Saturday
Jul172004

« Free And Unbiased Media »

We all know that Fox News is "fair and balanced," right? I mean, you MUST be if you are going to say so, or else that would be a lie, which is a not very nice thing to do. Funny thing that Fox called the 2000 election, and as Michael Moore said, " If Fox says it, it must be true."

On June 11 this year, I wrote a long rant on Clear Channel and media conglomeration. Rather than repeat all that, let me add some beef to what I said then. Okay, mozie on over to a page that shows the broad power held by Clear Channel Communications and read some stuff that will just bring joy to your heart.

Or maybe you would like to see who owns the media in your neighborhood.

This sort of info can be handy when you are talking to people who loudly proclaim they get their news from Fox (shudder to think) or even from "a wide variety of places, like NBC and CNN, as well as [from whatever station] Rush Limberger [is on]." Let's just remember this sort of thing from here:

For a society to be considered truly democratic, there should be a high degree of protection accorded to the expression of ideas in published form, whether the medium is newspapers, magazines, books, pamphlets, motion pictures, television or, most recently, the Internet. The American experience over a period of two centuries offers an illuminating example of one nation's attempt to set ground rules for expression. Of course, these experiences are unique to the culture and history of the United States, but the general principles they elucidate have wide applications in other democratic societies.

We have an interesting dilemma here. The first amendment to the Constitution does say that the press is supposed to be free. And, I suppose, if you consider deregulation to be a liberating force in the press, you may have a case there. But I believe the opposite is true. Just like all the other corporate and industrial entities, the press is being choked off by lack of competition, a situation brought on by the so-called granter of competition—the deregulation. So far, deregulation has worked backwards in most areas it is implemented. With only a few voices offering perspectives on events, or even the NEWS on events, we are in trouble. There are about 300 million Americans. The population grows but the news media shrinks. It's not that there are no alternative outlets out there, but the smaller ones don't hold sway like the big ones do. Somehow, we have come to doubt the smaller guys because the big guys didn't say it first, or at all. Just because Fox or NBC/General Electric are bigger and have nicer graphics and whiter anchor people doesn't mean they are better arbiters of good taste and objective journalism. Go ahead, read the statement from Clear Channel—they aren't in the business of providing a public service. They only exist to make money and do business.

Okay, the press sucks, for the most part, at least most of the name brand press. But here is something even more interesting. It sorta sucks when the media chooses what to represent, but it sucks a little more when the government silences one of its own because she is uppity and black. I guess there is one way to limit what the press is allowed to portray: just squelch the opposition in the halls of government! Oh, and look at all the empty chairs in this video from Capitol Hill. I guess it takes a BLACK WOMAN to tell us the emperor has no clothes.

Don't you just love America?

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