The US Senate voted last night to nullify an FCC rule that would have allowed media corporations to own both a newspaper and a television station in the same major market, no doubt warming the cockles of Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen, who lacks the deep pockets of the rival P-I’s corporate parent Hearst.
So I thought it a good time to remind Frank and his editorial board flunkies that this measure, adamantly opposed by the Bush administration, never would have gotten to the floor for a vote had the Republicans still controlled the Senate. Never.
See, the little letter in parentheses next to the name of the candidate really does matter. Perhaps the Times’ editors should keep this in mind the next time they’re tempted to base their endorsements solely on the issue of repealing the estate tax?
Roger Rabbit spews:
Even the U.S. Senate can’t give poor Frank what he really needs: The fucking internet must die! Without this magic bullet, dead-tree media are doomed! But if you can’t lick ’em, you have to join ’em. I read Frank’s pathetic little rag almost every other day — online, for free. Hey, that’s what advertisers are for, ya know?
When I cancelled my subscription to the Times I actually got a phone call from Jim Veseley asking me why I, a ten-year plus subscriber, had cancelled. One of the reasons I cited was the Time’s self-serving, all-consuming obsession with the estate tax (or the “Ryan Blethen Will Lose Millions Tax”). Veseley admitted that he’d talked to the Blethen’s about this editorial stance and that he couldn’t do anything about it.
The Times is back in my house now because they’ve added David Sirota to their editorial pages…which was a suggestion I made as a replacement for Molly Ivins. They are a locally-owned paper and I think there’s a chance they’ll come around to some more populist editorial stances once they see which way the wind is blowing.
Roger Rabbit spews:
@3 There’s a better chance they’ll come around to some more populist editorial stances when the last Blethen kicks the bucket and the paper gets acquired by a consortium of retired Softies.
3 Roger, a more likely prospect would be the Times flapping in the breeze until it’s cheap enough to be snapped up by something like Gannett, or worse.
In point of fact, the McClatchey folks are already making noise about putting a For Sale sign on their 49% share.
Ryan Blethen = Patty Hearst spews:
Warm Blethen cockles. The horror.
For the life of me, I can’t figure out why anyone would want 49% of a traditional newspaper which claims that it is continuing to lose money with regularity, if the other 51% is controlled by a family cabal. No ability to control the editorial direction of the paper, no ability to control marketing strategy, sales, or costs. Just an opportunity to participate in the losses.
Yep, sounds like a great investment to me! (Heavy sarcasm intended).
The nullification of the FCC rules by the Senate is a big deal. Both the House and Senate have received millions of calls and emails about this issue. Apparently the American people are not a bunch of somnambulant sheep–like the folks in DC seem to believe. We’re talkin’ people all accross the political spectrum (except the dipshit trollbots that infest HA, of course) real conservatives, liberals, libertarians…they all understand what media conglomeration means. Good job Americans! Way to freekin’ groove. That’s what being a patriot is all about. I raise a toast in your general direction.