Is anybody else getting bored with the Times super congratulatory coverage of “Media ownership crisis! 2008!” because frankly, I am. In my circles, dissing the whole “indymedia” thing is akin to saying that Radiohead is underrated. (And they are! OK Computer was the last thing I listened to and liked from them.) Today, I looked at the Times homepage and was overwhelmed:
Read about it here…
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the Times anti-media consolidation stance. But it’s reeks of “people who own newspapers covering things that are important to people who own newspapers.” There’s this “eat your vegetables” vibe to the whole thing that is starting to bug me.
If the Times put half the effort into having a basic understanding of light rail instead of that stuff above, I’d be happy.
Hey, I have a basic understanding of “light rail”. It goes nowhere and costs a taxpayer fortune.
Roger Rabbit spews:
The pontificators at Fairview Fannie didn’t seem too excited about the alligators eating all the frogs in the pond when a conglomerate gutted the Seattle Weekly. Which leads one to believe their concerns are strictly self-focused.
By the way, Will, can anyone explain to me how $150 a year times 1 million households can raise more than $3 billion in 20 years? Or more than $7.5 billion in 50 years? Did I miss something about how much Prop. 1 would cost?
Did you mean to say you think that Radiohead are overrated? I mean, OK Computer was a long time ago.
I happen to be in complete agreement with Blethen on this one, and am happy to give him his props for his activism even though it’s so obviously self-serving. But this does underscore how much of a fiction it is when MSM editors and reporters claim there’s an inviolate firewall between the editorial preferences of a paper (or its owner) and the coverage decisions in the newsroom.
Will if the local fish wrappers print something worth reading these folks rateing would start going down. But the media would prefer to go bankrup instead.
Here are our editors’ selections for the most influential talk-radio hosts in America, in order of their influence:
Dr. Laura Schlessinger
Opie and Anthony
G. Gordon Liddy
Oh, and I really didn’t care for OK Computer that much, either. :)
@5 Pretty amusing to see Al Franken in your top ten, since he hasn’t had a radio show in several months.
Three comments in a row! I’m turning into…a…rabbit……help….me…
I agree with Geov on this one.
The reality is that the MSM TV stations in Seattle now have zero political value unless they are owned by the Faux Propaganda Network. Newspapers are also fading. At least the Times does have opinions that are not predigested at Disney or Faux.
Persoanlly, I would argue that the thing should go one huge step further and ban ownership of local broadcasters by anyone without a strong community identification. The
pubicairways are a pubicpublic resource. It amkes no more sense for Disney to own KOMO TV than toi would for them to own Seattle Center and the Zoo.
The effect of nationalization of local broadcasters has been terrible, They have become like sports franchises with no real local affiliation but huge capital value in the liscence itself. Why should the govmnt GIVE a public heritage to GE or ABC?
TV atattions do not have huge costs to run and, with cable and internet, content distributiuon may become very cheap. As such the vlaue of KINGIROOMO is in in their LOCAL presence.
in the HA traditon, I wonder if a state initiative would be legal? Is there someplace in the constituion that determines LOCAL broadcasting is the purview of UNCLE?
“Be it resolved, that ownership of television or radio public broadcasting facilities whose primary market is within the State of Washington, must be held in majority share by an individual or corporation whose principle place of doing business is within the State of Washington. Moreover, such owner ship must be renewed every ten years by application to a non-partisan board including the chief executive officers of all accredited education institutions serving more than 4,000 students at the K-12 through college level.”
Would this be legal???
Would it lead to someone trying to buy the KIRO call sign and move it to Crawford Texas?
Yea, I was impressed by how much “non-coverage” was given to the Times/PI dispute when the Times tried to trash the Joint Operating Agreement.
Usually it was a short news report on an event which couldn’t otherwise be ignored, a quote from the Times about how much money they were losing, how important it was to crush the PI in order to “maintain local news and editorial independence” in Seattle (apprantly to them, one voice is more independent than two are), a few stats about how much money the Times was “losing”, and then a one-line quote from the PI’s lawyers stating that they disagree.
