Monday, November 05, 2007

Media Sellouts

From right and left, critics accuse the nation's media of selling out the American people but, while the debate rages, the real selling is not by the media but of them.

On PBS last night, Bill Moyers highlighted the latest attempt to consolidate television, radio, newspapers and magazines even further into the hands of half a dozen conglomerates, Rupert Murdoch's among them.

This time the effort is being rushed along by FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin, who as a 33-year-old lawyer worked on the Bush legal team for the 2000 Florida vote recount and, with no media background, was appointed to the commission less than six months later.

In 2003, an attempt to concentrate media ownership was beaten back after a public outcry by interest groups ranging from the National Organization for Women and Common Cause to the National Rifle Association and the pro-life Family Research Council.

Now, in the waning days of Bush's Administration, his 3-2 majority on the FCC is trying to rush through similar relaxing of cross-ownership rules by next month, but again the public and Congress are trying to head them off at the pass.

"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty" was a slogan in the mid-nineteenth century when Americans were trying to abolish slavery. It's still applies now when a radical White House seems determined to enslave our minds.

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