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HA Commenting Policy
It may be hard to believe from the vile nature of the threads, but yes, we have a commenting policy. Comments containing libel, copyright violations, spam, blatant sock puppetry, and deliberate off-topic trolling are all strictly prohibited, and may be deleted on an entirely arbitrary, sporadic, and selective basis. And repeat offenders may be banned! This is my blog. Life isn’t fair.
Blue John spews:
What’s the point of talking about it, they are going to be allowed to consolidate. I will be very surprised if the FCC listened to the people.
Piper Scott spews:
How stupid is it to contend that media consolidation will allow newspapers, those gasping-for-financial-breath-in-order-to-survive 19th-Century throwbacks, to buy radio and TV stations?
And Jay Inslee is a pandering, conniving politician, nothing more.
Media consolidation simply allows dinosaurs – MSM newspapers and TV/Radio – to merge all with the result of perhaps postponing the inevitable. Yet the growth of alternative news sources, through and including, and I have no problem acknowldging its place in the scheme of things, Goldy’s HA, gives the lie to the caterwauling over the damage that will be done by cross-ownership.
So many of the complaints about lack of local coverage, etc., stem not because of a genuine lack, but because of a lack of coverage acceptable or favorable to complainents, a quite childish argument. Demanding a free ride for your interest group isn’t in the public interest, it’s in your own, and claiming otherwise is hypocritical.
Let the marketplace, emerging technologies, and the mere passage of time resolve the issue instead of demanding buggywhip-like protectionist rules with their roots in fear-based thinking stymie the necessary and inevitable.
And if you don’t like the way your interest group or issue gets covered, start a blog, promote your issue, or do something that’s actually newsworthy instead of simply whining about how you’re not being catered to. In short: Get over it!
Kevin Martin’s refusal to kowtow to a gaggle of gasbag Senators, through and including Republican Ted Stevens, is a profile in courage.
Why not take your own advice?
Piper Scott spews:
I’m not the one whining about sky-is-falling media consolidation.
Your definition of whining only comes down to people you disagree with speaking up. By that definition, you are, from my prospective, one of the biggest whiner around here (e.g. the prattle @ 2 above).
I’m guessing you were an insufferable whiner as a child, huh?
(And, no, Piper…don’t construe the question as meaning I am in any way actually interested in you, your childhood, or your life.)
Personally, I am so glad you guys are covering this. This is an incredibly serious issue and worth much debate. Piper, what the hell are you talking about? Basically allowing consolidation would fuck everyone. Imagine all our local newspapers owned by a New York Based, Conservative funded company. Since they probably own a few cigarette companies, plenty of real estate, and two or three tv stations, they could give a flying fuck if their Seattle area papers make shit worth of money. Instead they use it to push their views and ideas on the Northwest. Sure we can go to blogs instead but whos going to do the reporting? No money in Blogs, at least not enough to fund actual reporters and editors. Most of the news on this blog comes from local papers and radio. Once their gone, this blog is in the shaft. If this passes were all in for a fuck over.
It was kind of interesting to listen this morning to listen to Kevin Martin being taken to school by John Kerry. Kerry got him to admit that the FCC’s authority comes entirely from Congress, and that the Congress has the Congress regulates the airwaves for the benefit of the people as a whole, and that a majority of both houses of Congress oppose this rule change. Kerry pointed out that Congress would just past legislation negating the rule change. But when asked to defer the rule change, Martin insisted that he was going to issue the rule change today, anyway.
Clearly, somebody in the Bush administration owes somebody in the media a big favor, in order for them to push this through despite the inevitable show-down with Congress. But even if Congress eventually nullifies the rule change, it won’t affect the favored party, for the following reason:
First, those media interests who want to take advantage of the rule change will submit their applications within a few hours of the rule change being announced. Then they will argue (probably successfully) that since the propsed merger was legal during this brief period in which it would be allowed and their contract rights “vested”, the merger cannot be disallowed based upon future rule changes which would amount to a “taking” of their contractual rights.
Second, its no sure thing that Congress can pass the required legislation. They still have the sixty-vote hurdle in the Senate to surmount in order to avoid a filibuster, and even then Bush is sure to veto the bill. It is unlikely that the veto could be overridden, so we might have to wait until the 2009 Congress to restore the status quo.
Anyway, it should be simple to figure out who’s paid off the Republicans. Just watch and see who files for a merger within the next few days – I’m sure the paperwork is already completed, and they are just waiting to run to the FCC to file it. My money is on Murdoch – maybe now that he owns the Wall Street Journal, he will make a play for other TV and Radio outlets as well.
Some Republicans in Congress are also opposed to the rule change. But I would think that if they really were as afraid of the “liberal media” as they claim to be, then they would be very opposed to this rule change, as it protects diversity in news broadcasting.
Now, if you want to make sure any opposing viewpoints are squashed, then you would be in favor of the rule change.
Update: 11:23 a.m., 18Dec2007:
“FCC approves controversial media ownership rule
By JOHN DUNBAR
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission, overturning a 32-year-old ban, voted Tuesday to allow broadcasters in the nation’s 20 largest media markets to also own a newspaper.
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin was joined by his two Republican colleagues in favor of the proposal, while the commission’s two Democrats voted against it.
Martin pushed the vote through despite intense pressure from House and Senate members on Capitol Hill to delay it. The chairman, however, has the support of the White House, which has pledged to turn back any congressional action that seeks to undo the agency vote….”
Quoted from Seattle Times, 12/18/2007, quoted under fair use doctrine.
