The proper way to deal with Rush, Hannity and the media wingnuts: Break the media oligopoly!
Hey, and we don't have to encroach on the First Amendment to do it!
The big problem is that the vast majority of radio stations, TV stations, cable channels, newspapers, etc. etc. etc. are owned by six companies: Disney, Viacom, Time Warner, News Corp, Bertelsmann AG and General Electric. Companies like Clear Channel, as well as these six companies, have made political, not economic, decisions as to the content that is on their media outlets. On my radio dial here in Denver, there is one progressive talk station that airs Randi Rhodes and Rachel Maddow, and at the same time, there are several right-wing stations that broadcast Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and so on.
Left wing stations in various parts of the country have been shut down - not because they weren't making money, but because of their message. They're replaced by other formats, or by right-wing stations with a fraction of the listeners.
The owners of the media don't care - they've got plenty of money, they have interests that make it worth eating a loss to ensure that we hear the right-wing message. The pro-corporate, pro-fascist message. They can do this because they have the market cornered. They own almost all the traditional media in this country, and they can muscle out dissenting voices.
So if you want to shut up Rush Limbaugh, there's a simple way to do it - Congress can pass legislation to tighten up the media ownership rules. Force Clear Channel to sell their radio stations. Force the big six to sell their media outlets, and not to each other. Ensure that the market isn't monopolized by six companies. Make sure that there are dozens, maybe hundreds of businesses in the industry. When that happens, all of the sudden, the rich right-wing assholes that want more for them and less for us won't have the resources to put Rush on half of the radio dial. Other voices will be able to make themselves heard, and maybe the fourth estate will start doing its fucking job!
1. Easy. Stop watching/listening/reading their crap.
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 02:57 PM by dem629
That's about as far as I'll go. As someone who makes a life out of creating entertainment, I'll be the last person on the train to any kind of speech suppression (however cleverly cloaked it may be), no matter how much I disagree with someone.
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 03:09 PM by backscatter712
I suggested breaking up the media oligopolies and forcing Rush & co. to compete on a level playing field.
Do you think that without the big corporations and Rupert Murdochs backing him up that Rush would get all the airtime he gets? In that environment, when we tune out Rush, it will hurt his bottom line, and Rush will get replaced by better programming that attracts more listeners than just the Limbaughtomized.
In today's environment, the media oligarchs just look for new ways to spam us with the same right-wing message. It's at the point where we're almost forced to listen to him. If not Rush, then O'Reilly, or Beck, or Coulter, or Stephenopolos, or they'll sneak in the message in less overtly partisan forms - slanted news coverage, for example. It's virtually impossible to escape.
3. So you don't think there has already been speech suppression by TPTB?
When dissent is virtually non-existent in MSM? It's already happened. And the losers were the liberal progressive party.
I think what people want is to force a BALANCE on the airwaves. No one is advocating kicking anyone off the playing field. Balance has been missing for far too long on our airwaves. It's time to fix that.
12. I doubt we're going to get the Fairness Doctrine.
It had its problems, and didn't always succeed in preventing suppression of dissent (see the McCarthy era).
But we can demand diversity of media ownership, and have a few ground rules in place for using the airwaves owned by We, the People. It used to be that radio stations had bigger news departments because the FCC demanded that proper news was broadcast as part of the price for being allowed to use a frequency of the American people's airwaves. A few decades ago, flagrant defamation was punished - you couldn't smear someone on the airwaves like Rush Limbaugh does routinely now.
4. Aren't there anti-Trust laws on the books that need to be enforced?
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 03:09 PM by patrice
I say enforce these laws and, other than that, make the Reich Wing and ALL of theirs = 0, literally NOT THERE, non-existent in our own perceptual universe in any way shape or form and SHARE/encourage/nurture this approach with anyone that we seriously include in what's next.
7. In Columbus, OH we have had 2 progressive radio stations
One was flipped after the 2006 election to a right wing station and the other was flipped to an all Catholic station after the 2008 election .... it is the third all catholic station in the market 2 AM and one FM .....
My tin foil hat theory is that billions have been stolen from Iraq and the right has tons of hidden money to try to stop our side from getting our voices heard.
AM radio is "comfort food" always there, cheap, and portable .... the right has long used it to seem as if they are the real voice of America. Just driving this morning and I heard 3 minute screed about "Butch O'Bambi" and his marxist ideas for America .... then the next yahoo talked that only Rush & Hannity speak the truth.
18. Same here. In Boston we had 2 progressive radio stations
flip to Clear Channel about 3 years ago. It was so weird. I was listening to Stephanie Miller sign-off at the end of her 3rd hour, and instead of a news break at noon, the station went right into non-stop 24/7 Rumba music. Three years later and the same music is playing with no one listening, but the slimeball repukes succeeded in getting AAR and Miller off the Boston airwaves.
22. We are the freaking majority but from coast to coast we have non stop ...
.... right wing hate, lies, and half truths. Boston is a liberal city but it has no liberal radio .... In Columbus we have a black democratic mayor, a democratic governor, a wonderful new Sec. of State, and brand new democratic liberal Congresswomen (Mary Jo Kilroy) and a brand new progressive station had it's license bought out for 1.5 million $s and flipped to an all Catholic Station that almost nobody listens to .....
Steph when she got on the air here doubled and then tripled the station's AM ratings but after winning 2006 Clear Channel flipped it to all right wing crap all the time.
Some of the garbage I hear is just so over the top bad it is not funny. Pure hate and lies Obama is a Marxist, we are winning the war on terror, and my fave .... (I was driving @ the time) ..... Joe the Plumber discussing economic theory.
BTW our now ex progressive station was starting to get solid local ad support before it was flipped last December.
