for this country

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 03:49 PM

3. I don't know but I have feeling that an honest answer is going to infuriate you....

... ( and me) more than no answer at all.

Which is why that's what we're going to get: no answer at all.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 04:34 PM

4. When push comes to shove oligarchs stick together

 

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Response to MotherPetrie (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 12:21 PM

5. +1. Best answer for a whole range of policies. nt

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