Roger Rabbit spews:
What a piece of work Martin and the other two Republicans on the FCC are. The GOP culture of corruption is alive and well.
Piper Scott spews:
Again, thank you for clarifying your dislike of me; I shan’t be losing sleep, then, over a lack of Christmas greetings from you.
Me a whiner? Perish the thought! On this non-issue, it’s a tempest in a teapot, and I’m not the one crying that the sky is falling.
The way I see it, cross-ownership may be the only hope for survival for traditional paper and ink journalism. And since every guy in his PJ’s with broadband access clickety-clicking in the dead of the night fancies himself a journalist, then we’ve no shortage of newshounds.
The availability of and access to official information and the absolute impossibility of keeping a public secret anymore means there’s no shortage of data to sift through. All it takes is time and determination.
Blogs abound, left, right, and center…new forms of reporting and publishing spring from nowhere almost daily…we’ve got more access to more information from more sources today than ever before…why, then, should anyone even care that Dinosaur A and Dinosaur B care to merge? Big deal!
Efforts to explain the FCC action via conspiracy theories, big payoffs, and sinsiter manipulation are so much paranoid, bogey man hysteria. Times and circumstances change, and what may have been acceptable 30-some odd years ago is antiquated and harmful today.
Again…LET THE MARKET DECIDE WHETHER IT’S A GOOD IDEA FOR CROSS-OWNERSHIP TO OCCUR! In the meantime, chill out!
George Hanshaw spews:
Once again we have an appointed “alphabet agency” that is functionally unaccountable doing its own thing. This isn’t how it was supposed to be.
Congress was supposed to debate and have an up or down vote on things like this. Remember Congress? The branch most accountable to the people? The branch that must stand for re-election every two to six years?
But what they have done is create agencies….like the FCC, the EPA, the FDA….not to advise them, but to do their thinking for them….with Congressional deniability when the results wind up stinking.
We need to get rid of these agencies that provide political cover for actions that the people don’t want. Congress needs to fing themselves a pair. They could start by not funding a single offensive military action when they themselves haven’t had the balls to actually declare war.
There is perhaps nothing more pathetic than a couple of the dem presidential candidates who are now maintaining they voted the go-ahead authority to Bush only to give him bargaining power with Saddam Hussein….never really expecting he’d actually use it. People that stupid shouldn’t be allowed to breed……
JoshMahar I was thinking the opposite:
Imagine all our local newspapers owned by a foreign Hungarian funded company, who leader wants to legalize many things illegal today and doesn’t pay US income taxes.
In response to PS at 11:
“The way I see it, cross-ownership may be the only hope for survival for traditional paper and ink journalism.”
Funny, the rule only affects the largest 20 markets in the U.S. IMHO, they are the ones who are least in trouble. It is the smaller markets where the newspapers are most likely to go under, leaving them with NO coverage. While I agree that the rule change shouldn’t apply to the smaller markets, where cross-ownership could easily result in only ONE opinion being heard, why use this as a justification to change the rules for the markets which need it the least?
“Blogs abound, left, right, and center…new forms of reporting and publishing spring from nowhere almost daily…we’ve got more access to more information from more sources today than ever before…why, then, should anyone even care that Dinosaur A and Dinosaur B care to merge? Big deal!”
If this were true, then why it is the Bush administration so bound and determined to push through this rule change, allegedly on the grounds of “protecting” the vital print media? If it doesn’t matter anymore, why not let the print media die off under the old rules? Wouldn’t that be “letting the market rule?”
“The availability of and access to official information and the absolute impossibility of keeping a public secret anymore means there’s no shortage of data to sift through. All it takes is time and determination.”
You mean, like the “time and determination” necessary to spend weeks or months pursuing FIA requests (through the courts, if necessary), interviewing hundreds of potential sources, cross-checking for credibility and consistency, and then putting it all together in an understandable format? Having access to public officials and events, the kind which is only available to those with media credentials? Kind of like the investigative reporting Woodward and Bernstein did in the Watergate years? Sounds like a full-time job to me, with money and resources to back it up – especially when the reporter gets targeted by the government in retaliation. How many bloggers can do that? At most, we can find tidbits in the news and expand upon them, or point out inconsistencies.
But more importantly, remember that most of the big secrets which ultimately came to light did so long after the big mistakes were already made, and it took years to clean up the mess afterwards. Some examples:
(1) The Pentagon Papers confirmed that the U.S. had already screwed up the war in Vietnam beyond retrieval due to steps taken early in the Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson administrations. Yet when they were published by the New York Times, the Nixon administration fought hard to keep them secret, because it circumvented the rationale for continued involvement in the war in 1971 and 1972. In short, the information became public long after the lion’s share of cost in lives and treasure were already expended, all it helped do was put the nail in the coffin for U.S. withdrawal.
(2) Despite the efforts of Woodward and Bernstein (as well as other reporters) to get get to the bottom of the Watergate and other scandals involving the “Plumbers” unit, the truth was still obscured sufficiently for the majority of the voters to re-elect Nixon in 1972. It wasn’t until two years later that Nixon was forced to resign under threat of certain impeachment.
(3) Only after the U.S. was inextricably involved in Iraq did the truth come out about the lack of any WMD threat from that arena.
If full-time paid reporters have this much difficulty getting information out in a sufficiently timely manner in order to impact government decisions, then what impact is a part-time unpaid blogger going to have? Sure, they may eventually have an impact, but usually only by creating enough noise that the full-time paid reporters of the MSM start to investigate and publish.