The whole story could have been (and probably was) written by the Public Affairs spokesman. I’m sure it was at least vetted by them prior to publication.
@9 SJ, bad example. KOMO isn’t owned by Disney – ABC is their network affiliation, not their ownership. They’re owned by Fisher Broadcasting, which owns KOMO TV/radio, KVI, Star 101.5, and a bunch of other TV & radio stations in the Pacific NW. So they are owned by a chain, but the chain happens to be based in Seattle, making KOMO…our only locally owned commercial TV station. (Sorry.)
SJ @ 9: Such an initiative would be nixed by the courts based upon a concept called “federal pre-emption”. That means that once the Federal Government gets involved in significant regulation of an industry, the states cannot also do so. The federal government has determined, since the 1920’s, that the airwaives are a national public resource (not local), so that would mean we are pretty much stuck with whatever scheme the federal agencies implement with regard to broadcasting licenses. Also, it is the “public” nature of the airways which allows the government to impose licensing at all, and restrict content, regardless of what would otherwise be first amendment issues.
Now, if we are dealing with print media only, you don’t have federal premption problems, but you do have to watch for conflicts with federal antitrust laws (restrictions in ownership can sometimes be construed as protecting a monopoly or price fixing). And since no public licenses are involved, you have the basic problem that first amendment protections might prevent a scheme which restricts who could own a printing press and distribute its contents.
Of course, if the whole issue of who gets broadcast licenses were to come up fresh today, the Bush administration would simply auction off the federal airways (using a scheme to make sure their friends were the only qualified bidders). They never saw a public resource they didn’t lust after, wanting to make it private (and held by their friends and supporters).
@12 @ 11
ooops , I forgot about Fisher … but is Fisher locally owned? I thjought hey we re subsidiary?
Even so, I really miss the old KING and the shit about $$ for local hosts vs canned national pablum seems to me to be more about the capital value of a liscence than the actual operating costs and local profit.
not being an attorny put me at a deficit here, but I would like to see some other thoughts on the matter. I know for example that there are many Federalists who argure that the tenth amendment bans the sort of thing oyu say. Also, licences are complex. In order to broadcast, of course, you need access to frequencies (though that is changing too) BUT you also need access to a place to build your tower, rights to locate reporters and equipment in public places, etc.
Finally there is the ultimate state weapon The Tax! A capital value tax on businesses that use WA limited state resources would also be effective. Thgis could solve the pro-teams dilmena too. In essence wiht both TV and prosports we the people pay taxes that go into capital accretion for the
barbariansotsiders who own the teams.
I suspect a law like the following would get wide support around the nation:
Access to Limited Resources in Washington State, Taxation
“Be it resolved, that the State of Washington shall levy a tax not to exceed 1% on the capital value of any business whose capital value is dependent on access to the citizens of the State unless that business is principally owned by individuals or corporations located within the state.
Examples of such business shall include sports franchises using public facilities, media outlets whos eprimary market is within the state, and the sale of rain gear east of the Cascades.?
This tax may be leveed annyaly based on a fair accounting of capital value or at the time of sale of such entity to an outside owner.
Funds raised from this tax will be used exclusively for support of education at public univeristies, colleges, and grade schools.
Ownership shall be determined by a decision of the Washington State Attorney General. “
not Tim Eyman spews:
I endorse SJ’s initiatives and will run them for whoever can pay my fee.
not Tim Eyman spews:
@5 klake .. wrong list, here is the correct list:
Dr. Laura Schlessinger
Opie and Anthony
G. Gordon Liddy
@14 & @15,
Like it or not, Tim occasionally comments here, so the no spoofing rule applies. I’ve edited the comments to change the name.
will…get a job. it gives you some perspective.
Timity Eynman spews:
Just trying to help Tim in case he has run out of ideas.
Timity Eynman spews:
Also I assumed noone would take me seriously, after all I do not look anything like the real Tim Eynman and am not even sure how to spell his name.