Both times the flips were the same over the Holidays when the national hosts are on break and flipped very fast.
Many people do not know what the pre-Reagan era media use to be like and accept the current media as the norm. Until it is fixed the current media will continue to control political discourse in this country.
But there is another way to attack the problem and that is to write a letter to every sponsor that advertises on the hate programs and tell them you will not buy there products as long as they support such trash...and then keep your word. This requires many people doing many things so it is probably not going to happen, but it would make a difference.
16. Yes they do. I mentioned that earlier in this thread.
Edited on Sat Jan-24-09 04:19 PM by backscatter712
The corporations would like us to think that they own the airwaves. No. We, the people own the airwaves, and through the government, through the FCC, allocate them to radio stations so they can broadcast. And historically, there's been rules of the road in place to make sure that broadcasters that use our airwaves use them to provide a service to us, rather than to harm us.
The Fairness Doctrine was one of those rules, though like I mentioned, the Fairness Doctrine didn't always succeed, and was difficult to enforce. There were rules requiring broadcasters to have a decent amount of news, and historically, radio and TV news departments were operated at a loss, and that loss was accepted as part of the price necessary to go on the air. There were rules requiring a certain amount of programming be targeted to children, that limited the amount of time that could be used for advertising, and so on. It's all been through the courts a few times, and the courts have ruled that FCC rules of the road were indeed necessary, and not a substantial infringement of the First Amendment.
Certainly, media ownership rules are part of those rules of the road - you can't have too few companies that own all the radio, TV, newspaper, recording studios, etc. or we have the situation we have today. The FCC's more than within its right to demand that media conglomerates sell some of their media outlets, and not to each other, and to demand a more diverse group of owners.
21. So what we have is an FCC problem more than a Clear Channel problem
Clean out the FCC from politically inclined, profit motivated Capitalists and return the organization to a somewhat more Liberal base that supports the people. When segments of the Government that are intended to benefit the people as a whole are taken over by individuals who favor 'for profit' businesses, soon the Government agencies become extensions of business.
Remake the directorship of the FCC into an organization who's allegiance is to the American citizen, not business.
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 accelerated the consolidation of the media under a few big megacorps by relaxing regulation of media ownership rules. And the FCC has been controlled by Bush's political hacks for the past eight years, and they've done nothing but bend over backwards for big media, letting them do what they please.
It's time that's changed.
Congress needs to pass some new media regulation laws that tighten up the ownership rules, and keep big business from monopolizing the media. And the FCC needs to start doing its job - it should be insisting that the big six media companies, along with businesses like Clear Channel, sell off most of their TV and radio stations. We shouldn't have six companies controlling 90% of the media outlets - there should be hundreds of media businesses all competing with each other.
Create and FCC rule againt stations that routinely broadcast false information. I'm not talking about opinions. I'm talking about things that are absolutely false. Stations need not be penalized for occasional mistakes. Only those that show a pattern of broadcasting falsehoods.
I'd suggest that the rule require that corrupt stations broadcast retractions within the same shows that the falsehoods appear in. Failing to do so would result in a large fine and even eventually a license loss.
That way, if the wingers want to listen to right wing propaganda they can, so long as it isn't all lies. As a practical matter, if you took the straight out factually false statements out of most of these shows there wouldn't be much else left.
It's already illegal to commit acts of slander and libel. Time to enforce those laws, and for the FCC to create new guidelines.
FCC fines, maybe even revocation of broadcast licenses for broadcasters that commit defamation. Yes, require them to broadcast retractions when caught. In fact, make them broadcast the retractions in the same show, as you suggested, at the very beginning of the show, when people are most likely to hear them.
All the lies (yes, provable lies) that the right-wing media broadcast about Obama and Ayers should have resulted in massive FCC-induced wedgies, in the forms of fines, suspensions and revocations of broadcast licenses. It's one thing to express opinions that are unfavorable to Obama. But when you tell flat-out lies on the air, committing defamation, that damned well should be punishable.
He's said he supported measures to diversify media ownership, and he's in favor of related things, like Net Neutrality legislation, to make sure the oligopolists don't do the same thing to the Internet that they've done to TV, radio, newspapers, recording studios and so on.
25. Even if there is legislation passed that forces the breakup of these megamediacorps
the problem is going to be to get progressive BUYERS who have the $$$$ to purchase the stations. These properties don't go cheap.
Someone posted earlier that lots of the "Lost Billions" from Iraq are probably squirreled away to ensure that the reichwing is able to make critical purchases like newly available radio and TV stations.
27. I'll bet the market for progressive TV and radio is actually decent.
Olbermann and Maddow are hot commodities right now, and they're airing on MSNBC, owned by GE - I guess GE wants the ad revenue badly enough tolerate Keith and Rachel.
That and Air America and Nova-M are still hanging in there. There's that bankruptcy thing around Air America, though I haven't heard recent news about it. My gut of truthiness says that in a fair competitive environment, there will be enough demand to support some progressive TV and radio stations, and that the current quantity of right-wing talk radio causes a glut that would drive 90% of them out of business if they didn't have help from big business types with a political agenda.
29. Yes - this doesn't make sense to me statistically...
In non-media markets, there is clearly space (read: profit) for far more mid-size and even niche players than there appears to be in media markets.
I wonder what the spread is in sales of political books, for instance. Anybody know? Of course, that would be biased by the willingness of publishers to fund/promote books of various kinds. But, I'm not aware of the overwhelming bias there that there is in talk radio.
What do progressives listen to on the way to/from work?
I can only figure:
1) Progressives listen to music more? 2) Except for the commute hours, progressives are far more likely to read or use the internet than listen to radio?
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