Back in the Reagan administration, an FCC official declared that the days of "News" being a public service obligation the networks owed American citizens for the use of the airwaves were over. Instead, News Divisions should compete for ratings like everyone else. Later in the same anti-regulation rape and plunder campaign the Reaganistes and Bush I removed the bothersome Fairness Doctrine, so that corporations and markets ruled content rather than the civic needs of American citizens.Even later, Clinton allowed the horrible 1996 Communications Act to complete the corporate monopoly.
This approach led immediately to the blurring of news and entertainment. Before about 1980 there used to be a VERY SHARP divide between news and current events programming and all the other media entertainment. A mixed news/entertainment show like the Today show made sharp stylistic signals indicating the "serious" part of the show was about to begin--although, come to think of it, the Today show probably started all the troubles way back in the 50s by having their news anchor play with a chimp!
ANYWAY... after a few decades of newsietainment blurring we run into an incident where the crossover between serious world affairs and fart jokes had a major nasty collision. Imus happened to be standing at the intersection when it happened, and got an SUV dropped on his head. But the ingredients for that collision have been brewing in our media ever since the Reagan administration, which screwed us deliberately in order for their Big Media buddies to make a few dollars.
Imus quit being a moneymaker for them. Now we have an opening to convince them that there is indeed gold in them thar liberal pockets. We need to use our consumer influence to show them there is a market for liberal leaning programming. Remind them of the fabulous Second Golden Age of television, fuelled by M*A*S*H, All in the Family, 60 minutes, Laugh in--Oh yeah, they made money off liberal audiences, you bet, and liberal audiences are still out there--bitching about the content on their television stations.
There needs to be political action too. Louise Slaughter and others are trying to reinstate aspects of the Fairness Doctrine. While tragic for multimillionaire philanthropist Imus, his downfall is an opportunity for us. Let's go for it!
3. I believe in change - a turnaround. This 'happening' could be
good for the country. Turnaround and join 'whatever this is going to be' and 'wherever it's going' to clean up our country of hate pollution.
BUT... I find your twist on this provoking - it is so probable that entertainment news corporations (that deliver news of war death with a chipper voice, perky posture, and a smile), could figure that they COULD appeal to a liberal audience for profit.
The concept that they could include liberals seriously could be picked up by the Limbaughs and Robertsons to conduct a new fervent hate war against the corporations. Since they believe or repeat that these right wing networks are liberal now (except, perhaps, their favorite Fox, I ask - what the heck could happen if it became obvious that the remaining four corporations did modify their programs to target the liberal audience? Would DeLay, Gingrich, Cheney boycott NBC and CBS and ABC and CNN if they opened up to liberals?
4. Big Media have shown repeatedly that they would sacrifice profit
for Republican interests. They fired Donahue when he was the highest rated program! (just one example of many)
It's obvious they make bigger profits by fuelling the Republicans who make laws for them in congress than they do through selling advertising on news programs . I don't have any real faith that it can happen now--not without a huge market shift or government intervention. And it would be a HUGE fight in Congress to change the regulations and make the airways fair. Sigh.
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